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Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage by Kevin Robson

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Chuang-Tzu
(4th Century BC)
‘I have heard my teacher say that whoever uses machines does all his work like a machine. He who does his work like a machine grows a heart like a machine, and he who carries the heart of a machine in his breast loses his simplicity. He who has lost his simplicity becomes unsure in the strivings of his soul.’
(Morgan G. (1993) Images of Organization. Sage. London, p.19)

PREFACE

We live in a much changed world from that which prevailed in the post-Second World War era. Britain (and to broadly the same extent, the countries of the EU and the USA) is now regarded as a service economy. At least in terms of employment, our manufacturing base has been progressively eroded. Coal mining no longer exists and heavy engineering such as ship building and steel making has gone abroad where labour is cheaper.

The term ‘service’ embraces a wide definition, including the provision of a ‘pure service’ such as knowledge, expertise and experience as, for example, in the financial services provided by the City of London, and hybrid services, such as restaurants, that provide a tangible product but with a heavy element of personal attention as part of the overall package. However, falling within this definition is a vast array of organizations of all kinds, commercial, public and third sector (including social enterprises as well as charities) in which the relationship with the consumer now, more than ever before, has to be an integral part of the ‘product’ offering. ...

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