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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Jonathon R.B. Halbesleben and M. Ronald Buckley

This paper discusses the role that customers play as human resources in service‐based organizations. These involve situations where a customer replaces a more traditional…

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5566

Abstract

This paper discusses the role that customers play as human resources in service‐based organizations. These involve situations where a customer replaces a more traditional employee (ATMs, self‐serve gas stations), or situations where the customer serves as a strategic partner by providing resources, particularly information, that are critical for the performance of the service exchange (consulting, health care, physical fitness training). After discussing the conditions under which a customer acts as a “partial employee” of a firm, we turn to a discussion of how human resource functions apply to partial employees. Research propositions are offered to guide future research in customer labor contributions.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Sabine Fliess, Stefan Dyck and Mailin Schmelter

The purpose of this paper is to investigate customer perceptions of their own contribution to service provision, in order to enhance our understanding of customer

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2390

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate customer perceptions of their own contribution to service provision, in order to enhance our understanding of customer contribution and its dimensions.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 27 in-depth interviews were conducted across nine service contexts. Qualitative data were then analyzed to identify the various dimensions of customer contribution.

Findings

First, the study contributes to the understanding of customer contribution in identifying physical, mental, and emotional dimensions. The physical and mental dimensions of customer contribution are represented by activities, while emotions comprise mood and emotional states. Second, relationships among the three dimensions were identified; in particular, physical and mental activities were found to influence customer emotions. Third, the findings reveal that customer understanding of their own contribution to service provision encompass the co-creative sphere of customer and provider, and extends to the customer-sphere before the service encounter.

Research limitations/implications

The qualitative study is limited in terms of generalizability, since the 27 interview cases were based on nine interviews each covering three service settings. Further research is needed to investigate how the dimensions of customer contribution are linked to different outcomes (e.g. service value, satisfaction, loyalty), thus providing a quantitative validation of our findings.

Practical implications

Understanding the customer contribution to service provision is pivotal for service design. Service managers need to reflect on how the different dimensions of contribution manifest in their existing or potential service offering, since physical and mental customer activities shape their emotions, which in turn impact on the service experience and value.

Originality/value

Little in-depth research has been conducted on the nature and dimensionality of customer contributions to service provision, particularly with regard to perceptions of their own contribution. Most previous empirical research on customer contribution is limited to a specific context and concerned with customer behaviors. Hence, this qualitative study examines customer contribution across different service context, focussing on customer perceptions in terms of physical, mental, and emotional contributions to service provision.

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Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Jörg Finsterwalder

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It…

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2331

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It also shows the influence of other customers' contributions on an individual customer's own contribution to the service experience as well as the individual customer's perception of his/her own and of other customers' contributions toward service satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical research paper is based on structural equation modelling to examine customer group experiences of two different service providers, a white water rafting company and an indoor soccer company. Data from a survey of a combined total of 273 consumers were utilised to test the research model.

Findings

The results demonstrate that, on an aggregate level, psychological safety affects an individual customer's perception of his/her own and others' contributions to a service experience. The findings show that the contributions of others have a significant influence on one's own contribution. No influence or relationship could be found regarding one's own contribution and service satisfaction; however, other customers' contributions have a negative effect on an individual's service satisfaction. The results vary on a subsample level.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited to two customer group services, one group sport experience and one group leisure experience.

Practical implications

This research provides insights for service firms with respect to managing the provider‐to‐multi‐customer co‐creation interface.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the analysis of co‐creation efforts of individuals in groups with respect to a specific environment (psychological safety). It adds value to the discussion of factors that influence the partial creation of a service by individuals while interacting with one another and the impact on the perceived outcome. The paper provides a platform for further research on aspects of co‐creation in customer groups.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2021

Eman Abo ElHamd, Hamed Shamma, Mohamed Saleh and Ehab Elkhodary

The purpose of this paper is to close the gap between the theoretical nature of existing contributions in customer engagement value (CEV) and its need to practically…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to close the gap between the theoretical nature of existing contributions in customer engagement value (CEV) and its need to practically empower business decisions. This is done by proposing a framework that consists of three techniques, each of which combines the components of CEV to make it more comprehensive and applicable. The paper also reviews and analyzes the work that has been done so far in the area of CEV whether in business to business (B2B), business to consumer (B2C) or consumer to consumer (C2C) markets.

