Negotiation of Selves in Initial Service Encounters: Conversation Analysis of Sushi Restaurants

  • Yutaka YamauchiEmail author
  • Takeshi Hiramoto
Conference paper


This study analyzes the very first service encounters in two sushi restaurants in Tokyo. Actual interactions were videotaped and analyzed using conversation analysis. The detailed analysis reveals that although highly routinized, the encounters involve presentation and negotiation of selves, that is, who the customer is and what the restaurant is like. It is argued that the service at sushi restaurants is personalized to the extent that participants’ selves are at issue, contrary to common notions of personalization that refer to interacting with customers with friendliness, warmth, and empathy or tailoring services to meet individual customers’ needs.


Interaction ritual Personalization Restaurant services Role theory Service encounters 


  1. 1.
    Bestor TC (2004) Tsukiji: the fish market at the center of the world. University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Solomon MR, Surprenant CF, Czepiel JA, Gutman EG (1985) A role theory perspective on dyadic interactions: the service encounter. J Mark 49(1):99–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Whyte WF (1948) Human relations in the restaurant industry. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Czepiel JA, Solomon MR, Surprenant CF, Gutman EG (1985) Service encounters: an overview. In: Czepiel JA, Solomon MR, Surprenant CF (eds) The service encounter. Lexington Books, Lexington, pp 3–15Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Vargo SL, Lusch RF (2004) Evolving to a new dominant logic for marketing. J Mark 68(1):1–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Czepiel JA (1990) Managing relationships with customers: a differentiating philosophy of marketing. In: Bowen DE, Chase RB, Cummings TG, Associates (eds) Service management effectiveness. Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, pp 299–323Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Goffman E (1967) Interaction ritual. Pantheon Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Klaus PG (1985) Quality epiphenomenon: the conceptual understanding of quality in face-to-face service encounters. In: Czepiel JA, Solomon MR, Surprenant CF (eds) The service encounter. Lexington Books, Lexington, pp 17–33Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Siehl C, Bowen D, Pearson CM (1992) Service encounters as rites of integration: an information processing model. Org Sci 3(4):537–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Surprenant CF, Solomon MR (1987) Predictability and personalization in the service encounter. J Mark 51(2):86–96CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mills PK, Moberg DJ (1982) Perspectives on the technology of service operations. Acad Manage Rev 7(3):467–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mittal B, Lassar WM (1996) The role of personalization in service encounters. J Retailing 72(1):95–109CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Evans FB (1963) Selling as a dyadic relationship: a new approach. Am Behav Sci 6:76CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Goffman E (1959) The presentation of self in everyday life. Anchor, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Sacks H (1995) Lectures on conversation. Wiley-Blackwell, OxfordCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sacks H, Schegloff EA, Jefferson G (1974) A simplest systematics for the organization of turn-taking for conversation. Language 50:696–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Schegloff EA (2007) Sequence organization in interaction: volume 1: a primer in conversation analysis. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Garfinkel H (1967) Studies in ethnomethodology. Polity, CambridgeGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kyoto University Graduate School of ManagementKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations