Yeadon-Lee, Tracey, Jewson, Nick, Felstead, Alan, Fuller, Alison and Unwin, Lorna (2011) Bringing in the Customers: Regulation, Discretion and Customer Service Narratives in Upmarket Hair Salons. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 6 (3). pp. 101-114. ISSN 1833-1882

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.

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