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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2018

João Reis, Marlene Amorim and Nuno Melão

This paper aims to investigate how service providers are using their channels to support the handling of customer complaints in a technology-based business network (Tb2N…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate how service providers are using their channels to support the handling of customer complaints in a technology-based business network (Tb2N) environment. It aims to discuss the implications from existing misalignments between the service delivery debilities and the complexity of the Tb2N recovery process.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used an exploratory case study research conducted in a Portuguese private bank. Data collection involved multiple sources for corroboration purposes, such as reports from customer complaints, semi-structured interviews, direct observation and official documents. Data were analysed to identify paths and relationships between constructs, to reduce data, to enable interpretation and to achieve valid and reliable results.

Findings

The case analysis revealed four types of Tb2N debilities: weaknesses in what concerns the channel migration to new technologies, automated physical and virtual barriers in accessing the firms’ common channel, non-automated barriers concerning the cross-training of employees and, finally, barriers concerning the service operations management.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to characterize the service failure and recovery in a Tb2N context. Complaint management is an essential tool for managers, as failures in service delivery are inevitable and the recovery of such encounters encompasses significant challenges. For academics, this is the first effort to discuss a growing topic in the operations management literature. Further investigation is needed, and with this contribution, the authors expect to stimulate other researchers to provide their contribution.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Jorge H.O. Silva, Glauco H.S. Mendes, Paulo A. Cauchick Miguel, Marlene Amorim and Jorge Grenha Teixeira

This article aims to synthesize and integrate current research on customer experience (CX), identifying the intellectual structure of the field, systematizing a conceptual…

1883

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to synthesize and integrate current research on customer experience (CX), identifying the intellectual structure of the field, systematizing a conceptual framework and identifying future research opportunities.

Design/methodology/approach

To analyze 629 articles published in peer-reviewed journals in almost four decades, this study employs both bibliometric co-keyword and thematic literature analysis in a complementary way.

Findings

This article maps the CX literature by describing its intellectual structure in terms of three research domains (customer, organizational and technological), their corresponding most relevant research themes and topics. Moreover, this study develops a conceptual framework and research propositions to summarize and integrate the CX literature. This work recognizes technology as an important driver for the development of CX research. Lastly, this article provides future research opportunities for moving the field forward, considering an integrative view among domains.

Originality/value

This paper complements other reviews on CX by using a novel methodological approach (co-keyword and thematic analysis) that enables the identification and visualization of the CX intellectual structure. In addition, the study explores the increasing connection between technology and CX research, by raising evidence that technology, by continuously modifying services and consequently CX, has become a transversal component in the research field. These outcomes may be useful for academics and practitioners.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 December 2021

Liliana Ávila and Marlene Amorim

This paper aims to describe an exploratory study aiming to identify the mechanisms adopted by social enterprises for effective operations based on volunteer work.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe an exploratory study aiming to identify the mechanisms adopted by social enterprises for effective operations based on volunteer work.

Design/methodology/approach

An inductive multiple case study method was used addressing three social enterprises whose operations rely on a volunteer workforce.

Findings

Volunteer-based operations benefit from the establishment of a formal structure, involving different levels of volunteering complemented with other mechanisms, namely, educate and train, empower and connect. Special attention must be given to first-level volunteers, reinforcing the range of practices to motivate and engage them, as they serve as intermediaries between the paid employees and lower-level volunteers.

Practical implications

The study provides valuable insights for managers for the implementation of effective operations, building on volunteer work, aiming at the generation of social and economic value.

Social implications

Due to their innovative character, social enterprises are well-positioned to mobilize more and more qualified volunteers for a significant change in their communities. Adopting a more strategic and structured approach to volunteer management can enable these organizations to take advantage of it.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on social enterprise by identifying a set of mechanisms adopted for effective volunteer-based operations. It also contributes to the literature on volunteer management by addressing an underexplored context.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Nuno Filipe Melão, Marlene Amorim, Frederic Marimon and Inés Alegre

The purpose of this paper is to analyze from an adopters’ perspective the European Quality in Social Services (EQUASS) Assurance standard, a certification program to implement a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze from an adopters’ perspective the European Quality in Social Services (EQUASS) Assurance standard, a certification program to implement a quality management (QM) system specifically tailored to European social service organizations (SSO). Specifically, it analyzes the motives, internalization, impacts, satisfaction, and renew intentions of this standard.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a cross-sectional, questionnaire-based survey methodology with both closed and open-ended questions. Of the 381 organizations contacted, 196 responses from eight different European countries were considered valid (51.4 percent). Descriptive statistical techniques and content analysis were employed to analyze closed- and open-ended questions, respectively.

Findings

The results show that SSO typically implement the certification for internal reasons, internalize EQUASS Assurance principles and practices in daily usage, obtain mainly operational and customer benefits, and consider main pitfalls such as increased workload and bureaucracy. Around 85 percent of the respondents are very satisfied or satisfied with the standard, which suggests that it meets their needs. The intention to renew the certification is also encouraging, but the final decision may be contingent on several aspects. Overall, the results reveal a rather optimistic picture, though there are some reasons for concern.

