Restoration of manager’s work identity in service departments: the role of service operations design




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Strategies used for regulating and improving service departments' managers' (SDMs) valued identity at work through viable and sustainable models of operation are relatively missing. This is particularly true when one considers the paucity of previous studies that have explored the linkages of service operations designs and the construct of SDMs' work identity. This paper, using the lens of identity theory, explores the impact of creating an appropriate service operations design, using systems thinking principles, on the restoration of SDMs' work identity and behaviour. Using multiple-case study approach in three organisations' service departments in the UK, the results demonstrate that the systems thinking for service operations design is an enabler for promoting dramatic changes to the role of SDMs in the workplace. These dramatic changes are resembled by the creation of a transformational management style, changing the role of SDMs from employees' monitors to supporters, and adoption of new discursive practices that are embracing more people-cantered perspective. While the paper introduces an interesting theorisation of manager's identity with systems thinking methodology, it also contributes, for the first time, a discussion of manager's identity theory to the service system design literature in a highly-demanding business environment.


The file attached to this record is the author's final peer reviewed version. The Publisher's final version can be found by following the DOI link.


work identity, service operations design, service departments, managers' identity, systems thinking, personnel development


Jaaron, A.A.M. (2020) Restoration of manager's work identity in service departments: the role of service operations design. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 37(1), pp.114-132.


Research Institute

Centre for Enterprise and Innovation (CEI)