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My life as a service-worker


  • Lew Perren


  • Geoff Stevens


This paper presents Val’s idiographic account of her life as a service-worker. Val’s oral history is important as it reminds service business academics not to dehumanise service-workers as part of their reified interpretations of human activities. Rarely is a service-worker’s personal interpretation of their world heard directly within management academia. Val’s personal account goes someway towards addressing this issue. She juggles the competing pressures of multiple life-worlds and demonstrates how their nature, boundary and importance are fluid depending upon her current construction of the situation. Her story as a service-worker provides insight into the complexity and sophistication of her interpretations and reminds us of the risks of reification and simplification. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2008

Suggested Citation

  • Lew Perren & Geoff Stevens, 2008. "My life as a service-worker," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 2(2), pages 147-152, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:svcbiz:v:2:y:2008:i:2:p:147-152
    DOI: 10.1007/s11628-007-0029-8

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    Cited by:

    1. Gary J. Castrogiovanni & David Urbano & Joaquín Loras, 2011. "Linking corporate entrepreneurship and human resource management in SMEs," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 32(1), pages 34-47, March.


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