Consumer-to-consumer conversations in service settings

Harris, Kim and Baron, Steve (2004) Consumer-to-consumer conversations in service settings. Journal of Service Research, 6 (3). pp. 287-303. ISSN 1094-6705

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This article contributes, in two ways, to our understanding of the nature, scope, and significance of conversations between strangers in service environments. First, a framework is introduced that provides both academics and practitioners with a summary of the key issues associated with the stimuli, manifestations, and consequences of such conversations. Second, the article reports a market-oriented ethnography of a specific service—rail travel—that locates stranger conversations within a broader categorization of consumer travel behaviors. This has resulted in the identification of a stabilizing effect of conversations between strangers through consumer anxiety reduction, the enactment of the partial employee role, and the supply of social interaction. The stabilizing effect can act as a "defuser" of dissatisfaction in services where consumers are in close proximity for prolonged periods in the service setting and regularly express dissatisfaction with service provision

Additional Information:Kim Harris is Kim Cassidy
Keywords:Consumer-to-consumer interactions, Ethnography, Utilitarian services, Stabilizing effect, Consumer dissatisfaction
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N240 Retail Management
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:536
Deposited On:22 Jun 2007

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