new service management school

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Is a body of largely US writing on the management of service industries, which stresses the contribution of high-commitment management to both the delivery of high levels of customer service and business performance. The new service management is opposed to the application of scientific management to service operations. Instead, their central concept is the satisfaction mirror, the notion that if employees experience high levels of job satisfaction, then this will be reflected in high levels of customer satisfaction with services. To secure high-worker satisfaction, new service management prescribe a number of HRM practices, including careful selection of employees on the basis of commitment to service, high-quality training, well-designed support systems, empowerment of workers to respond to customer needs, teamworking, and rewards that reinforce service-oriented behaviour. These HR practices, moreover, should be reinforced by the development of a service culture, which emphasizes the need for responsiveness to changeable and variable customer needs. The new service management school is an example of prescriptive HRM and has influenced aspects of business practice in retail, financial services, hospitality, and other service industries. Critics, however, have pointed to the limited break with scientific management in many service industries, the low pay and limited empowerment of workers in front-line jobs, and the antagonistic relationship that can emerge between customers and those who provide them with service. [See also customer-oriented bureaucracy.]

Subjects: Human Resource Management.

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