Antecedents to Consumer Perceptions of Sacredness in Extended Service Experiences: The Case of Golf

Lee Phillip McGinnis, James W. Gentry, Tao Tony Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Despite the marketing opportunities associated with consumers' perceptions of sacredness in many service consumption experiences, academic research on what drives consumers' sacredness perceptions is limited. Using the context of golf, the study investigates the antecedents to ritual experiences and perceptions of sacredness in service activities. Survey results among more than 700 male and female golfers indicate that flow and communitas impact sacredness perceptions somewhat differently between men and women. While flow impacts sacredness for both genders, the influence of communitas on sacredness is significant only among men. Desire for privileged status and its impact on sacredness, however, impacts only women. Results further indicate a strong mutually reinforcing relationship between flow and communitas. Sacredness can have powerful influences on customers in creating lasting and potentially reoccurring experiences. Managers should realize that creating welcoming environments can enable extraordinary experiences and that tactics such as increasing participation frequency are more necessary for women than men in creating sacredness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)474-488
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Service Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • communitas
  • extended service experiences
  • flow
  • gender
  • golf
  • privileged status
  • sacredness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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