What is it about?

To explain participation in the self-service economy, competing theorisations have variously depicted participants as rational economic actors, dupes, seekers of self identity, or simply doing so out of economic necessity or choice.

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Why is it important?

To evaluate motives for self-servicing in the home improvement and maintenance sector, a survey of 120 households in an English locality is reported. This will reveal that all theorisations are valid to differing degrees, and through a process of induction, will offer a typology that combines the existing theorisations by differentiating between ‘willing’ (rational economic actors, choice, identity seeking) and ‘reluctant’ (economic and market necessity, dupes) participants in self-servicing. The outcome is a call to evaluate the broader applicability of this typology when explaining the wider self-service economy.

Perspectives

What drives people to provide goods and services for themselves, rather than purchase them?

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Explaining participation in the self-service economy, Service Industries Journal, August 2012, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/02642069.2011.574284.
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