The Customer Orientated Bureaucracy

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Introduction

Customer Oriented Bureaucracy (COB) is an amalgamation of the two conflicting images of service work these being new service management (NSM) which suggests a win:win:win relationship between customers, employees and employers against the more negative aspect of service work brought forward by Ritzer which suggests that service work has become McDonaldised and is fake, demeaning and highly routinised. The original ideas were seen by Korczynski as being half right yet had their downfalls. The main flaw in the NSM was their use of the satisfaction mirror. This stated that the interests of the frontline worker were the same as the customer. This was conceptually flawed as research showed that employees want more pay and
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It is important to recognise here that if examples like the ones above do occur that the HRM role becomes especially important. Managers will find it useful to know that these HR workers need to be able to use their range of skills to cope with the tensions that occur in trying to be dual-focused. I believe this is already shown in my retail situation. The canteen is seen as a place where tensions can be released away from customers and there was also recognition and praise given for good work.

Basis of Division of Labour

This dimension is seen in two different lights, originally Ritzer saw this as being about the efficiency of a process and in recent times the NSM have stated that it is more to do with creating and maintaining a customer relationship. The COB believes there are dual bases of the division of labour, these being that of efficient task completion and the customer relationship.

There are in the retail sector clear cases where these dual bases are present. The fact that in Safeway staff had to wear name badges was a form of trying to create a customer relationship. It took minimal effort yet could put customers at ease and make the workers more approachable. The end result of this
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