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EMAC 2023 Annual

Becoming a Transformative Service Mediator: school education, parents, and their children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: May 24, 2023


Andres Veloso, University of Sao Paulo; Diogo Hildebrand, Baruch College, CUNY; Sofia Ferraz, FGV-EAESP; Patrícia Artoni, Fia Business School; Guilherme Shiraishi, Universidade de São Paulo


This study aims to identify the process of acquiring the role of Apomediary Transformative Service Mediator (TSM) when supporting vulnerable consumers. We introduce a four-step process with specific guidelines aiming at avoiding making TSMs vulnerable. By coupling the Autoethnographic methods with Introspection, we examine the process of becoming a TSM Apomediary based on one of the authors' accounts, online conversations between parents, school communications, and interviews. We identify the process of becoming a TSM, analyzing the main hurdles that could lead to vulnerability while transitioning into this new role, hindering their efforts as TSMs. While extant theory focuses on the conscious process of becoming a TSM, the research highlights the process of becoming one unexpectedly. By showing this process's inner details, we offer managerial recommendations for serving vulnerable populations, therefore contributing to literature.