The Service Encounter

8. The Service Encounter

Reports need to address the topic in an appropriate academic fashion, i.e. your arguments need to be based on theoretical and empirical evidence and actually address the task at hand –this is crucial! If you fail to do so, you will fail the entire report even though your work might have touched upon the subject. Some lecturers give marks for spelling, referencing and structure among others. This is not the case in this module. If you do not follow the guidelines (we will have a session on this), you will loose marks. However, if you do follow the guidelines, you will not be given marks for this as this is what you are expected to do anyway. In other words, your performance will be judged merely on content and not on style. You can compare this to a football match you went to see –just because people kicked the ball around the pitch is unlikely to impress you when you evaluate the quality of the match afterwards. What is likely to impress you, however, is the players’ skill of handling the football, the pace of individual players, the creativity with which players created chances and goals and so on. This precise line of reasoning lies behind the assessment of your report in this module too.
Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, the successful student will be able to:
1) Compare and contrast differing definitions of service work and its role in contemporary business and society
2) Critically evaluate marketing, operational and human resource considerations in managing service work
3) Critically evaluate contemporary debates relating to private services
4) Critically evaluate contemporary debates relating to public services
5) Identify different learning and personality styles
6) Identify political stances and power relations
7) Define conflict resolution strategies
8) Manage group dynamics and group processes
9) Solve people-problems creatively using Forum Theatre Skills
This module will call for the successful student to:
1) Research contemporary topics and subject them to theoretical and empirical analysis
2) Enact, analyse and resolve dilemmas in a service work context
3) Develop self and others individually and in groups to manage the encounters
4) Motivate employees
5) Skilfully negotiate and handle conflict
6) Manage time, stress and change
7) Plan, organise and co-ordinate effectively
8) Handle service encounter knowledgeable and creatively problem-solve
9) Write a work-based report and give a presentation in the Forum theatre style
Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy
This module will employ a variety of learning and teaching methods including formal didactic lecture to present key concepts, tutor directed student discussions to promote student awareness of the link between theory and practice, peer assessed presentations, video presentations, student research activities and guest speaker sessions. It will also involve a series of workshop sessions where students will participate in an enactment of a critical service oriented dilemma. On-line learning support will also be provided.
Essential reading
(You are the HR director of a London-based general hospital. What are effective tools you could adopt in order to increase the level of service quality exhibited by your nurses? You need to justify your recommendations on theoretical and empirical grounds!)

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