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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2014

Wendy van der Valk and Finn Wynstra

The paper aims to empirically validate a recently developed typology to demonstrate that services that are similar in terms of technical content, but different with regard…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to empirically validate a recently developed typology to demonstrate that services that are similar in terms of technical content, but different with regard to how they are used by the buying company, require different buyer-supplier interaction processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper conducts an embedded case study based on dyadic data collection to investigate the purchase of cleaning services by Netherlands Railways (NS) from two suppliers. These services differ with regard to how they are used by NS: as part of the value-proposition to customers (train and station cleaning) or as part of the support processes for NS (office cleaning).

Findings

The paper finds that for a technically homogenous service, fundamental differences in required interaction arise as a result of different usage situations. These differences are reflected in the sourcing decision and the design of the service delivery management process.

Research limitations/implications

Besides the general limits of single case studies regarding external validity, a specific limitation of the study is the limited number of supplier interviews conducted.

Practical implications

In order to develop appropriate sourcing and service delivery management strategies, practitioners need to consider the use of the service purchased and how it relates to their value proposition. This research shows that pooling volume for services that are used differently may enable immediate price reduction but could reduce supplier performance and ultimately customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

The case study and the validated typology complement the limited literature on the procurement of services transferred to the next level of customers in the supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Nora Johanne Klungseth and Siri Hunnes Blakstad

This paper aims to describe and discuss in-house cleaning services in local authorities to gain a better understanding of current practices. These descriptions are…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe and discuss in-house cleaning services in local authorities to gain a better understanding of current practices. These descriptions are intended to increase researchers’, practitioners’ and educators’ understanding of the studied issue, as there at present does not exist a solid understanding of in-house cleaning services in local authorities. Previous studies provide little detailed information regarding the internal environment of facility management (FM) organisations, in particular with regard to FM organisations’ individual services.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on two descriptive case studies, one from Norway and one from the UK. The case studies are based on semi-structured, face-to-face in-depth interviews and document reviews.

Findings

The cases demonstrate that in-house cleaning services can be structured and managed in different ways, particularly with respect to the split in services, the management of staff and customer contracts, the span of control, the chain of command, self-managed leadership, cleaners’ hours of duty and the use of outsourcing.

Research limitations/implications

Although the previous research on particular FM services is limited, this paper’s detailed descriptions may stimulate further development and research within the field. The knowledge brought forward is part of bridging a knowledge gap on cleaning in FM research. This knowledge can contribute to advancements in the way this service is discussed and measured across contexts by encouraging more rigour and specific studies on cleaning.

Originality/value

This paper constitutes one of the first detailed descriptions of in-house cleaning organisation in local authorities. This is a type of service supply that is common in certain contexts and identified as beneficial to cost-saving in other contexts.

Details

Facilities, vol. 34 no. 13/14
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

David du Toit and Lindy Heinecken

The nature of paid domestic work is changing, with the growth in companies delivering domestic cleaning services. Few studies have looked at why people opt to use these…

Abstract

Purpose

The nature of paid domestic work is changing, with the growth in companies delivering domestic cleaning services. Few studies have looked at why people opt to use these services and the underlying drivers. As with the outsourcing of non-core tasks in businesses, outsourcing domestic work is motivated by similar, yet different reasons, which have to do with the personal and private nature of domestic employment. This study aims to establish the reasons why “clients”, who were former employers of domestic servants, opted to outsource domestic work to a domestic cleaning service provider.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the limited research on domestic cleaning services in South Africa, a mixed-methods research approach is used.

Findings

The findings showed that there are three key motivations: the nature of the domestic cleaning service supplier, the services rendered by domestic workers and the tripartite employment relationships. These three benefits imply that clients have access to functional and numerical flexibility, unlike employing a domestic worker directly. This study contributes to the literature on outsourcing and domestic work by showing that clients not only look to change the economic structure of the relationship with domestic workers, but it allows them to psychologically and emotionally distance themselves from domestic workers.

Research limitations/implications

This study shows that some people are no longer willing to have a relationship with the people who clean their homes, and that they believe it is simply not worth the effort to maintain a relationship. This is an aspect that needs further research, as this is the one sphere where women are united in their plight, albeit from different worldviews. Thus, a limitation is that this study only focuses on clients' views of outsourcing. Have domestic workers employed by the outsourced domestic cleaning service supplier become just like assembly-line workers, where they are anonymous to their clients, performing routine tasks with little recognition from those whose homes they are servicing? Future studies could focus on domestic workers' views on outsourcing and the effects it has on their working conditions and employment relations.

