Accepted paper:

Towards an anthropology of service


Keiko Yamaki (Shujitsu University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper examines the meaning of service acts and phenomena focusing on "co-creation of value" in the service industry with rethinking Tadao Umesao's information industry theory.

Paper long abstract:

British economist Colin G. Clark classified the industry in three sectors in 1940s and the service came to be recognized for independent industry as the tertiary sector. Economists and management scholars have explained service as an economic phenomenon in the monetary market. On the other hand, Anthropologists consider service as one of the oldest human living activities. In the 20th century, the ratio of service sector had been increased. In the developed country, workers in the service industries exceeds 70% of workforce. The concrete service business and work contents have been changed, for example, IT, communication and energy are new service. Service business has been diversified in such hospitality industry, industrial design, regional promotion, education, the medical care etc. Furthermore, the complexity of service in the primary sector is also significant, by such product branding, logistics, etc. For such a social change, the concept of values of a market and consumers changed. Service theory by economist and business administration is not sufficient anymore to explain today's service economy. Engineering, information science, chemistry came to participate in a service study. Anthropology is utilized as methodology of the research in marketing for the value creation via innovation. However, there is not yet the academic definition of the service. This paper focuses on the study of value called service over human mutual relations. This may be taking a step towards an anthropology of service.

panel P084
Creativity in business (Commission on Enterprise Anthropology)