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Erika Andersson Cederholm

Erika Andersson Cederholm

Senior lecturer

Erika Andersson Cederholm

The Service Triad: From mutual harmony to dialectic tension in the service encounter

Author

  • Erika Andersson Cederholm
  • Szilvia Gyimothy

Summary, in English

Models of service encounters are often fraught by reductionism, describing business relationships as mathematical combinations of dyadic constellations. Metaphors of ideal social relationships (marriages or friendships) are highlighted to stress normative aspects of equal, balanced and long-term business partnerships. However, these approaches are limited in their analytical sensitivity, as they cannot address the complexity of multipart relationships, where meanings, roles and relationships are continuously constructed and reconstructed. In order to understand the ambivalent quality of business interactions, this article analyses the corporate travel market by applying Georg Simmel’s depiction of the triad as a specific social form. Triadic constellations and more complex service networks involve dialectic tensions, simultaneously exhibiting for example loyalty and disloyalty, trust and distrust, empowerment and disempowerment. It is argued that a qualitative methodology is more adequate approach to grasp such dynamic and contextual social realities, because (opposed to a quantitative approach) it is not confined to operate with mutually exclusive analytical categories.

Department/s

  • Department of Service Management and Service Studies

Publishing year

2006

Language

English

Document type

Conference paper

Topic

  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Keywords

  • hybrid market
  • service relationships
  • service triad
  • corporate travel

Conference name

EIRASS conference in retail and service science

Conference date

2006-07-09 - 2006-07-12

Conference place

Budapest, Hungary

Status

Unpublished