Perceptual discrepancies

Date of publication: September 1, 1998


Who among different groups of employees and customers is holding which views about a company and could the fact that they are holding different views be explained by any possible contextual variables? The results from a case study reveal that type of collaboration especially for employee activity groups dealing with solving customer problems more than frequency per se seem to decrease the perceptual discrepancies between customer and employee groups. Our position is that the degree of discrepancy of the latter can be explained by the internal activity groups position on the value chain. For customer groups managerial level seems to affect perceptual apprehension of a vendor. The consequences of these findings are that researchers should be careful in making judgements about how a company is assessed as there is no objective reality neither among employees nor customers. Different groups hold different mental templates clearly influencing then- assessments. Consequences for how a company should manage such a situation is discussed together with proposals for further research.

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