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The consumer in public servicesChoice, values and difference$
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Richard Simmons, Martin Powell, and Ian Greener

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847421814

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847421814.001.0001

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date: 22 August 2017

Differentiating consumers in professional services: information empowerment and the emergence of the fragmented consumer1

Differentiating consumers in professional services: information empowerment and the emergence of the fragmented consumer1

Chapter:
(p.77) Five Differentiating consumers in professional services: information empowerment and the emergence of the fragmented consumer1
Source:
The consumer in public services
Author(s):

Angus Laing

Gill Hogg

Terry Newholm

Debbie Keeling

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847421814.003.0005

This chapter suggests evidence that there is logic to the idea of the fragmentation of healthcare consumers. There is an evident move from a position in which consumers were characterised as passive and compliant, accepting the authority not only of medical science but also of the professional as decision maker. Expectations of the service encounter vary from compliant acceptance of both medical science and authority, to the active challenging of medical science as a paradigm and the medical professional as decision maker. The challenge lies in balancing the competing, and occasionally contradictory, perspectives of all the parties involved within a context in which the consumerist discourse has gained primacy. Given this trajectory of evolution, the retention of a unitary ‘one-size-fits-all’ model of service provision would seem unlikely to be effective in meeting these expectations and in ensuring consumer satisfaction.

Keywords:   consumer empowerment, healthcare consumers, medical science, consumer satisfaction

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