Effective Surveillance Management during Service Encounters: A Conceptual Framework

Effective Surveillance Management during Service Encounters: A Conceptual Framework

Angelo Bonfanti (University of Verona, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2139-6.ch006
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This chapter aims to theoretically examine effective surveillance management (ESM) during service encounters within the servicescape and provide a conceptual framework for the study of this topic in a service management perspective. It analyses antecedents, dimensions and effects of ESM. This study especially proposes as antecedents both improving customer service experience along with meeting customers' need for security and implementing a surveillance service-oriented strategy that includes secure and safe servicescape design, deterrent communication, and trained and motivated security staff. This chapter suggests also that the dimensions of ESM (customer-physical service environment encounters, customer-technological surveillance systems encounters, and customer-security staff encounters) contribute to enhancing service quality, experience quality, and staff productivity. The integration of these dimensions, antecedents, and effects create a theoretically grounded framework that can serve as a starting point for future studies about this topic in the field of service management.
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Customers participate to the service delivery process as prosumers/prousers that is as both producers and consumers/users of the service (Toffler, 1980; Baccarani and Golinelli, 2009). Their active participation (e.g., Bettencourt et al., 2002; Bendapudi and Leone, 2003) is relevant for the success of any service encounter (or moment of truth) within the service environment called servicescape (Bitner, 1992). However, a few customers, instead of collaborating in the service delivery process, may create problems or lead to service failure because of their bad manners or misbehaviours that deliberately violate the generally accepted norms of conduct such as disturbance, verbal and physical aggression, vandalism, shoplifting, robberies, and crime (e.g., Fullerton and Punj, 1997; Harris and Reynolds, 2003; Reynolds and Harris, 2009; Harris and Daunt, 2011; Daunt and Harris, 2012b).

Service organizations have to invest in security measures to monitor their customers’ intentions and acting reactively (e.g., Perlman and Ozinci, 2014). In this way, they can create a secure and safe service environment for customers and employees. Meeting the need for protection against customers who behave badly should not negatively affect customers’ service experience (e.g., Helkkula, 2011; Jüttner et al., 2013).

Although service organizations have to ensure a high level of surveillance within the servicescape without interfering with the customer service experience, little research is still carried out to examine in theoretical and practical terms how to create a safe and, at the same time, pleasant service environment (Bonfanti, 2014; Kajalo and Lindblom, 2015). Given that consumers have several different preferences towards surveillance practices (Kajalo and Lindblom, 2016), neglecting or ignoring the experiential component during the surveillance management will create a negative quality judgement by customers, even if the core service is delivered effectively (Bonfanti, 2016).

The aim of this chapter is to examine the concept of effective surveillance management (ESM) during the service encounters within the servicescape and provide a conceptual framework for the study of this topic in service management perspective. In more detail, it analyses antecedents, dimensions and effects of ESM. The integration of the dimensions, antecedents, and effects of ESM allows the presentation and discussion of a theoretically grounded framework that could serve as a starting point for future studies about this topic in the field of service management. The originality of this conceptual framework is that it is created by taking into account many service settings, i.e. it is not focused on a specific service environment. Therefore, it can be adapted to more service industries.

This is a conceptual research work whose analytical approach draws heavily on theoretical evidence published in service marketing and management, and retailing literature. Identifying the studies that provide significant insights into surveillance management proved to be a laborious task because little and fragmented attention has been given to this issue in service management perspective. Further conceptual aspects are based on experiences acquired during daily service encounters with a number of service organizations such as stores, hotels, airports, and hospitals. This chapter methodologically follows the gap-spotting approach by especially adopting the neglect spotting, that allows to “identify a topic or an area where no (good) research has been carried out” (Sandberg and Alvesson, 2011, p. 30).

The chapter is structured as follows. The next section proposes a literature review about security and surveillance management in service management perspective. The main focus of the chapter includes the conceptual framework for surveillance management by examining its dimensions, antecedents and effects. Finally, this study presents some managerial implications and directions for further research.

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