Yutaka Yamauchi

Associate Professor of Management, Kyoto University

Yutaka Yamauchi
Associate Professor, Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University, Japan

ACI Fellow Since 2015 to Present.

Professor Yutaka Yamauchi is Associate Professor at Graduate School of Management, Kyoto University. He obtained his master’s degree in informatics from Kyoto University and his Ph.D. in Management from UCLA Anderson School. Prior to joining Kyoto University in 2010, he worked at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) as a researcher. He teaches organization theory and ethnomethodology. He is also a member of Kyoto University Design School, where he teaches design ethnography, organization and community design, and service design.

Professor Yamauchi has been studying services and particularly customer interactions in service settings such as fast-food, Italian and French restaurants, dry cleaners, bars, medical clinics and information system design. He conducts ethnomethodological analyses on these interactions to reveal how services are achieved.

In particular, he has studied traditional sushi bars in Tokyo and demonstrated that sushi chefs test customers by posing difficult questions and seeing how the customers would respond and that the customers then exhibit who they are in responding to the questions. Based on this and other studies on service encounter, he proposes this thesis: Service is an act of inter-subjective struggle. As opposed to common views on services that emphasize fulfillment of customers’ requirements, empathy and care, and smiles and friendliness, he argues that services are inter-subjective processes by which participants develop their selves by presenting themselves and seeking recognition. He has given a TEDx talk and is now preparing a MOOC on this research.

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