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Making a sales advisor: the limits of training 'instrumental empathy'

Kakavelakis, Konstantinos, Felstead, Alan, Fuller, Alison, Jewson, Nick and Unwin, Lorna (2008) Making a sales advisor: the limits of training 'instrumental empathy' Journal of Vocational Education and Training, 60, (3), pp. 209-221. (doi:10.1080/13636820802305546).

Record type: Article


The use of participant observation is relatively rare in qualitative studies of vocational education and training. However, such an approach provides a detailed picture of training content and how what is taught contributes to or impedes learning. Based on participant observation, this paper examines the training of sales advisors in a large chain of private fitness clubs. It shows that although the training course taught trainees how to control and enchant customers, once back on 'home' territory trainees approached customers with far less instrumental empathy than they had been taught. This contrast is explained by reference to the past dispositions of sales workers and the local conditions in which the selling process takes place.

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Published date: September 2008
Keywords: training, instrumental empathy, sales, participant observation


Local EPrints ID: 63790
ISSN: 1363-6820
PURE UUID: 4ffd1fb8-e80f-455e-9931-05fca2ad64d2

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Date deposited: 04 Nov 2008
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 14:15

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Author: Konstantinos Kakavelakis
Author: Alan Felstead
Author: Alison Fuller
Author: Nick Jewson
Author: Lorna Unwin

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