Design/methodology/approach

CEV is a comprehensive term that measures the total value of the customer through capturing his transactional and non-transactional behaviors. Hence, it is an essential term for measuring the value of the customer in direct marketing. This motivates researchers to compete in developing models to maximize CEV. Meanwhile, most of the existing models are conceptual and the majority of them lack applicability due to many reasons. First, these models relied on a linear version of the CEV model, hence double-counting the value of the customer; also they weighted the components of CEV equally, which is unrealistic. Finally, the effect of the environmental components in determining the engagement level of each customer was almost ignored. In this paper, two main contributions are presented. First, a summary and analysis of the contributions of the literature in the CEV field for different market types whether in B2C, B2B or C2C. Furthermore, three modifications are added to the existing models. The first model introduces a non-linear relationship of the components of CEV. The second model is a weighted linear model of these components. Finally, the third model adds the environmental factors to the CEV components. All the proposed models are theoretical in nature, however, these models are expected to show superiority when being applied to real data sets due to their ability to capture the complexity in the relationship between the firm and its customers in real-life situations. The proposed models are expected to attract the practitioners and other researchers and they both are encouraged to apply the proposed models on real-life data sets, test their performance, compare them against each other, to be able to apply each of them on the best suitable data set and business scenario.

Findings

Based on the review and analysis that has been done on about 87 papers, it is found that the majority of the contributions that have been done in the area of CEV are theoretical in nature, in spite of the effectiveness of CEV in empowering business decision. It is also found that few researchers proposed a set of theoretical comprehensive frameworks that combined CEV’s components together. Meanwhile, those frameworks are not practically applicable.

Research limitations/implications

Although the contribution of the proposed models expected to attract both researchers and practitioners, these are not applied to real-life case studies to prove their effectiveness.

Practical implications

The research in this paper has many industrial and managerial implications. First, it helps managers and decision takers to treat the customers as assets and cost-free resources who can work with the firm to achieve what’s both aims to (i.e. increase customer satisfaction and firm’s profitability). Second, it helps the firm to determine the total value of each customer and treat its customers accordingly. Third, it empowers the managers to do target marketing, based on grouping the customers upon their total engagement. This would save time and cost and for sure increase the profitability and customer satisfaction. Forth, the proposed models take into consideration not only the transactional behavior of the customers but also the non-transactional factors that play a significant role in formulating the relationship between the firm and its customers.

Originality/value

This is hereby to certify that the paper is original, neither the paper nor a part of it is under consideration for publication anywhere else. Also, this study has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Mohammad H. Eslami and Nicolette Lakemond

This paper aims to address the need for managerial and organizational approaches to knowledge integration with customers in collaborative product development projects. The…

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1068

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the need for managerial and organizational approaches to knowledge integration with customers in collaborative product development projects. The purpose is to identify the roles of customers in terms of the customer’s knowledge contribution and timing of customer collaboration in the product development process.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a multi-case study approach, comprising four product development projects from two large international suppliers. The cases were selected following the theoretical replication logic. Data consist of interviews, workshops and secondary information. For each of the cases, a within-case analysis was performed followed by a cross-case analysis.

Findings

The study shows that the customer’s knowledge contribution is aligned with the specific requirements of each phase of the product development. Three specific customer roles are identified and connected to the customer’s knowledge contribution and the timing of customer collaboration. The technical capability of the customer and the locus of initiative of the product development project are affecting the prerequisites for knowledge integration with customers.

Research limitations/implications

The study is performed from the perspective of supplier firms. The authors have not been able to capture the perspective of the customer in detail. As it is expected that both customers and suppliers benefit from a systematic knowledge exchange, future studies could examine knowledge contributions in both directions.

Practical implications

The findings can be used to devise effective approaches for collaborative product development with customers related to the customer’s knowledge contribution and the timing of customer collaboration and provide guidance to firms seeking to benefit from knowledge residing at customers.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to focus on the integration of customers’ knowledge in product development processes. This paper contributes to the customer–supplier collaboration literature by presenting further insight into customers’ knowledge contributions, the timing of customer collaboration in product development processes and the prerequisites for knowledge integration with customers.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 10 November 2010

Matthew S. OHern and Aric Rindfleisch

Abstract

Details

Review of Marketing Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-728-5

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2012

Marianna Sigala

The study aims to use netnography to investigate the role of customers' contributions in social networks for NSD purposes.

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7437

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to use netnography to investigate the role of customers' contributions in social networks for NSD purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted an exploratory case study methodology to conduct a content analysis of customers' contributions in a social network, namely www.mystarbucksidea.com. Netnography was used for data analysis and interpretation.

Findings

The findings reveal that online customers' interactions and dialogues enable customers to share and understand the context of using services, which in turn triggers emotions and cognition that help customers to generate and further enhance ideas for new services. Thus, the variety of customers and the sharing of their diverse roles have a positive influence on enabling participants of online social networks to generate new service ideas.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are applicable to the study's context, but future research should try to triangulate and enhance them by conducting studies in other contexts. The findings also provide ideas on how to further investigate the observational learning processes and behavioural impacts taking place amongst customers' interactions within online social networks.

