The idea of the ‘back-office’ was first proposed by Richard Chase in the Harvard Business Review (1978).

Chase took the view that the job of service management was to optimise the use of resources (get people working all day) and the problem in service organisations is that customers would come in and interrupt people!

So, to get around this problem, Chase proposed that the front office would be used to find out what customers wanted and the work could then be sent to the back office where workers could now work without interruption.