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Implications of customer participation in outsourcing non-core services to third parties

Kaat De Pourcq (Center for Service Intelligence - Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organisation, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Katrien Verleye (Center for Service Intelligence - Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organisation, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Bart Larivière (Department of of Marketing, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium) (Center for Service Intelligence - Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organisation, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)
Jeroen Trybou (Department of Public Health, Universiteit Gent, Ghent, Belgium)
Paul Gemmel (Center for Service Intelligence - Department of Marketing, Innovation and Organisation, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 25 June 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021

386

Abstract

Purpose

Focal service providers increasingly involve customers in the decision-making about outsourcing parts of the service delivery process to third parties. The present study investigates how customers' outsourcing decisions affect the formation of the waiting experience with the focal service provider, by which the objective waiting time, environmental quality and interactional quality act as focal drivers.

Design/methodology/approach

To test our hypotheses in the context of cancer care, we gathered process data and experience data by means of a patient observation template (n = 640) and a patient survey (n = 487). The combined data (n = 377) were analyzed using Bayesian models.

Findings

This study shows that opting for a service triad (i.e. outsourcing non-core services to a third party) deduces customers' attention away from the objective waiting time with the focal service provider but not from the environmental and interactional quality offered by the focal service provider. When the type of service triad coordination is considered, we observe similar effects for a focal service provider-coordinated service triad while in a customer-coordinated service triad the interactional quality is the sole experience driver of waiting experiences that remains significant.

Originality/value

By investigating the implications of customer participation in the decision-making about outsourcing parts of the service delivery process to third parties, this research contributes to the service design, service triad and service operations literature. Specifically, this study shows that customer outsourcing decisions impact waiting experience formation with the focal service provider.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Prof. Dr. Vibeke Kruse for her support in collecting and analyzing the data. Additionally, the authors would like to thank two anonymous reviewers and the editor for their comments and suggestions.

Citation

De Pourcq, K., Verleye, K., Larivière, B., Trybou, J. and Gemmel, P. (2021), "Implications of customer participation in outsourcing non-core services to third parties", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 438-458. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-09-2019-0295

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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