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A dramaturgical analysis of the service encounter in higher education

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This paper explores how dramaturgical metaphors can be translated through images of charismatic leadership to a teaching situation. Viewing the teaching context as a dramaturgical service encounter, we examine the student-follower's reception and potential enactment of charismatic images in the pivotal relationship between lecturer and student. Our findings yield the key insight that, while dramaturgical aspects like scripting, framing and staging are valuable in explaining the essential phases of the action of lecturing in Higher Education, they should, optimally, be supported by what we call 'embedded trust' in order for the charismatic relationship between lecturer and student to be productive. A secondary implication of our paper is that lecturers can manage their charismatic image in order to help students become more independent evaluators of the teaching experience. The paper concludes by considering methodological, as well as theoretical, directions for future research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-02-01

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