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Culture and rapport promotion in service encounters: protecting the ties that bind

By Stanley Kam-Chung Chan, Michael Harris Bond, Helen Spencer-Oatey and Mildred A. Rojo-Laurilla


The present study aimed at investigating possible cultural effects on the perceived importance of interactional concerns in service encounters. Individual values were examined to establish an explanatory framework for any effects that might emerge. Hong Kong Chinese and Filipinos participated in the present study by rating the importance of 12 interactional concerns in five hypothetical scenarios involving service provision. “Rapport promotion” was the only consistent factor of interactional concerns to emerge from the five scenarios in each of the two cultural groups. The dimensions of individual values, labeled “Conservation” and “Self-Transcendence” by Schwartz (1992), significantly predicted a respondent’s level of rapport promotion across all scenarios, with self-transcendence partially unpackaging the cultural difference that emerged in one of the service scenarios. We use these results to support a model of communication in service provision that predicts communication concerns as arising from cultural socialization for personal characteristics and situational features of the encounter, leading to the petitioner’s being more dependent on the good will of the service provider

Topics: HM
Publisher: John Benjamins Publishing Co.
Year: 2004
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2683

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