Contradictions and power play in service encounters: An activity theory approach

Mario Eduardo Giraldo Oliveros, Sue Halliday, Maria Mercedes Botero Posada, Reinhard Bachmann

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    We present a perspective on the interpersonal element of service in which economic and social collaboration takes place in real time: the service encounter. We view it as a site of conflict for power and control where social identities are anchored and collective meanings are constituted and reproduced. Our theoretical underpinning is taken from the Activity Theory (AT) to shed light on the service encounter as a contradictory, political locus of tension between providers and customers (internal and external) in the Higher Education (HE) market.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)353-369
    Number of pages17
    JournalCadernos EBAPE.BR
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


    • service encounter
    • activity theory
    • activity system
    • power
    • service dominant logic
    • contradictions


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