This study defines service breakdowns, service breakdown prevention, and “servicide” as they relate to service-dominant logic. The study reviews relevant relevant literature on these three topics. This study categorizes real-life examples into five levels of dramatic turns toward service degradations and breakdowns that range from customer being aware but not mentioning service inadequacy to the service breakdown resulting in death of the customer or service provider. Taking initial steps in developing dramatic turn theory and improving the practice of service breakdown prevention are the major contributions of this study.
This study is a conceptual contribution that includes a dramatic turn role-playing exercise (at category 4 among five categories of dramatic turns for pedagogical/on-site enacting/practicing and training of service professionals. The study emphasizes and shows how to create and enact role-playing scenarios to increase requisite variety, provide training modules and increase skills/expertise in service enactment contexts.
Before explicit reviewing of the dramatic-turn performances, some of the participants as actors as well as audience members in role-play dramatic turns were quick to blame the customer behavior as the principal cause for the service breakdown. The study’s exposition stresses prevention of negative dramatic turns follows from experiencing and coaching a wide variety of customer and server interactions – achieving “richness” in enactments.
Research on service breakdown prevention needs to include field experiments on the efficacy of training programs for effective management of dramatic turns.
Training of service workers and service managers in experiencing/participating in dramatic turns is likely to be beneficial in reducing the severe adverse outcomes and unintended consequences of service breakdowns. Prevention, not only service failure recovery, needs to be an explicit focus in hospitality management training and assessment.
This study suggests tools and procedures to reduce the instances of the need for service breakdown recoveries.
The study calls attention and contributes a way forward in managing dramatic turns in hospitality service contexts. The study provides a nascent configurational theoretical foundation of dramatic-turn propositions. Given the severity of financial costs and loss of brand/firm reputation following the occurrence of extreme dramatic turns, a research focus on service breakdown prevention is necessary.
Woodside, A.G., Caldwell, M. and Calhoun, J.R. (2020), "Service breakdown prevention: Delivering requisite variety and training for achieving the highly reliable service organization", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 32 No. 2, pp. 889-912. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-02-2019-0152Download as .RIS
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