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Developing the value perception of the business customer through service modularity

Emmi Rahikka (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Pauliina Ulkuniemi (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Saara Pekkarinen (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 14 June 2011




The present challenge for many service firms is to develop an offering that is flexible and open for tailoring and at the same time achieves efficiency through standardizing processes. Modularity has been suggested as being one tool for achieving this. The goal of the present study is to find out how services provided in modular form (here referred to as service modularity) can exert an influence on the value perception of the customer in the professional services field.


Empirical part consists of a case study of a large provider of professional services involving construction, engineering, procurement and project management service. Data were gathered by semi structured theme interviews of representatives of the case company and representatives of two of its customers.


The modular processes had an influence on the customer's expectations that are related to the experienced quality of the service, and hence they create value for the customer. In addition to the service outcome, the modular processes enhanced the customer's trust in the service provider's employees and their skills in co‐operating in a suitable way during the service process. The organizational modularity eased the customer's tasks of managing the project implementation.


The present study contributes the knowledge related to modularity in business services by incorporating the knowledge from the theoretical discussion on customer perceived value.



Rahikka, E., Ulkuniemi, P. and Pekkarinen, S. (2011), "Developing the value perception of the business customer through service modularity", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 357-367.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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