Originality/value

Recent years have seen many social services implementing QM systems, but there have been few studies investigating this phenomenon. Social service managers, consultants, auditors, and the EQUASS certification body can find in this work valuable information to make their practice more effective. This is the first study to report the results of an EQUASS survey in a scholarly journal.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 February 2018

Rui Sousa and Marlene Amorim

Multichannel (MC) service providers have been adopting a wide diversity of front-office service delivery models, i.e. different ways of employing channels to support the delivery…

Abstract

Purpose

Multichannel (MC) service providers have been adopting a wide diversity of front-office service delivery models, i.e. different ways of employing channels to support the delivery of the service activities that involve customer interaction. Despite this, we are still faced with a paucity of concepts to understand the myriad of possible choices. The purpose of this paper is to develop a theoretical framework and basic design architectures to provide a structured understanding of the diversity of operational design choices for MC front-office service delivery models, their efficacy implications, and how they fit with the provider’s service strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The study employs the analytical conceptual approach. The authors logically develop the architectures based on the operations management theory and provide corresponding empirical illustrations based on secondary sources, direct observation, and case studies.

Findings

The authors propose two theoretically meaningful dimensions to characterize and distinguish between delivery models (channel redundancy and channel span) and put forward four anchor architectures for such models: generalist, parallel, constricted, and centralized. The authors identify the operational efficacy implications (effectiveness and efficiency) of the different architectures, and develop a set of propositions and design principles for selecting appropriate architectures.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should develop empirical measures for the dimensions underlying the architectures.

Originality/value

The study extends existing service process classifications by capturing the MC traits of front-office processes. The authors offer design principles to assist firms in selecting architectures that are aligned with their service strategy. The framework and architectures provide seminal concepts to support a wealth of future empirical studies.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Vikas Kumar, Marlene Amorim, Arijit Bhattacharya and Jose Arturo Garza-Reyes

This study aims to address the management of reverse flows in the context of service supply chains. The study builds on the characteristics of services production reported in…

3308

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to address the management of reverse flows in the context of service supply chains. The study builds on the characteristics of services production reported in literature to: identify diverse types of reverse flows in services supply chains, discuss key issues associated to the management of reverse service flows and suggest directions for research for developing the knowledge for management of reverse flows in service contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

This study first provides an overview of the theoretical background which supports the identification and the characterization of the flows, and the reverse flows, involved in service production. A short summary of each paper accepted in this special issue is also provided to give readers an overview of the various issues around reverse exchanges in service supply chains that authors have attempted to address.

Findings

In this study, the authors identify distinct types of reverse flows in services production building on the analysis of the characteristics of service production and delivery reported in the literature. Our discussion highlights the fact that service supply chains can be quite diverse in the type of exchanges of inputs and outputs that take place between customers and providers, showing that often there can be substantial flows of items to return. In particular, and differently from manufacturing contexts, the authors highlight that in service supply chains, providers might need to handle bi-directional reverse flows.

Research limitations/implications

The lack of research on reverse service supply chains is, to a great extent, a consequence of dominant paradigms which often identify the absence of physical product flows as a key distinguishing feature of service supply chains, and therefore lead to the misbelief that in services there is nothing to return. This special issue therefore aims to clarify this misunderstanding through the limited selection of eight papers that address various issues around reverse exchanges in service supply chains.

Originality/value

While theoretical and empirical research in supply chain is abundant, management of reverse exchanges in service supply chain is sparse. In this special issue we aim to provide the first contribution to understand how the characteristics of service production raise new issues for the management of reverse flows in service supply chains, and to foster the development of adequate management strategies.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Marlene Amorim and Fatemeh Bashashi Saghezchi

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the existence of differences in service quality assessments across distinct retail store formats. We address customers’ quality…

1670

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the existence of differences in service quality assessments across distinct retail store formats. We address customers’ quality assessments for physical aspects, personal interactions, reliability and policies dimensions in hypermarkets and supermarkets to analyse the impacts for satisfaction and loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

The study builds on previous scales for service retail quality to develop a survey addressing customers of hypermarkets and supermarkets in Portugal. Data analysis addressed 248 complete questionnaires and involved statistical testing to explore differences in service quality expectations across retail store formats. The regression analysis was used to estimate impacts of each service quality dimension for customer satisfaction and loyalty intentions.

Findings

The results support the existence of differences in customers’ service quality assessments across retail store formats, notably for the expectations about different quality dimensions. Differences were also observed on the impacts for customer satisfaction and loyalty, in particular for the dimensions of reliability and personal interaction.

Research limitations/implications

The results suggest that managerial decisions regarding service in stores should be adjusted to the characteristics of each retail format. The generalizability of the results should be assessed by means of further investigation in other retail contexts.

