Bermuda revisited? Management power and powerlessness in the worker-manager-customer triangle

Sharon C. Bolton, Maeve Houlihan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    31 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article charts changing power relations within customer services, focusing on frontline service sector managers (FLSSMs): what they do and how they do it. Although increasingly ghostlike in the sociology of customer service work, the FLSSM is a mediator of the of the divergent interests of employees, senior management, and customers. Drawing on Kanter's notion of power failure in management circuits, the article depicts a series of "triangle dramas" drawn from a variety of frontline settings that show how managers can be denied access to "lines of power". The analysis questions the expectation that FLSSMs have sufficent power to resolve customer dissatisfactions or address structural failings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)378-403
    Number of pages26
    JournalWork and Occupations
    Volume37
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010

    Keywords

    • customer service
    • frontline manager
    • management
    • power
    • powerlessness

    Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Bermuda revisited? Management power and powerlessness in the worker-manager-customer triangle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this