Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Cafe conquerors use high-tech gadgets to make public spaces their own ... for hours

May 09, 2012
Increasingly "plugged-in" customers are grabbing extra seats, counter space and table tops by using cell phones, laptops and cups of steaming hot coffee to shield others from seemingly public spaces, according to two marketing professors who've studied this brewing consumer clash.

Just the act of purchasing a cup of coffee emblazoned with the café logo is enough to give customers territorial rights, which can lead to decreased space turnover and discouraged customers who can't find a place to sit, the researchers found.

It's a café conundrum, according to marketing professors Merlyn Griffiths, of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Mary Gilly, of the University of California, Irvine, who report on the latest territorial consumer behavior in the current issue of the Journal of Service Research.

Nowhere is the premium on space to sit and sip greater than in cafes and coffee shops, where establishments like Starbucks, Peet's Coffee and Tea and Panera Bread have invited their customers to linger a while and enjoy the atmosphere along with their coffee beverages.

But consumers who cross the line through high-tech territoriality are frustrating other patrons and forcing baristas to post signs limiting seating time. Some shops go so far as to limit access to Wi-Fi, which often serves as an anchor for today's café conquerors, who sit for hours on end. While some may be oblivious to the needs of others, changing work habits have created a new class of teleworkers for whom the office is wherever they can access a wireless signal.

Regardless of motivation, this type of customer can be classified as "first come/first priority" and their behavior can be cast in business terms as "rent-in-perpetuity" - where a $3.50 café latte effectively buys a workstation for the afternoon, according to the report.

Increasingly, customers use the devices they have at hand - a laptop, phone, purse, briefcase, backpack, clothes, daily planner, coffee cup-and place them all on the table top and chairs surrounding them, effectively barricading against others looking for a place to sit down and relax. A single customer can turn a four-person table into a makeshift office.

Griffiths and Gilly found that café and coffee shop managers have gone so far in their attempts to control customer territoriality as to post signs limiting table use, as well as restricting Internet access. For example, Peet's Coffee and Tea offers access to Wi-Fi in its stores for a single hour. Such efforts have met with limited success.

Instead, it may take expensive new interior designs and floor plans to discourage people from sitting down and spreading out their personal belongings. For managers, ignoring customer territoriality increases the risk of alienating customers who abide by the rules of common courtesy and also frustrate employees who are often left sorting out conflicts over tables and chairs.

"Conflict arises when consumers who believe that café space should be reserved for customers to consume café products encounter first come/first priority or rent-in-perpetuity occupants," Griffiths and Gilly write in the Journal of Service Research. "First, managers must decide what kind of place they want to offer customers. Then, they must design space in a way that accommodates different customers' needs."

While personal technology may be designed to better connect society, an increasingly plugged-in populace lugging about an ever-expanding number of personal electronics devices may be struggling more and more with face-to-face interactions, said Boston College Professor Katherine Lemon, editor of the Journal of Service Research.

"Cafes and coffee shops were Facebook for many, many earlier generations - spaces where people met, talked and kept track of friends and neighbors," said Lemon, a marketing professor at the Carroll School of Management. "What Griffiths and Gilly have found shows our efforts to connect technologically - anywhere, anytime - can interfere with the common courtesy we've traditionally extended to one another."

###

A copy of the paper can now be viewed at the Journal of Service Research website: http://jsr.sagepub.com/content/early/recent.

Boston College


Related Service Research Current Events and Service Research News Articles


Study helps assess impact of temperature on belowground soil decomposition
The Earth's soils store four times more carbon than the atmosphere and small changes in soil carbon storage can have a big effect on atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.

First national study finds trees saving lives, reducing respiratory problems: Air pollution modeling reveals broad-scale impacts of pollution removal by trees
In the first broad-scale estimate of air pollution removal by trees nationwide, U.S. Forest Service scientists and collaborators calculated that trees are saving more than 850 human lives a year and preventing 670,000 incidences of acute respiratory symptoms.

New Recreational Travel Model to Help States Stop Firewood Assisted Insect Travel
The spread of damaging invasive forest pests is only partially powered by the insects' own wings. People moving firewood for camping can hasten and widen the insects' spread and resulting forest destruction.

Increase in Hemlock Forest Offsetting the Effect of Invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid -- at Least for Now
Despite the accumulating destruction of a non-native invasive insect called the hemlock woolly adelgid, hemlock forests in the eastern United States appear to have held their own for now, according to new research by the U.S. Forest Service.

Plan to delist gray wolf endangers other threatened species, researchers find
The federal government's proposal to discontinue protection for the gray wolf across the United States could have the unintended consequence of endangering other species, researchers say.

Brain trauma raises risk of later PTSD in active-duty Marines
In a novel study of U.S. Marines investigating the association between traumatic brain injury (TBI) and the risk of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) over time, a team of scientists led by researchers from the Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System and University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that TBIs suffered during active-duty deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan were the greatest predictor for subsequent PTSD, but found pre-deployment PTSD symptoms and high combat intensity were also significant factors.

Tomato therapy: Engineered veggies target intestinal lipids, improve cholesterol
UCLA researchers report that tiny amounts of a specific type of lipid in the small intestine may play a greater role than previously thought in generating the high cholesterol levels and inflammation that lead to clogged arteries.

Play Promotes Emotional Healing in Children Battling Serious Illnesses
New research finds that chronically ill children celebrate a successful recovery. It's through their imaginative play with medically themed toys.

