"product" as non-manufactured

James E. Clapp jeclapp at WANS.NET
Wed Feb 9 11:31:26 UTC 2000

Bruce Dykes wrote:
> . . . It's
> more likely a coincidental relationship than a semantic one: at about the
> time whatever management genius came up with the idea of calling 'services'
> 'products', there was greater focus on profit at the expense of service.

No, I think your insight is a good one:  The change from "service" to
"product" both reflected and promoted the attitude that these businesses are
no different from Coca-Cola:  Their raison d'etre is simply to grow the bottom
line by pushing as much product down people's throats as people can be
persuaded to swallow--while downsizing the workforce as much as possible.
(Except in upper management.)

Here's a question:  Are the folks who manage mutual life insurance companies
and financial cooperatives as given to using this terminology as those who run
insurance companies and banks solely for the benefit of stockholders?  I
suppose they are now, because the terminology is so ingrained that the current
generation of MBA's doesn't know any other way to talk.  But I wonder if the
terminology grabbed hold in cooperative companies as fast as it did in stock

James E. Clapp

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