A service revolution is sweeping America. Nearly three-quarters of people in the U.S. labor force work in services, almost half of family income is spent on services, and providing good service is widely believed to be the key to an organization's success, whether in for-profit, nonprofit, or government. Yet, in an era where the customer is supposedly king, individuals are increasingly dissatisfied with the service they receive. As more and more services traditionally offered by indepAndent practitioners - such as law, health, and mental health - shift to large organizations, the quality of the customer-provider interaction deteriorates.The Dynamics of Service is the first book to examine the service transaction in depth from social, psychological, and management perspectives. Barbara A. Gutek details the changing nature of customer-provider interactions from relationships when a customer has repeated contact with a particular provider - to encounters, which typically consist of a single brief episode.
She examines the cumulative impact of this quiet revolution upon customers, providers, and the enterprises that provide service - and shows how it is changing the quality of our lives.With powerful implications for health care, psychotherapy, higher education, law, and all areas where work is rapidly being restructured in large organizations, The Dynamics of Service provides professionals in many disciplines with a common framework for understanding how customers will be served in the future.
BARBARA A. GUTEK is head of the Department of Management and Policy at the University of Arizona. Her previous books include Women and Work (with V. Nieva, 1981), Sex and the Workplace (Jossey--Bass, 1985), and Women's Career Development (with L. Larwood, 1987).