Go to Reading Guides | Go to Syllabus  | Go to Course Schedule 
Go to Assignments |  Go to Irwin's Main Page | E-Mail Irwin

COM 597, Fall 2011 – Reading Guide Questions for September 14

For Ford, Chapter 7

1. So in your own words, what's the difference between a "service relationship" and a "service encounter?"  When is each preferable?

2. Is the research Ford reports on spending time and sharing information consistent with your own experience on either side of the service relationship?  In what ways is it the same?  In what ways does it differ?

3.  What communication skills does Ford imply (especially on page 85) professionals need to work on to better serve their clients?

4. Which of the "multiple goals" of communication (instrumental, relational, identity) is most implicated by the research reported in the chapter through page 85?  Why?  How are the other two goals implicated?  What does Ford suggest on page 86 about how these goals work to serve one another?

5. In your own words, what is relational uncertainty?  What impact is it said to have on the service relationship?  Do you think the scale measures what it intends to?

6. Does Cowen's research on the behavior of professionals ring true for you?  How about the research Ford reports on making customers wait?

For Ford (2001)

1. In the first three pages, Ford offers some useful review of the importance of studying service from a communication perspective and elaborates some more on the relationship-encounter distinction.  What dies she identify as some communication implications of the distinction?

2. After reviewing her notion of personalized service (a useful review, by the way), Ford offers her hypotheses, which are ___________.

Those of you taking COM 582 will notice how she grounds her hypotheses in the literature.  Cool, huh?

3. So how'd she do Survey One?  How'd she get her participants?

4. What did Survey One find?  Anything surprising in those results?

5. How was Survey Two conducted?  What did it find?  Anything surprising in those results?

6. In your own words, what did the long-form interviews with selected survey participants find about what the participants liked and didn't like regarding the social dynamic of service interactions?  What do you learn from the interviewee responses that you might not have learned from the survey data?  Is any of it surprising?  What implications do these findings have for the relationship-encounter distinction?

7.  In your own words, what did the long-form interviews find about what the participants like and don't like regarding the use of time in service interactions?  What do you learn from the interviewee responses that you might not have learned from the survey data?  Is any of it surprising?  What implications do these findings have for the relationship-encounter distinction?

8. What does Ford say differs about service transactions via telephone versus in person?  Via the internet versus in person?

9. Given what she argues throughout the paper, and especially under "Practical Implications," what communication skills (practices?  habits?) Are particularly important for service providers in the careers most associated with service-as-relationship? 

10.  Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't spend some time looking at the interview protocol for the long-form interviews. What do you notice about the structure of the protocol?  The phrasing of the questions?


Go to Reading Guides | Go to Syllabus  | Go to Course Schedule 
Go to Assignments |  Go to Irwin's Main Page | E-Mail Irwin

Copyright © 2010-2011 Irwin Mallin
Last Updated: 1 September 2011
URL: http://users.ipfw.edu/mallini/597f11rdg0914.html