Title: Methodological implications of studying customer orientation from a complex responsive processes perspective

Authors: Jean Steevensz

Addresses: School of Management Science and Technology, Open Universiteit, Heerlen, The Netherlands

Abstract: The whole body of literature linking employee customer oriented attitudes with desirable customer outcomes can be seen as lending support to the argument that customer orientation matters to organisations (Liao and Subramony, 2008). But as well as from literature as from my own experiences, it becomes clear that it is difficult to develop and implement customer oriented thinking in organisations. To study the emergence of customer orientation in an organisation methods are required that are consonant with the continuous processes of mutual adaptation, mutual anticipation and meaning making that occurs when people have to work together to achieve things (Mowles, 2011). This paper presents a perspective that acknowledges customer orientation as a social, rich, multifaceted and complex phenomenon. The methodological implications of this perspective are discussed, focusing on the explicit non-dualistic view in which personal experiences and reflections of the researcher are taken seriously.

Keywords: complexity; complex responsive processes; customer orientation; co-creation; human social action; narratives; reflection; social interdependency; structuration.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCLM.2016.087121

International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management, 2016 Vol.3 No.4, pp.301 - 309

Received: 26 Jul 2016
Accepted: 15 Oct 2016

Published online: 06 Oct 2017 *

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