Assertive consumers

I am currently thinking about the relationship between organisations and users for one of the chapters of the strategic analysis. One of the key drivers is that users are more assertive and less deferential. An interesting project from Demos has been looking at how this is impacting on the conversations that health professionals have with their patients, finding that they are learning to talk and listen to increasingly assertive patients and letting go of some old assumptions about expertise and professionalism.

However, the ESRC’s excellent Cultures of Consumption research programme which ended last year, found that the trend towards more assertive users is more complex than often stated, and suggests (PDF) that the more important trend may be towards a greater diversity of expectations of the service encounter than in the past, with some groups still preferring to defer to the expertise of professionals, and others expecting a high level of collaboration and likely to verify everything independently.

Last updated at 15:08 Mon 18/May/09.
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