Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Satish V. Nargundkar

Second Advisor

Dr. Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Dr. Subhashish Samaddar


Business owners aspire to create a great customer experience for their clients. They want their customers to buy their products or use their services and come back for more. This study examines the relationship between Sense of Place and Customer Experience using the Case Study Approach. The key research question addressed is “How does Sense of Place influence Customer Experience?” A case study approach was used to study this relationship in the tourism industry in the State of Alaska. Literal and theoretical replication was used to study convergence and variation. A typology of the reasons for attachment to a place was applied to customer experiences at Outdoor Business (a tour business) and an Indoor Business (a café). Insights were gained about the strength and types of attachment formed among visitors and locals. The literature suggests three reasons for attachment to a place – Form (cognitive), Activity (behavioral), and Meaning (affective/emotional). The effects of these three reasons were examined for each of the four stages of a customer’s experience - Consider, Evaluate, Buy, and Bond. Implications for theory and practice are discussed as well.


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