Originality/value

Firstly, studies mainly focus on the Global North where domestic work and outsourcing have different dynamics, regulation policies and social changes when compared to South Africa. Secondly, few studies have sought to establish why people shift from employing a domestic or care worker directly to an outsourced domestic agency when direct domestic help is available and affordable. Considering these shortcomings, this study aims to provide a better understanding of domestic cleaning service suppliers from the perspective of clients, often omitted from the literature. Accordingly, this study aimed to establish what the benefits are for clients (former employers of domestic workers) who use domestic cleaning service suppliers.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2014

Nora Johanne Klungseth

This paper aims to give an overview of the alternatives that Norwegian municipalities have regarding organisational models for their facility management (FM) and cleaning

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to give an overview of the alternatives that Norwegian municipalities have regarding organisational models for their facility management (FM) and cleaning organisations, and to investigate what organisational models they apply, if building category or size of municipality influences their use of organisational models and whether their FM and cleaning organisations are organised similarly within identical municipalities.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a national survey conducted during year 2010. All Norwegian municipalities were invited to respond. The survey asked the head of the FM departments (or the chief executive officer [CEO] if the first could not answer) what organisational models they used for their FM and cleaning organisations and what changes they planned for the organisation in the future. All questions were asked according to different building categories to determine whether building category had any influence on their choices.

Findings

Limited research has been published regarding the structure of the FM organisations in Norwegian municipalities and even less regarding their cleaning organisations. The results show that Norwegian municipalities prefer integrated models and also purchasing services from the private sector prior to applying decoupled models as inter-municipal alternatives and Municipal Limited Companies. The results do also indicate that Norwegian municipalities’ interest in such models is rising and that they seem to be moving away from traditional and integrated alternatives.

Research limitations/implications

Although all municipalities were invited to the survey, only one-third responded.

Originality/value

The article may represent a first thorough overview of what organisational models and what combinations of models Norwegian municipalities use for their FM and cleaning organisations. Compared to former studies, this article explores a greater variety in organisational models and a greater variety in researched building categories.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2021

Peter Palm

This paper aims to investigate how the students perceive the cleaning of the university, from an in-house and outsourced perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how the students perceive the cleaning of the university, from an in-house and outsourced perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on a survey conducted in the different university buildings with a total of 240 students. The survey was then analysed through an ordinal regression.

Findings

The ordinal regression indicates a statistically significant result were student are more satisfied with the cleaning performed by the outsourced service provider.

Research limitations/implications

The research in this paper is limited to one Swedish university. But, the overall strategies for how to organise the cleaning service at the university do address all universities. However, the research is limited and more research has to be performed.

Practical implications

The insight the paper provides regarding how the students perceive the cleaning service at the university gives direct implications to university in relation to how to consider the cleaning service as an important factor.

Originality/value

It provides the first study from a student perspective on the question of cleaning of the university, when previous studies have indicated cleaning as an important function not least to student’s performance and academic results.

Details

Facilities , vol. 39 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2020

Chaiwat Riratanaphong and Sorawis Limjaroensuk

Feedback from condominium occupants on multi-generational condominium facility services makes it possible to identify areas in need of improvement and development…

Abstract

Purpose

Feedback from condominium occupants on multi-generational condominium facility services makes it possible to identify areas in need of improvement and development concerning facilities management in this residential project type. This paper aims to examine behaviours, needs, preferences and patterns of space use in condominium occupants from three different age groups (under 30, 30 to 50 and over 50 years old) relative to their satisfaction with facility services. The paper examines the impact of the physical environment and facility service arrangement (i.e. cleaning and security) on occupant satisfaction in the common areas of six multi-generational condominiums and investigates whether occupant satisfaction varies between the three age groups.

Design/methodology/approach

Six case studies classified as multi-generational condominiums were conducted. Research methods included document analysis, field surveys, interviews with juristic person managers and surveys from condominium occupants regarding their satisfaction with cleaning and security services in the common areas. The findings were then applied one-way ANOVA to test occupant satisfaction mean differences between age groups.

Findings

The findings indicate that physical environment characteristics including the location, size, number and design attributes of common areas have an impact on the provision of facility services and may influence occupant satisfaction. In terms of the facility service arrangement, both the service method and the ratio of staff to areas of responsibility can be explained in connection to functional and technical quality, respectively. Occupants’ demands and behaviours, such as the strong requirement for privacy, the preference towards service staff accessibility and the frequency of space usage, contribute to different levels of occupant satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

More case studies in Thailand and also in other countries, based on surveys with large samples of respondents, are required to increase the validity and to establish whether it is possible to generalise the study’s findings.

Practical implications

The findings and reflections upon them help understand the impact of physical environment characteristics and the provision of facility services on occupant satisfaction in various age groups. Recommendations are provided concerning building design and the provision of facility services in connection to perceived service quality and occupant satisfaction in multi-generational condominiums in Thailand that can apply to other types of real estate projects where similar facility services are offered.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to research on occupant satisfaction with facility services and provides evidence on occupants’ feedback in different types of perceived service quality (i.e. technical and functional quality). Identifying the impact of physical environment characteristics, facility service arrangements and occupant behaviours on occupant satisfaction with the technical and functional aspects of facility services contributes to the body of research on facilities management.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

J. Butler

Discusses the problems and characteristics in providing cleaningservices for difficult sites, using examples of a small shopping centreand an urban housing estate…

Abstract

Discusses the problems and characteristics in providing cleaning services for difficult sites, using examples of a small shopping centre and an urban housing estate. Considers the specification of cleaning services, cleaning times and attendance levels, prescribing equipment and materials, problem solving, and monitoring. Concludes that just as much as every client needs a good contractor, every contractor needs a good client to run a successful cleaning programme on a difficult site.

