The importance of empathy in sport and leisure services

Por: C. H. Kalofonos, E. Glinia, G. Costa e O. Matsouka.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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In the past years we see the services economy growing rapidly, although there has been given great attention from companies in tangibles, the human aspect how actually is the provider has been neglected. The term empathy, defined as the human perceptive ability of the needs, moods and expectations toward third party individuals [5], has become associated with quality in sport and leisure services.


This study through a of literature review aims to combine two theories, quality services [2] and the leisure satisfaction scale [1], in order to prove the importance of empathy since it is to be conceder as a fundamental element in close human interaction [3].


As we examine the two theories we understand the close correlation between empathy, an essential skill for those providing services and the expectance of those receiving services in be socialized. In sports and leisure settings the provider could be found in the face of a couth, a trainer an animator. The importance is that in the eye of the receiver the provider is the one how manages the company, sales the product and creates the receivers opinion about the providing services [4]. In services client’s satisfaction is directly related to the fulfillment of their expectances [6].

Discussion / Conclusions

Are conclusion is that the key issue that will lead to client’s satisfaction and the growth of sports and leisure services is dependent on the ability of the provider to empathize on ones needs, desires and not gist cover expectations but create magic moment for there in order to use again an again the service product or the same company.


[1]. Βeard, J. G., & Ragheb, M. G., (1980). Measuring leisure satisfaction. Journal of Leisure Research, 12(1), 20-33.
[2]. Berry, L. L., & Parasuraman, A. (1991). Marketing services: competing thought quality. New York: Free Press.
[3]. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. Toronto, ON: Bantam Books.
[4]. Loverlock, (1981). Why marketing management needs to be different for services, in Donnelly and George (Eds), Marketing of services, AMA.
[5]. Lizarraga, M. et al. (2003). Enhancement of self-regulation, assertiveness, and empathy. Learning and Instruction. 13, 423-439.
[6]. Olive, R. L., (1980). A cognitive model of antecedents and consequences of satisfaction decisions. Journal of Retailing, 57, 25-47.




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