Practical implications

The findings provide several implications showing firms why and how to nurture, develop and moderate online customer interactions to enhance the effectiveness of their NSD processes.

Originality/value

The paper examines the role and the management of customers' contributions in social networks for NSD purposes. The topic has received only limited attention in traditional and online settings. Several suggestions for further research are also provided.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 24 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Cindy Yunhsin Chou, Wei Wei Cheryl Leo and Tom Chen

Applying social exchange theory as the theoretical basis, this paper aims to examine the impacts of two forms of digital social interaction on social well-being and…

Abstract

Purpose

Applying social exchange theory as the theoretical basis, this paper aims to examine the impacts of two forms of digital social interaction on social well-being and helping behavior of customers: moderator–customer interaction quality and customercustomer social support. Furthermore, this paper investigates customer exchange ideology as a moderator of these impacts.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopted a purposive sampling method for survey materials sent to customers of firm-hosted virtual communities (FHVCs) using a consumer panel service company. The self-administered survey was developed from existing scales, and 265 usable responses were obtained.

Findings

Both forms of digital social interaction within FHVCs positively impact social well-being, which in turn positively influences helping behavior in the community. Social well-being is decomposed into social integration and social contribution, and each partially mediates the impact of customercustomer social support and moderator–customer interaction quality on helping behavior. This finding provides greater explanatory power for the role that digital social interactions have in predicting customer helping behavior in an FHVC. In addition, an exchange ideology positively moderates the impact of customercustomer social support on helping behavior via social integration.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that resource exchange dynamics occur digitally within FHVCs, which then affect social well-being and helping behaviors in customers. From a practical point of view, this study indicates the potential that digital interactions have in generating social and economic value through helping behaviors.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 24 February 2020

Ranjit Roy Ghatak

Co-creating services with the customer has recently appeared as an alternative strategy to achieve competitive advantage. Developing and sustaining a gainful experience…

Abstract

Purpose

Co-creating services with the customer has recently appeared as an alternative strategy to achieve competitive advantage. Developing and sustaining a gainful experience requires sharing of knowledge, skills and resources between the firm and its customers. Managing value co-creation throws substantial challenge and difficulties. This study aims to investigate the barriers to customer resource contribution in value co-creation in service industries and find their interrelationships for developing an effective management framework for removal of those barriers.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review led to the identification of 26 barriers, which were further confirmed through expert opinion. The study used interpretative structural modeling (ISM) approach and Matrice d’Impacts croises-multipication applique (MICMAC), for analyzing the contextual relationships and develop a hierarchical model of the barriers.

Findings

ISM approach led to the development of a 13-level structural model. The barriers were further classified into autonomous, driver, linkage and dependent barriers using the MICMAC analysis. The framework offers a means to fulfill the expectations of the customers, thus leading to successful integration of the customer in the value creation process. Removal of the barriers has also been discussed.

Practical implications

The framework provides a direction and a tool to meet the expectations of the customers and lead to successful integration of the customer.

Originality/value

The study addresses a gap in the literature for the need of a structured framework for managing the value co-creation process in the service industry

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2013

Klas Hjort, Björn Lantz, Dag Ericsson and John Gattorna

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to empirically test whether a “one size fits all” strategy fits the fashion e-commerce business and second, to evaluate…

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6823

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to empirically test whether a “one size fits all” strategy fits the fashion e-commerce business and second, to evaluate whether consumer returns are a central aspect of the creation of profitability and, if so, to discuss the role of returns management (RM) in the supply chain strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

Transactional sales and return data were analysed and used to categorise customers based on their buying and returning behaviours, measuring each customer's net contribution margins.

Findings

The e-commerce business collects a vast quantity of data, but these data are seldom used for the development of service differentiation. This study analysed behaviour patterns and determined that the segmentation of customers on the basis of both sales and return patterns can facilitate a differentiated service delivery approach.

Research limitations/implications

This research empirically supports the theory that customer buying and returning behaviours can be used to appropriately categorise customers and thereby guide the development of a more differentiated service approach.

Practical implications

The findings support a differentiated service delivery system that utilises a more dynamic approach, conserving resources and linking the supply chain and/or organisational strategies with customers' buying and returning behaviours to avoid over and underservicing customers.

Originality/value

Consumer returns are often viewed as a negative aspect of doing business; interestingly, however, the authors revealed that the most profitable customer is a repeat customer who frequently returns goods.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

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