Increase in Woodpecker Populations Linked to Feasting on Emerald Ash Borer
The scourge of forests, the emerald ash borer, or EAB, is usually described with words like "destructive" and "pest."

Fewer states holding alcohol retailers responsible for harms from illegal service
Fewer states are holding alcohol retailers liable for harms caused by customers who were served illegally, according to a new report from researchers at Alcohol Policy Consultations and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
More Service Research Current Events and Service Research News Articles

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services
by Duane R. Monette (Author), Thomas J. Sullivan (Author), Cornell R. DeJong (Author)


You may be wondering why you need to study research methods to prepare yourself for a career in human services. This accessible text will help you to better understand the connection between human service research and practice. APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH brings the subject to life and explores how recent innovations in technology are affecting research methods and results. Available with InfoTrac Student Collections http://gocengage.com/infotrac.

Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research (SAGE Sourcebooks for the Human Services)

Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research (SAGE Sourcebooks for the Human Services)
by Deborah K. (Kay) Padgett (Author)


The Second Edition of Qualitative Methods in Social Work Research provides accessible how-to instruction for social work and other practice-based researchers interested in carrying out rigorous and relevant qualitative research. This comprehensive, expanded version offers a sophisticated introduction to qualitative methods based upon six major approaches: ethnography, grounded theory, case study, narrative, phenomenological, and participatory action research. Similar to the earlier edition, this Second Edition is a highly readable introduction to qualitative research that combines attention to methodological rigor with pragmatic concerns for real-world relevance.

Health Services Research Methods

Health Services Research Methods
by Leiyu Shi (Author)


Written with an emphasis on health services delivery and management, Health Services Research Methods balances classic and current models and methodology. It showcases approaches to measuring the relevant structure, process, and outcome variables that can be used to address efficiency and equity issues in health care services delivery. Emerging health services research tools and skills are included as well as implications for practice.

Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service (Knock Your Socks Off Series)

Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service (Knock Your Socks Off Series)
by Performance Research Associates (Author), John Bush (Illustrator)


Who would've thought that a practical, fun, easy-to-read customer service book would capture the hearts of hundreds of thousands of readers? Now, celebrating its 20th anniversary, "Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service" has been completely revised and is better than ever! Still the go-to guide on providing the kind of outstanding service that keeps customers coming back, the fifth edition combines powerful tools and techniques with real-world examples and all-new chapters on using social media for communication and service recovery, owning service encounters, responding positively to negative feedback, and more. The book provides readers with proven tips and strategies for: exceeding customer needs and expectations; determining the right times to bend or break the rules; becoming...

Action Research in Human Services

Action Research in Human Services
by Ernie Stringer (Author), Rosalie Dwyer (Author)


For Research courses in Counseling, Social Work, and Human Services. This practical, clearly-written text helps readers understand the purposes of action research and guides them through the process of conducting their own action research studies. The book is appropriate for counselors, social workers, and other helping professionals, as examples and applications are all drawn from human services settings. Not only does the text help readers understand how to conduct research on their own practice, but it also helps them apply the results of their research to improve their effectiveness as helpers.

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services, 8th Edition (Research, Statistics, & Program Evaluation)

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services, 8th Edition (Research, Statistics, & Program Evaluation)
by Duane R. Monette (Author), Thomas J. Sullivan (Author), Cornell R. DeJong (Author)


You may be wondering why you need to study research methods to prepare yourself for a career in human services. This accessible text will help you to better understand the connection between human service research and practice. APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH brings the subject to life and explores the most recent technology innovations, including how cell phones, PDAs and computers are affecting research methods and results.

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services

Applied Social Research: A Tool for the Human Services
by Duane R. Monette (Author), Thomas J. Sullivan (Author), Cornell R. DeJong (Author)


"You may be wondering why you need to study research methods to prepare yourself for a career in human services." This accessible text will help you to better understand the connection between human service research and practice. Find out the growing number of ways that research is being applied to practice today. With APPLIED SOCIAL RESEARCH, you'll see how research and practice are linked and explore how technology devices such as cell phones, PDAs and computers are affecting research technology.

International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research (IUPUI Series on Service Learning Research)

International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research (IUPUI Series on Service Learning Research)
by Robert G. Bringle (Editor), Julie A. Hatcher (Editor), Steven G. Jones (Editor)


This book focuses on conducting research on International Service Learning, which includes developing and evaluating hypotheses about ISL outcomes and measuring its impact on students, faculty, and communities.

Individual chapters discuss conceptual frameworks, research design issues, and measurement strategies related to student learning outcomes; the importance of ISL course and program design; the need for faculty development activities to familiarize faculty with the component pedagogical strategies; the need for resources and collaboration across campus units to develop institutional capacity for ISL; and the role that community constituencies should assume as co-creators of the curriculum, co-educators in the delivery of the curriculum, and co-investigators in the...

Research Design for Social Work and the Human Services

Research Design for Social Work and the Human Services
by Jeane W. Anastas (Author)


Research Design for Social Work and the Human Services integrates a range of research techniques into a single epistemological framework and presents a balanced approach to the teaching of research methods in the "helping professions." Jeane W. Anastas begins with a discussion of the different philosophical perspectives within which social research occurs and continues with problem formulation, research design, and methodological issues influencing data collection, analysis, and dissemination. She presents both fixed (quantitative) and flexible (qualitative) methods of research, granting legitimacy, value, utility, and relevance to both styles of inquiry.Utilizing complete case studies to illustrate different methodological approaches, Research Design for Social Work and the Human...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com