Original Research

The postmodern consumer: Implications of changing customer expectations for organisation development in service organisations

C. L. Van Tonder
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 29, No 3 | a117 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v29i3.117 | © 2003 C. L. Van Tonder | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 October 2003 | Published: 24 October 2003

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C. L. Van Tonder, Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

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Postmodern society is predominantly viewed as a consumption- oriented society that developed as a reaction to the more traditional, modern society. The observed divide between modern and postmodern societies suggests different consumption patterns and consumer profiles which could have significant implications for service organisations. The discussion contrasted the modern and postmodern eras and societies, and isolated the main characteristics and service expectations of the postmodern consumer. The implications for organisation development (OD) in service organisations, notably in terms of the changes that are required, are highlighted.

Die postmodernistiese samelewing word hoofsaaklik as ‘n verbruikersgeoriënteerde samelewing gesien, wat in reaksie op die meer tradisionele modernistiese samelewing ontwikkel het. Die waargenome gaping tussen modernistiese en postmodernistiese samelewings suggereer verskillende verbruikspatrone en verbruikersprofiele wat beduidende implikasies vir diensorganisasies kan inhou. Die bespreking het die modernistiese en postmodernistiese eras en samelewings gekontrasteer en die hoof eienskappe en diensverwagtinge van die postmodernistiese verbruiker geïsoleer. Implikasies vir organisasie-ontwikkeling in diensorganisasies, veral in terme van die veranderinge wat benodig word, word aangedui.


Postmodern consumer; Customer expectations; Organisation development; Service organisations


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