The Rhetoric of the Consumer and Customer Control in China

This paper explores the extent to which the rhetoric of the sovereign consumer and the use of the customer as a device of managerial control have been transferred to multinational retail firms in China. Based upon data from over 200 interviews conducted at UK and Japanese-invested multinational retailers’ stores it was evident that the notion of the sovereign consumer was ubiquitous and that procedures designed to inculcate ‘management by customers’ had been implemented. However, it was equally apparent that the rhetoric of the consumer not only served managerial ends but also provided a rich and fertile resource for shopfloor workers.


Jos Gamble (2006) ,"The Rhetoric of the Consumer and Customer Control in China", in AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7, eds. Margaret Craig Lees, Teresa Davis, and Gary Gregory, Sydney, Australia : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: .


Jos Gamble, School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, United Kingdom


AP - Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 7 | 2006

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