Dramaturgy in the service encounter


Hospitality management and service positions have been moving from a purely vocational field of work to a scientific and inter-disciplinary supported area of professional development. This exploratory study aims to contribute to this quest by introducing the sociological concept of Dramaturgy to the service encounter as a way of understanding and improving upon present employee behaviors. A review of existing literature illustrates that Dramaturgy has only been used to develop an analogy of service, but has not yet been applied as a tool for further understanding behaviors and interactions during service encounters. The present study identified common concepts between Service Interactions and Dramaturgical Interactions, and used them to create a survey to measure Dramaturgical Awareness. It was proposed that four factors are used to create the structure of Dramaturgy in service encounters. A likert-type survey was distributed to 464 students studying at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. The responses were subjected to a Principal Component Analysis, and the results introduced two unexpected factors. The original structure of four underlying factors emerged as a five-factor structure, including the two new factors and one factor that combined two former concepts. In response to the given survey, the surviving structure of dramaturgical awareness in service encounters (as measured by hospitality students) includes the following concepts: Interpersonal Communication; Improvisation Techniques; and Acting and Stage Behaviors. Further research can use these findings to understand service encounter behaviors from practitioners from specific areas of work in service, and to also develop a better understanding of the two unexpected factors, dramaturgical behaviors and role theory.


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Thesis Completion





Jung, Hyung-il


Bachelor of Science (B.S.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality Management


Dissertations, Academic -- Hospitality Management;Hospitality Management -- Dissertations, Academic


Rosen College of Hospitality Management







Access Status

Open Access

Length of Campus-only Access


Document Type

Honors in the Major Thesis

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