Details

Property Management, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Vittorio Cesarotti and Bruna Di Silvio

Health care, one of the most dynamic sectors in Italy, is studied with a particular focus on outsourcing non‐core activities such as facility management (FM) services. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Health care, one of the most dynamic sectors in Italy, is studied with a particular focus on outsourcing non‐core activities such as facility management (FM) services. The project's goals are to define national standards to balance and control facility service evolution, and to drive FM services towards organisational excellence. The authors, in cooperation with a pool of facility service providers and hospitals managers, studied cleaning services – one of the most critical areas.

Design/methodology/approach

This article describes the research steps and findings following definition and publication of the Italian standard and its application to an international benchmarking process. The method chosen for developing the Italian standard was to merge technical, strategic and organisational aspects with the goal of standardising the contracting system, giving service providers the chance to improve efficiency and quality, while helping healthcare organisations gain from a better, more reliable and less expensive service.

Findings

The Italian standard not only improved services but also provided adequate control systems for outsourcing organisations. In this win‐win context, it is hoped to continually drive FM services towards organisational excellence.

Research limitations/implications

This study is specific to the Italian national healthcare system. However, the strategic dynamics described are common to many other contexts.

Practical implications

A systematic method for improving hospital FM services is presented.

Originality/value

The authors believe that lessons learned from their Italian case study can be used to better understand and drive similar services in other countries or in other FM service outsourcing sectors.

Details

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0952-6862

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2020

Chioma Sylvia Okoro, Malusi Nkambule and Andre Kruger

Sourcing decisions are important considerations in organizations’ strategic and policy resolutions. Given sometimes conflicting factors such as cost and financial…

Abstract

Purpose

Sourcing decisions are important considerations in organizations’ strategic and policy resolutions. Given sometimes conflicting factors such as cost and financial implications, individual perceptions and motivation, health and safety of facility users, and organizational objectives, finding a balance and basis for making such decisions, presently and in future, is crucial. This paper aims to investigate the quality of services delivered by an insourced cleaning service team in a higher learning institution. The objective of the study is to establish the condition of the facilities (restrooms) in the institution, and thus the quality of services delivered by the insourced team.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a descriptive approach including observation and scoring to obtain and analyse information about the state of five restrooms on two campuses of the institution.

Findings

Findings revealed that the condition of the restrooms inspected over a period of five weeks was good, except for a week where there was low water supply on the sampled campuses. Further findings revealed that restrooms provided in the library were paid more attention to.

Practical implications

The findings from the study are envisaged to assist facilities management stakeholders and organizations’ management in making decisions on sourcing services and supporting core business functions.

Originality/value

Better decision-making can be made to improve the quality of services provided by sourcing teams, which will contribute to supporting core strategies and increasing value-add and image of organizations.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Tore Brandstveit Haugen and Nora Johanne Klungseth

The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of knowledge about facilities management (FM), in particular, the management of FM services in practice, education…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of knowledge about facilities management (FM), in particular, the management of FM services in practice, education and research. The paper questions whether we know more about optimal models for in-house or outsourcing FM after 25 years of applied research and development of best practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on literature reviews, case studies and personal experiences from practice for over 25 years, concentrating on the public sector. The paper maintains an international focus on the FM development, with particular focus on the development in Norway and the Nordic countries. The knowledge development triangle, and its integration of education, research and practice, is used as an underlying theoretical framework.

Findings

The knowledge regarding management of FM services in both the public and private sector has been developed over the past two decades. The changes in both sectors is reflected in all the three aspects of the knowledge triangle. While the use of outsourcing increased significantly in popularity during the past 25 years, the Norwegian profile continues to have limited use of outsourcing.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on a qualified selection of doctoral theses, research reports and scientific articles published in the period 1990-2015. The explorations include limited quantitative data.

Practical implications

The choice for FM in practice, whether fully or partly to produce services with internal resources or to make arrangements with external suppliers, is an important strategic decision regarding the choice of a procurement strategy for the company or the organisation. This decision is not necessarily about outsourcing or in-house but rather the strategic sourcing and management of the needed services.

Originality value

A total of 25 years of research have shown that a simple solution and answer to the questions about in-house or outsourcing FM services is lacking. To find a good solution, it is necessary to understand the content of FM services with respect to quality and efficiency, and to understand the interaction between FM, the core activities and the users.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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