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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Ryan Neill Stott, Merlin Stone and Jane Fae

The purpose of this research is to identify how managers can apply the results of academic research into the concept of business models for creating and evaluating possible models…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to identify how managers can apply the results of academic research into the concept of business models for creating and evaluating possible models for their businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the literature is followed by two case studies, from the airline and logistics industries, followed by recommendations based on both.

Findings

The findings are that there is relatively weak consensus among academics as to the definition and meaning of a business model and its components, and that the notion of generic business model applies better within rather than between industries, but that the discussion is a very fertile one for developing recommendations for managers.

Practical implications

The managerial implications of the study are that in their planning and strategizing, managers should factor in a proper analysis of the business model they currently use and one that they could use.

Originality/value

The study provides a useful addition to the literature on the practical implications of business models.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Merlin Stone and Paul Laughlin

This paper aims to explore the impact of the internet and related information and communications technology developments on how financial services (FS) are distributed and how…

1336

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the impact of the internet and related information and communications technology developments on how financial services (FS) are distributed and how customers are managed, in particular, not only how companies can differentiate between “good” and “bad” customers and manage them appropriately but also how customers can be “bad” and escape the consequences. It also explores how changes in information asymmetry between suppliers and customers affects who gains or loses from the relationship between them.

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the article are from the authors’ consulting and conference chairing experience. The article is in the form of a reflection on this, rather than a hypothesis-based research article.

Findings

One of its findings is that those responsible for controlling damage done to companies by fraudulent or negative value customers (typically those managing underwriting or risk) and those responsible for recruiting, retaining and developing customers (typically marketing, sales and customer service) do not work closely enough together, and this can lead to not only damage to shareholder value but also damage to the customer experience.

Research limitations/implications

The paper identifies the need for more research covering the processes, data, analysis, systems and strategies required to manage both good and bad customers and the practical problems of implementation.

Practical implications

The main practical implication is that in designing products and the customer service experience, FS marketers need to take into account much more systematically the “dark side” of customer activity.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first to explore its issues in detail.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 March 2019

Merlin Stone, Neil Woodcock, Yuksel Ekinci, Eleni Aravopoulou and Brett David Parnell

This paper aims to review the development of thinking about the information needed by companies to create an accurate picture of how well they manage their engagement with…

1178

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the development of thinking about the information needed by companies to create an accurate picture of how well they manage their engagement with customers, taking into account the evolution of thinking and practice in this area over the past three decades towards the idea of data-driven customer engagement. It then describes the evolution and use of an assessment and benchmarking process and tool which provide the needed information.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review, conceptual analysis and explanation of the management consulting process are used.

Findings

Companies can get an accurate picture of how well they manage customer engagement provided that a careful assessment approach is used where assessors are properly selected and trained and that there is a strong focus on compliance with requirements rather than “box-ticking” based upon managers’ perceptions.

Research limitations/implications

The assessment and benchmarking process was developed mainly for use by larger companies, though the findings could be adapted for use by smaller companies.

Practical implications

Companies whose success depends upon customer engagement should consider using the assessment and benchmarking tool to guide their planning and implementation. They should heed the warnings about the risks of inaccurate assessments which may arise because of the incentives by which managers are managed.

Social implications

The assessment and benchmarking process has been used by the public sector and government, and given government’s desire to engage citizens better, they should consider adopting the ideas in this paper to reform citizen engagement.

Originality/value

This is the only paper which reviews the development of the assessment process for customer engagement.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 April 2020

Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou, Yuksel Ekinci, Geraint Evans, Matt Hobbs, Ashraf Labib, Paul Laughlin, Jon Machtynger and Liz Machtynger

The purpose of this paper is to review literature about the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in strategic situations and identify the research that is needed in the…

12107

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review literature about the applications of artificial intelligence (AI) in strategic situations and identify the research that is needed in the area of applying AI to strategic marketing decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach was to carry out a literature review and to consult with marketing experts who were invited to contribute to the paper.

Findings

There is little research into applying AI to strategic marketing decision-making. This research is needed, as the frontier of AI application to decision-making is moving in many management areas from operational to strategic. Given the competitive nature of such decisions and the insights from applying AI to defence and similar areas, it is time to focus on applying AI to strategic marketing decisions.

Research limitations/implications

The application of AI to strategic marketing decision-making is known to be taking place, but as it is commercially sensitive, data is not available to the authors.

