Tjänstemötet : Interaktionens kommersiella, byråkratiska och social logik

Sammanfattning: The subject of this thesis is interaction in the service encounter. The aim is to describe and explain the service encounter interaction with a special focus on the social and organisational context. The contextual focus is related to two overriding questions: What significance does the human interaction have for the service encounter? What significance does the organisational context have for the service encounter?The result show that even though the communication consists of four discerned phases – salutation, the subject of the call, concluding the subject, and rounding off the call, each phase also displays contradictions. Consequently, there are both relational and instrumental utterances, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical aspects of the conversations.These contradictory results of the relational-instrumental and symmetrical-asymmetrical features are explained when interaction is viewed in terms of three different sets of logic – the commercial, the bureaucratic, and the social. Every logic is constituted by a number of characteristics, each contributing to the shape of the interaction and to the relationship between the customer and the employee.Analytically speaking, the three forms of logic can be described in terms of their respective field of action and rationality, that is, what the actors talk about and what the purpose of the talk is. It is shown that the actors must prioritise between economic, administrative and personal areas within a limited time of action. It is also clear that the disparate rationalities, that is, economic, executive and recognition, all exercise influence over the service encounter, which means that acts aiming at a specific goal are restricted by the objectives of the other logics. Therefore there is a certain self-regulating function in the antagonism between the logics. The positions of the employee in relation to the customer, the organisation and the so-called collective customer mean that there are demands made from three qualitatively different directions. There is, in other words, a three-bosses dilemma for employees. The different positions of the employee also entail three different asymmetrical relationships in which either the customer or the employee has the advantage. This position constructs the hierarchy of dominance between employee and customer.To conclude, the interaction constitutes a complex relationship between the characteristics of the logics and when these combine the interaction of the service encounter is shaped. The fact that the service encounter involves human interaction means that there is a counter balance against the organisational ascendancy.