Marketplace Accessibility: A Service-Provider Perspective

Katharina Husemann, Anica Zeyen, Leighanne Higgins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose: This study explores the strategies that service providers use to facilitate marketplace accessibility, and identifies the key challenges in that process. We do so to develop a roadmap towards improved accessibility and disability inclusion in the marketplace.

Methodology: We conducted eight semi-structured interviews with service providers (curators, visitor service coordinators, access managers) at museums who run access programmes for customers with visual impairment (VI), along an embodied duo-ethnography of those programmes.

Findings: Service providers foster autonomous, embodied, and social access. Resource constraints, safety concerns, and exposed differences between customers compromise access. To overcome these challenges service providers engage in three inclusionary strategies - informing, extending, and sensitizing.

Original/ Value: This study contributes: i) A service provider perspective on marketplace accessibility that goes beyond removing ‘disabling’ barriers towards creating opportunities for co-creation. ii) An approach towards marketplace accessibility that fosters inclusiveness while considering the inherent challenges of that process. iii) An illustration of posthumanism’s empirical value in addressing issues of accessibility in the marketplace.

Practical Implications: We offer a roadmap for policy makers and service providers on: i) which types of access should and can be created, ii) what challenges may be encountered, iii) how to manage these challenges, and, thus, iv) how to advance accessibility beyond regulations.

Research Limitations: Our service provider- and VI-focus present limitations. Future research should: i) consider a poly-vocal approach that includes the experiences of numerous stakeholders to holistically advance marketplace accessibility, ii) apply our marketplace accessibility findings upon different disabilities in other marketplace contexts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2023


  • disability
  • market place accessibility
  • museum
  • King’s Business School Impact Prize 2023

    Husemann, K. C. (Recipient), Zeyen, A. (Recipient), Higgins, L. (Recipient), Rowlings, J. (Recipient), Partington, Z. (Recipient), Hammacott, L. (Recipient) & Check, J. (Recipient), Dec 2023

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • King’s College Engagement Award (shortlist)

    Husemann, K. (Recipient), Zeyen, A. (Recipient), Higgins, L. (Recipient), Rowling, J. (Recipient), Partington, Z. (Recipient), Hammacott, L. (Recipient) & Check, J. (Recipient), Jan 2024

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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