Bringing in the Customers: Regulation, Discretion and Customer Service Narratives in Upmarket Hair Salons

By Tracey Yeadon-Lee, Nick Jewson, Alan Felstead, Alison Fuller and Lorna Unwin.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the work of UK hair stylists in ‘up-market’ hairdressing salons and examines the connection between the organisation of work and customer service narratives within these salon environments. Drawing on qualitative empirical research, the paper discusses how tensions, generated through managerial regulation and the concomitant requirement for stylists to exercise task discretion, are ultimately reconciled through customer service narratives. The paper argues that while the narratives achieve this by operating as a form of normative regulation in the salons, whereby the work practices of stylists are shaped in line with organisational goals and objectives, they also function as resources for stylists through which they can further their economic and occupational self-interests.

Keywords: Hairdressing, Management Control, Management Regulation, Work Practices, Customer Service Narratives

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp.101-114. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 983.628KB).

Dr. Tracey Yeadon-Lee

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Department of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, UK

I am a senior lecturer in Sociology, where I teach both undergraduate and postgraduate students. My research interests centre broadly around gender and sexuality, particularly trans and lesbian identities and issues, qualitative research methods and also the social construction of identities, particularly in relation to workplace contexts and occupations.

Nick Jewson

Senior Research Fellow, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Alan Felstead

Professor, Cardiff School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK

Alison Fuller

Professor, Southampton Education School, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

Lorna Unwin

Professor, Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK


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