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Customer experience in a landlord-tenant relationship

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisCollection of Articles


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTampere
PublisherTampere University of Technology
Number of pages188
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-15-2548-3
ISBN (Print)978-952-15-2439-4
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2010
Publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Publication series

NameTampere University of Technology. Publication
PublisherTampere University of Technology
ISSN (Print)1459-2045


The business premises are ever more often seen as resources that, when utilized in a right way, support the functions and aims of both the organizations and the employees. In the business of renting premises this has increased the need of understanding the customers (tenant) and their strategic organizational needs better than before. Even if the landlords acknowledge this need, they often lack the tools to gain this understanding.

The aim of this dissertation is to help the landlord in understanding their tenants better. This is done by studying how the premises are experienced by the tenants in a landlord-tenant relationship. The theoretical part of this dissertation builds a model of customer experience by extending the customer perceived quality theories. The theoretical part suggests that the customer experience may be understood through three viewpoints. These are the viewpoints of product, service and customer relationship.

In the empirical part three sets of customer experience dimensions (10 service, 15 product and 11 customer relationship related dimension) suggested by the theoretical model are tested in a landlord-tenant relationship. The focus is on how the tenant experiences the premises. This experience is looked from the viewpoints of both the organization and individual end-users (the employees).

The empirical part was carried out in 11 case sites. Common for all these was that they were multi-user buildings that were leased to be used as primary workplaces. From each site from one to five representatives from tenant organizations participated in the research process. The data was gathered by using both individual and group-based interview methods. The group-based interviews were carried out as audits during which the interviewees and the interviewer walked around in the case premises. The material was then analyzed using a qualitative content analysis.

The empirical part suggests that the dimensions used in the theoretical model do not fit as such in the context of a landlord-tenant relationship. Thus, the assumption of many authors that these dimensions are generic was not supported. From the dimensions of the theoretical model nine worked well in the case sites of this research. Six totally new dimensions were found and several dimensions were combined to be part of five existing dimensions. From the findings of the empirical part a validated model on customer experience dimensions in a landlord-tenant relationship was created.

Furthermore, a tenant-landlord relationship is quite complex and it appeared that the best way to study the customer experience is by combining different methods of investigation. The easiest way to study the physical side of workplace is by using group-based walkthrough methods. Individual interviews do not work as a research method in this respect as the information gained through interviews is limited. On the other hand, as there are some confidential issues related to the business relationship, the relationship element of the customer experience may not be assessed using group-based methods. Combining the group-based walkthrough method with individual interviews seems to offer the best combination to gain holistic information about the customer experience in a tenant-landlord relationship. The conclusions suggest two new methodological approaches. The first is a longitudinal study and the second is testing the validated model from the viewpoints of different actors.

Publication forum classification

Field of science, Statistics Finland

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