Quality, Service Essay

3740 words - 15 pages

icedTHE SERVICE EXPERIENCE AS THEATER
Stephen J. Grove, Clemson University
Raymond P. Fisk, University of Central Florida
INTRODUCTION

Services marketing play a major role in the economies of the United States and the entire world, this has been indicated by the increased interest in the etiquette of how most people are taking it up, the past decade reflects a growing appreciation of the part they play in the frugalities. Lovelock 1991, states that services are said to be approximately amounting to seventy per-cent of the Gross National Product of the United States and the world, and supporting the same notion is Bateson 1989 who indicates that three quarters of those employed in some ...view middle of the document...

The discussion that has been outlined below posits a general framework for services marketing based upon the drama metaphor as an effort to satisfy the need for conceptual frameworks. Foundations of the drama metaphor, several key concepts that it offers for the description of services marketing have all been presented in the discussion. The scholars and researchers gave concluding comments on some matters they studied. The theatre of service experience is further developed and consequences ensuing from the framework are specified.

BEHAVIOR AS DRAMA

Brisset and Edgley, 1990, illustrated the basis for a distinct model of human interaction that offers insights most forcefully when examining face to face interactions among individuals as a metaphorical depiction of behaviour drama. The behaviour as drama metaphor has generated wide attention, as a sociological school of thought was born from the symbolic interactions exemplar of it. The development of the dramaturgical outlook captured the attention of writers such as Kenneth Burke (1945, 1950, 1968), Erving Goffman (1959, 1967, 1974) and R.S. Perinbanayagam (1974, 1982, 1985) who also gave their contributions on the perceptions. Underlying their observations is the tacit understanding that people are symbol users who interact with each other based upon the meanings they assign to the miscellaneous elements present at any behavioural setting.

Dramaturgy, then, is greatly fretful with the broad issue of communication, both discursive (speech and language) and non-discursive (gestures, clothing, and other objects), and the connection between the two. Definitions of reality emerge as action occurs and those existing endeavour to make sense of behaviour situations. Social reality, then, is not simply like drama, it is drama in so far as it a discourse involving articulation, definition and interaction (Perinbanayagam 1974).

Goffman (1959, 1967, 1974), represented the application of the drama metaphor to behaviour in an exceptional scholarly way. He describes social behaviour as theatrical "performances" in which "actors" present themselves and their actions in such a manner as to fashion desired "impressions" before an "audience." In a layman’s point of view, it is said to be the presentation of ones’ self in everyday life. During interaction actors continually adjust the expressions which they "give" and "give off" in the context of a "front region." To a large extent, the success of the actors' front region performance (i.e., how believable, sincere and/or authentic it appears) is enhanced by rehearsal in "back regions," away from audience's view. Here critical aspects of actors' presentations are planned and practiced to arrive at a general coherence among the dramaturgical elements necessary to staging a believable performance. Through it all, however, is the realization that performances are fragile processes that are easily undermined by the most minor of mishaps.

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