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Säljande samspel: en sociologisk studie av privat servicearbete
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Interaction between people can be seen as a distinctive feature of 'post-industrial society'. In this study I investigate some of the conditions for this encounter in private service work in Sweden. I start by discussing some important concepts: service, service encounter and emotional labour. Three parties in an interactional triangle can be perceived: the service enterprise, the service worker and the customer.

The service encounter is embedded in organisational frames. Recruiting for social competence and training for selling interaction are two facets of these frames. In interactive service work, control is complicated by the fact that a third party, the customer, is involved and that the borders between worker, work process and result are somewhat indistinct. Indirect forms of control can be used to affect workers' attitudes and thinking, as well as behaviour.

Service work can be described as a form of acting. Different service workers will identify differently with their work role. In my study I observe both positive and negative experiences of work. A majority report that they sometimes are so tired of people that they want to be alone after work.

I distinguish two dimensions of interactive service work: type of interaction and sales situation. Interaction can be more or less important, and the sales situation can be more or less concealed. Based on these dimensions I suggest a typology to illustrate some differences between different service occupations. Four types are suggested: (1) Work first, and customer later; (2) Personalised services; (3) Routine selling; and (4) Persuasive selling. In the second group we find the experts of interaction, but also the strongest signs of social strain.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 2000. , 197 p.
Stockholm studies in sociology, ISSN 0491-0885 ; N.S., 9
Keyword [en]
interactive service work, service encounter, emotional labor, feeling rules, display rules, deep acting, surface acting, organisational frames, routinization
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7674ISBN: 91-22-01861-1OAI: diva2:198808
Public defence
2000-03-10, Hörsal 5, hus B, Södra huset, Frescati, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2000-02-17 Created: 2000-02-17 Last updated: 2012-12-04Bibliographically approved

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