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Managing customers as employees of the firm: New challenges for human resources management

Jonathon R.B. Halbesleben (Division of Management, Michael F. Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)
M. Ronald Buckley (Division of Management, Michael F. Price College of Business, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma, USA)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

This paper discusses the role that customers play as human resources in service‐based organizations. These involve situations where a customer replaces a more traditional employee (ATMs, self‐serve gas stations), or situations where the customer serves as a strategic partner by providing resources, particularly information, that are critical for the performance of the service exchange (consulting, health care, physical fitness training). After discussing the conditions under which a customer acts as a “partial employee” of a firm, we turn to a discussion of how human resource functions apply to partial employees. Research propositions are offered to guide future research in customer labor contributions.

Keywords

Citation

Halbesleben, J.R.B. and Buckley, M.R. (2004), "Managing customers as employees of the firm: New challenges for human resources management", Personnel Review, Vol. 33 No. 3, pp. 351-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/00483480410528878

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited