Browsing by Subject "service encounters"

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  • Nilsson, Jenny; Norrthon, Stefan; Lindström, Jan; Wide, Camilla (2018)
    While greetings are performed in all cultures and open most conversations, previous studies suggest that there are cross-cultural differences between different languages in greeting behavior. But do speakers of different national varieties of the same language organize and perform their greeting behavior in similar ways? In this study, we investigate the sequential organization of greetings in relation to gaze behavior in the two national varieties of Swedish: Sweden Swedish spoken in Sweden and Finland Swedish spoken in Finland. In recent years, the importance of studying pluricentric languages from a pragmatic perspective has been foregrounded, not least within the framework of variational pragmatics. To date, most studies have focused on structural differences between national varieties of pluricentric languages. With this study, we extend the scope of variational pragmatics through adding an interactional, micro perspective to the broader macro analysis typical of this field. For this study, we have analyzed patterns for greetings in 297 videorecorded service encounters, where staff and customers interact at theatre box offices and event booking venues in Sweden and Finland. The study shows that there are similarities and differences in greeting behavior between varieties. There is a strong preference for exchanging reciprocal verbal greetings, one at a time, in both. There is also a similar organization of the greeting sequence, where customer and staff establish mutual gaze prior to the verbal greetings, thus signaling availability for interaction. The duration of mutual gaze and the timing of the greeting, however, differ between the two varieties. We have also conducted a multi modal analysis of gaze behavior in correlation to the greeting. We found that the customers and staff in the Finland Swedish data share mutual gaze before and during the verbal greeting, and often avert gaze after the verbal greetings. However, in the Sweden Swedish data, the participants often avert gaze before the verbal greetings. Our results thus indicate that both similarities and differences in pragmatic routines and bodily behavior exist between the two national varieties of Swedish. The present study on greeting practices in Finland Swedish and Sweden Swedish should contribute to the field of variational pragmatics and to the development of pluricentric theory.
  • Holmqvist, Jonas (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, 2009)
    Economics and Society
    A defining characteristic of most service encounters is that they are strongly influenced by interactions in which both the consumer and the service personnel are playing integral roles. Such is the importance of this interaction that it has even been argued that for the consumer, these encounters are in fact the service. Given this, it is not surprising that interactions involving communication and customer participation in the service encounters have received considerable attention within the field of services marketing. Much of the research on interactions and communication in services, however, appear to have assumed that the consumer and the service personnel by definition are perfectly able to interact and communicate effortlessly with each other. Such communication would require a common language, and in order to be able to take this for granted the market would need to be fairly homogenous. The homogenous country, however, and with it the homogenous market, would appear to be gone. It is estimated that more than half the consumers in the world are already speaking more than one language. For a company entering a new market, language can be a major barrier that firms may underestimate, and understanding language influence across different markets is important for international companies. The service literature has taken a common language between companies and consumers for granted but this is not matched by the realities on the ground in many markets. Owing to the communicational and interaction-oriented nature of services, the lack of a common language between the consumer and the service provider is a situation that could cause problems. A gap exists in the service theory, consisting of a lack of knowledge concerning how language influences consumers in service encounters. By addressing this gap, the thesis contributes to an increased understanding of service theory and provides a better practical understanding for service companies of the importance of native language use for consumers. The thesis consists of four essays. Essay one is conceptual and addresses how sociolinguistic research can be beneficial for understanding consumer language preferences. Essay two empirically shows how the influence of language varies depending on the nature of the service, essay three shows that there is a significant difference in language preferences between female and male consumers while essay four empirically compares consumer language preferences in Canada and Finland, finding strong similarities but also indications of difference in the motives for preferring native language use. The introduction of the thesis outlines the existence of a research gap within the service literature, a gap consisting of the lack of research into how native language use may influence consumers in service encounters. In addition, it is described why this gap is of importance to services and why its importance is growing. Building on this situation, the purpose of the thesis is to establish the existence of language influence in service encounters and to extend the knowledge of how language influences consumers on multilingual markets.
  • Lindström, Jan Krister; Wide, Camilla (Göteborg University, 2017)
    Göteborgsstudier i nordisk språkvetenskap
    I det här bidraget koncentrerar vi oss på inledningssekvenser i servicesamtal på svenska som spelats in vid biljettkassor på teatrar, arenor och kulturcenter i Sverige och Finland. Vi fokuserar specifikt ärendepresentationer, dvs. hur kunderna formulerar orsaken till sitt besök. Typiska ärenden i materialet utgörs av inköp av biljetter eller avhämtning av på förhand bokade biljetter. Våra frågeställningar gäller utformningen av ärendepresentationer: vilken variation finns det i den grammatiska formen av den här typen av social handling, vilka pragmatiska markörer förekommer i den, i vilken mån är variationen förknippad med ärendets art eller varieteten (sverigesvenska, finlandssvenska)? I vårt material kan vi observera en rätt stor variation i hur kunderna formulerar sitt ärende: från korthuggna, frasformade yttranden (Matchen ikväll) till satsformade deklarativa eller interrogativa yttranden med eller utan modala element (Ja skulle komma å lösa ut två biljetter; Har du några biljetter kvar på måndag?). Kundernas turer kan även innehålla pragmatiska markörer av typen du (Sverige), hördu (Finland), va (Sverige), dedär (Finland). Vidare kan turen där ärendet presenteras föregås av en förklarande försekvens eller följas av en eftersekvens i samma syfte. Undersökningsmaterialet omfattar ca 300 videoinspelade sverigesvenska och finlandssvenska servicesamtal från 2013–14. Materialet har insamlats inom forskningsprogrammet Interaktion och variation i pluricentriska språk (IVIP), som undersöker språkliga och interaktionella praktiker i sverigesvenska och finlandssvenska (se t.ex. Norrby m.fl. 2015). Metodiskt anknyter vår analys till variationspragmatik och interaktionell lingvistik (Schneider & Barron 2008, Couper-Kuhlen & Selting 2001).