Originality/value

Retail customers patronize multiple types of retail stores that compete on diverse service attributes. Building on existing service measurement scales, this paper provides a contribution to understand customer’s quality assessments across distinct store types to inform retail quality and service differentiation strategies.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 6 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Emy Ezura A Jalil, David B. Grant, John D Nicholson and Pauline Deutz

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the proposition that there is a symbiosis effect for exchanges between household waste recycling systems (HWRSs) and household…

3777

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the proposition that there is a symbiosis effect for exchanges between household waste recycling systems (HWRSs) and household recycling behaviour (HRB) within the reverse logistics (RL) discourse.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper contains empirical findings from a two phase, multi-method approach comprising consecutive inductive and deductive investigations. The qualitative and quantitative data underpin exploratory and explanatory findings which broaden and deepen the understanding of this phenomenon.

Findings

Analysis identified significant interactions between situational and personal factors, specifically demographic factors, affecting HRB with key factors identified as engagement, convenience, availability and accessibility.

Research limitations/implications

Findings confirm the existence of a symbiosis effect between situational and personal factors and inform current research trends in the environmental sciences, behavioural and logistics literature, particularly identifying consumers as being an important pivot point between forward and RL flows.

Practical implications

Findings should inform RL-HWRSs design by municipalities looking to more effectively manage MSW and enhance recycling and sustainability. RL practitioners should introduce systems to support recovery of MSW in sympathy with communication and education initiatives to affect HRB and should also appreciate a symbiosis effect in the design of HWRSs.

Social implications

The social implications of improved recycling performances in municipalities are profound. Even incremental improvements in the performance of HWRSs can lead to enhanced sustainability through higher recycling rates, reduced diversion of MSW to landfill, decreases in pollution levels, reduced carbon footprints and reduction in depletion of scarce natural resources.

Originality/value

The paper marks an early contribution to the study of symbiosis in HWRSs and HRB pertaining to RL. Findings are offered that identify the key situational and personal factors that interact to affect enhanced HWRSs and also offer insights above those available in current multi-disciplinary literature that has largely examined such factors in isolation. Conclusions offer the possibility of an epistemological bridge between the social and natural sciences.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Maneesh Kumar and Niraj Kumar

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the interrelationship between process recovery, employee recovery and customer recovery in a financial services call centre. The authors…

2715

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the interrelationship between process recovery, employee recovery and customer recovery in a financial services call centre. The authors also investigate how process recovery affects customer recovery via employees – the bridge between organisation and customers.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study–based approach is adopted in this study, and data triangulation is achieved through multiple data collection methods including semi-structured interviews, employees’ survey and company reports. Justice theory is the theoretical lens considered to understand the “service recovery (SR)” phenomenon.

Findings

This paper helps in understanding the relationship of process and employee recovery with customer recovery. Findings suggest that SR could be used for complaint management as well as in understanding and addressing the gaps in internal operations and employee skill sets. Factors such as training, operating systems, empowerment, incentives, and feedback were identified as critical in providing effective SR. Process improvement is necessary to control complaints by conducting root cause analysis and learning from failure.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited to a case company in financial services sector and thus limit its generalisability to other context. Questionnaire distributed to employees only included important dimensions of SR, which would be further developed in future research.

Originality/value

This paper explores the specific reverse exchange strategies, termed in this paper as SR, and analyses the different factors responsible for better performance in the exchange process. The paper highlights how the imbalance in the process and employee recovery dimensions can impact on customer recovery. Closing the customer complaint loop by using the SR perspective may help organisation to not only deal with complaints in a better way but also prevent such complaints in the future.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Ruizhi Yuan, Martin J Liu, Alain Yee-Loong Chong and Kim Hua Tan

Despite the growing interest in reverse exchange, studies on the subject from the perspective of consumer participation and motivation remain sparse. Consumers’ participation in…

2235

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growing interest in reverse exchange, studies on the subject from the perspective of consumer participation and motivation remain sparse. Consumers’ participation in reverse exchange is a key component of supply-chain reverse logistics. To address the gap in existing studies, this paper aims to empirically identify the intention and causes of consumer electronic product exchange (EPE). The proposed research model incorporates value-belief-norm and neutralization theories, linking consumers’ values to their intentions to participate in EPE.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data collected from 250 consumers were analyzed using structural equation modeling.

Findings

This discussion shows that people are more likely to present positive attitudes when they are ethically concerned. However, this tendency is not without exceptions and behavior influenced by ethics was not always observed. Upon examination, the findings highlight moderating forces of psychological tension that arise when people behave in ways that are in apparent contradiction to their expressed positive attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

It is important to modify the model by analyzing consumers’ actual EPE behaviors. Future research should also reconsider the results from a longitudinal perspective.

Practical implications

The reverse logistics management practices proposed offer valuable insight into other various activities as well, including an integrated supply chain model and improving customer service.

Social implications

The proposed action of EPE encourages consumers as well as managers to reduce, recycle or effectively dispose of waste.

Originality/value

Current reverse exchange models are insufficient for measuring consumer motivations perspective, which is a key but inadequately researched perspective of determining the effectiveness of reverse logistics management. This research endeavors to fill this gap and augment previous studies in EPE by advancing the discussion on how the concept of reverse logistics management is evaluated and justified in relation to consumption values and psychological motivations.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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