Service Encounter Mismatches: A Conceptual Framework Integrating It and Job Design

How to Cite

Mechling, G., & Little, B. (2000). Service Encounter Mismatches: A Conceptual Framework Integrating It and Job Design. Journal of Business Strategies, 17(1), 65–85.


As the services sector becomes a larger component of our national economy, it
becomes increasingly critical that the management of service operations is
addressed systematically. One concern is the interaction of service employees
and the technology making up the job design. Effectively matching job design and
technology leads to effective service encounters, while mismatches cause shortrun
or long run problems for the organization.
Organizational mismatches between job design and supporting infrastructure,
specifically the information technology (IT) selected, can give rise to the use and
exercise of judgment and discretion by service encounter employees that from the
viewpoint of the organization or the customer is extraordinary, conflicted or perverse.
Perverse judgments debilitate the organization and degrade the quality of the service
encounter. Conflicted and extraordinary judgments ultimately debilitate the
organization and may degrade the quality of the service encounter if some customers
should perceive others as having received preferential treatment. This paper explores
dynamics in managing operations, technology, and human resources that give rise to
the exercise of such judgments with the intent to construct a conceptual framework
that will explain such judgments and the behaviors that issue from them.

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