Practical implications

There are strong implications for all businesses, particularly large businesses in competitive industries, where failure to deploy AI in the face of competition from firms, who have deployed AI to improve their decision-making could be dangerous.

Social implications

The public sector is a very important marketing decision maker. Although in most cases it does not operate competitively, it must make decisions about making different services available to different citizens and identify the risks of not providing services to certain citizens; so, this paper is relevant to the public sector.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first papers to probe deployment of AI in strategic marketing decision-making.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Merlin Stone, Jonathan Knapper, Geraint Evans and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information management in a smart city. It identifies the main trends in progress and how innovation in information technology is…

1886

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate information management in a smart city. It identifies the main trends in progress and how innovation in information technology is helping all those in the smart city ecosystem in terms of generating new sources of data and connecting them. It investigates how information management in the smart city may go through several phases, but contests the notion that the co-ordinated information management that is the dream of many city managers is an appropriate vision, given the tendency in the private sector for competing information platforms to develop, giving value in different ways.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper has been written by using a combination of academic insight and literature, extensive research of relevant grey literature (e.g. blogs and industry press) and interviews and interaction with some of the organisations involved in developing and implementing the smart city concept, including public transport organisations, other data providers, analysts and systems and sensor suppliers.

Findings

Smart city concepts are evolving in different ways, with divergence of views which involves centralisation and control of information by city authorities and a more democratic view in which the information is managed on different platforms between which smart city stakeholders can choose.

Research limitations/implications

The research method is exploratory. Validating the findings would require a more structured approach in which stakeholders of all kinds are consulted.

Practical implications

All organisational stakeholders in the idea and delivery of smart cities need to consider how their interests in smart city information and those of other stakeholders are evolving and to what extent they should be in partnership with other members of the ecosystem in generating and using the information.

Social implications

Individuals, whether workers, commuters, shoppers, tourists or others, will be greatly affected by the evolution of smart city information, and their choices about whether to be smart themselves will have an important effect on the benefits they receive from city smartening and on the viability of the smart cities.

Originality/value

Little research has been carried out into the different choices organisations and individuals have in terms of how they will relate to smart city information and how they can manage it. This research makes a start on this task.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 31 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 October 2019

Merlin Stone, Jon Machtynger, Liz Machtynger and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main characteristics of what have come to be called information nations and to identify some of the determinants of success in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the main characteristics of what have come to be called information nations and to identify some of the determinants of success in becoming an information nation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a critical review of the literature and of secondary data on information technology and services from studies of the innovativeness of nations.

Findings

Success in becoming an information nation is not necessarily closely connected with investments in information technology and services by firms and policies supporting these investments by governments, or with education policies designed to support the development of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Other factors, such as the vibrancy of capitalism, particularly the funding of new ventures, the culture of the nation and its focus on non-scientific determinants of innovation, such as design, are also important. Governments should be careful not to take credit for achievements when their policies are merely coincident with those achievements.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations relate to the focus of this article on two sets of nations, South East/East Asia and two Western nations. The review of their performance is relatively high level and needs to be deepened, while the number of nations included in the research needs to be increased.

Practical implications

This paper has substantial practical implications for government policymakers, in terms of whether and how they should make policy at all in this area, and for companies trying to establish a long-term position in the global economy, in terms of being careful not to go against the very strong economic forces which favour certain kinds of activities in certain countries.

Social implications

This paper has significant social implications, because much of the thinking about developing information societies relies on generalisations about the creation of information nations that may not hold. Governments and social commentators are encouraged to approach the idea of making “big policies” in this area with some scepticism.

Originality/value

The content of this paper is not original, but the challenge to policymakers is relatively original, as too often the work of academics is sponsored by governments that are trying to legitimate the value of their own efforts.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2018

Brett Parnell, Merlin Stone and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this study is to explore the information leaders keep their organisations competitive by determining if their business model is under threat and/or needs changing…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the information leaders keep their organisations competitive by determining if their business model is under threat and/or needs changing and whether business model innovation is needed.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a grounded theory approach to probe an area which has been so far researched very little.

Findings

The paper identifies that while quality of management information affects leaders’ decisions about whether their business model is under threat or needs changing, leaders may or may not choose to use it.

