Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10738
Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The (mis)representation of customer service
Authors: Bolton, Sharon C
Houlihan, Maeve
Contact Email: sharon.bolton@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: agency
call centres
consumer stories
customer service
enterprise culture
labour process analysis
Issue Date: Dec-2005
Publisher: SAGE Publications for the British Sociological Association
Citation: Bolton SC & Houlihan M (2005) The (mis)representation of customer service, Work, Employment and Society, 19 (4), pp. 685-703.
Abstract: The growth of service work has introduced the customer as a third party to the employment relationship. Yet dominant images of customer relations portray docile service workers offering de-personalized care to sometimes aggressive but otherwise not much more agential customers.This paper seeks to bring humanity back into an analysis of customer service, and to reinterpret customer service interaction as a human relationship. Using labour process analysis and data from call-centre workers and their customers, we rerepresent customers as manyfaceted, complex and sophisticated social actors and introduce a new conceptual framework of the roles customers play: as mythical sovereigns, functional transactants and moral agents, thereby offering a more accurate representation of customer service and the role of the actors involved in it.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/10738
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017005058054
Rights: The publisher does not allow this work to be made publicly available in this Repository. Please use the Request a Copy feature at the foot of the Repository record to request a copy directly from the author. You can only request a copy if you wish to use this work for your own research or private study.
Affiliation: SMS Management and Support Team
University College Dublin (UCD)

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