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|Title:||Customer oriented militants? A critique of the 'customer oriented bureaucracy' theory on front-line service worker collectivism|
|Authors:||Brook, Paul A.|
|Citation:||Work, employment and society, 2007, 21 (2), pp. 363-374.|
|Abstract:||This critique challenges the Customer Oriented Bureaucracy (COB) theory’s argument that the experience of customer service is pivotal to the formation of front-line service worker collectivism. COB’s rejection of the major tenets of Marxist analysis, thereby denying the exploitative and class nature of service work, results in Korczynski theorising front-line worker collectivism as based only on the shared experience of doing customer service rather than as workers per se. As a neo-Weberian theory, COB argues ‘consumer capitalism’s’ ideology of ‘customer sovereignty’ is a contemporary ideological ‘iron cage’ of value rationalisation in a unified, contradictory relationship with bureaucratic rationalisation. COB theory, consequently, allows only for a trade unionism that is limited to contesting the terms of customer service rather than challenging the deepening commodification of social relations.|
|Rights:||Copyright © 2007 BSA Publications Ltd®|
|Appears in Collections:||Published Articles, School of Management|
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