Research limitations/implications

The research was carried out with large firms in six sectors in the UK. Research in other sectors, in smaller firms and in other countries, should be carried out to test generalisability.

Practical implications

Although many large firms have made very large investments into areas such as customer insight in the past few years, there may be resistance to using this information even if it indicates that a firm’s current business model is under threat, because of straightforward denial or because of the inertia associated with factors such as difficulties in changing business models or the extent to which the firm’s financial situation is based upon exploiting its current business model, no matter how much that model is under threat from firms with other business models. Therefore, in strategic reviews, firms should factor in these risks and seek to mitigate them.

Social implications

In public sector organisations, these risks of denial or inertia may be stronger because of conservatism and lack of willingness to take the risks of change, so public sector decision makers need to be particularly aware of these risks and seek to mitigate them.

Originality/value

The theoretical contribution of this research is to add to business model and strategic management literature by explaining the role that information plays in business model choice and how its role depends on whether and how the information is used by senior management.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 December 2020

Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou, Ryan Stott, Brett David Parnell, Jon Machtynger, Bryan Foss and Liz Machtynger

The purpose of this paper is to show how the business model of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry has evolved and the general differences that evolution…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show how the business model of the information and communications technology (ICT) industry has evolved and the general differences that evolution has made to information management.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review was carried out accompanied by conceptual analysis.

Findings

It shows that changes in the business model of the ICT industry have been quite dramatic and have led to significant changes in the structure of the industry.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on analysis of the ICT industry. The analysis could be broadened to include other industries. Research into business model change should consider adopting the evolutionary approach taken in this paper.

Practical implications

Managers in the ICT industry should factor the likely evolution of business models in their industry into their planning.

Social implications

Government policymakers considering how to stimulate the development of the ICT industry in their country should be aware of the moving nature of their target.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers to apply the evolutionary approach to business model change.

Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Merlin Stone, Emmanuel Kosack and Eleni Aravopoulou

The purpose of this study is to examine the relevance of academic research, in terms of the topic match, to commercial practise in information technology, using the case study of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relevance of academic research, in terms of the topic match, to commercial practise in information technology, using the case study of a large and very rapidly growing supplier that uses leading-edge management approaches, Salesforce.com.

Design/methodology/approach

Academic literature review and review of commercial literature and information published by Salesforce.com.

Findings

Academics’ choice of topics matches the issues and topics present in the development of Salesforce.com, but suffers from the lack of interdisciplinary approach and particularly fails to integrate technical, marketing and financial approaches.

Research limitations/implications

The case study is of only one company, though an important one, although other large companies are involved e.g. Amazon Web services. However, the approach could easily be widened to several companies.

Practical implications

The case study approach will help academics focus on creating more applicable research and help students to learn about companies and may also eventually help practitioners to create thought leadership.

Social implications

If the financial and economic aspects of such case studies are integrated with other business aspects, these will provide a better view of the positive (or negative) contribution made by companies such as the one in the case study.

Originality/value

This is the first time that a case study has been examined in the context of the relevance/rigour debate.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Merlin Stone, Eleni Aravopoulou, Gherardo Gerardi, Emanuela Todeva, Luisa Weinzierl, Paul Laughlin and Ryan Stott

The purpose of this paper is to explain how ecosystems and platforms have evolved to manage customer information and to identify the management, research and teaching implications…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how ecosystems and platforms have evolved to manage customer information and to identify the management, research and teaching implications of this evolution.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on research and industrial experience of two of the co-authors in customer relationship management, further developed with other co-authors in the field of business models, the research and teaching experience of the university authors and cross-functional literature reviews in the areas of strategy, marketing, economics, organizational behaviour and information management.

Findings

This paper shows that digitalization, cloud computing and new information-based platforms are beginning to change how customer information is being managed, creating new opportunities for improving marketing, customer relationship management and business strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The impact of platforms on the management of customer information needs to be confirmed by primary empirical research.

Practical implications

This paper identifies the need for senior marketing management to examine closely how internal and external/public customer information platforms may enhance their capability for managing customers and setting new strategic directions.

Social implications

The emergence of giant multi-sided platforms has clear implications for data protection and privacy, which need to be explored more in research.

Originality/value

This paper highlights the move to customer information platforms and identifies how senior managers should consider them as an option for better customer information management and as a basis for new business strategies.

Details

The Bottom Line, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0888-045X

Keywords

1 – 10 of 126