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Article
Publication date: 23 March 2020

Robert van Kalsbeek, Manda Broekhuis and Kees Jan Roodbergen

The purpose of this paper is to understand which controlling and enabling practices are used, how the numerous supplying partners are managed and how positive network…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand which controlling and enabling practices are used, how the numerous supplying partners are managed and how positive network effects are generated in online service triads (multi-sided platform – supplying partners – consumers).

Design/methodology/approach

A single representative in-depth case study was conducted to refine theory on managing service triads. The main data source consists of field notes collected by one author, who held a temporary position within the organization. Additional data were collected from observations, internal documents, informal talks and 20 interviews.

Findings

The authors found controlling and enabling organizational practices in four main categories on two levels as follows: managing network composition (system level), managing order fulfillment and returns (operations level), category management (both levels) and capability enhancement (both levels).

Research limitations/implications

The authors show that both controlling and enabling practices are present in online service triads. This enables platform owners and supplying partners to share responsibilities for creating positive network effects, i.e. to increase scale, which increases value, which again attracts more suppliers and consumers, which creates more value, etc.

Practical implications

The authors present a range of and controlling and enabling practices that describe how multi-sided platforms can manage numerous supplying partners in an online context.

Originality/value

This study is the first to show that contractual and relational governance is insufficient in service triads in online settings with numerous supplying partners. Further, the authors provide empirical evidence that supply networks continuously adapt over time.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1996

Sven Modell

Notes the increasing interest in management accounting research in service organizations, even though it can still be said to be in an embryonic phase. Reviews the…

Abstract

Notes the increasing interest in management accounting research in service organizations, even though it can still be said to be in an embryonic phase. Reviews the accounting and control implications of specific characteristics perceived to distinguish service organizations which have been observed in previous research in management accounting and service management. States that a review of previous research reveals an undue over‐emphasis on structural accounting implications at the expense of the behavioural side of accounting and control. Includes a case study in a public sector dental practice, with particular reference to the coexistence of formal and informal controls and formalization of control processes. Develops a framework consisting of a number of related research propositions and outlines future directions for research.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

Bin‐Shan Lin

In the health care area, there is a wealth of information about quality control methods, but little has been written about computer‐based quality control systems. This…

Abstract

In the health care area, there is a wealth of information about quality control methods, but little has been written about computer‐based quality control systems. This article focuses on the development of a statistical process control (SPC) system for hospital food‐service operations. An SPC system is put in perspective so that a view is given of where it fits into the food‐service operations and an understanding of some of its important advantages and of some of the implementation problems may be understood. Several insights for building a quality control system are suggested. Management and control issues are addressed. These issues are reviewed and discussed, and some comments are made on the practical implications for hospital food‐service operations.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2018

Zyad M. Alzaydi, Ali Al-Hajla, Bang Nguyen and Chanaka Jayawardhena

The purpose of this paper is to provide researchers with an overview of the service quality and delivery domain, focussing on the inclusion of customer co-production and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide researchers with an overview of the service quality and delivery domain, focussing on the inclusion of customer co-production and customer integration. Specifically, this paper concentrates on service quality (including quality measurement), the service environment, controls and their consequences.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive review of the literature is conducted, analysed and presented.

Findings

The review shows that service delivery is both complex and challenging, particularly when considering the unique characteristics of services and the high level of customer involvement in their creation. The facilitation, transformation and usage framework identifies how failures can occur at each stage of service delivery, beginning with the characteristics of the service environment, while control theory offers insights into the formal and informal controls that may be applied in the facilitation and transformation stages, which may reduce the likelihood or extent of such failures.

Originality/value

Despite the fact that it is widely accepted that service quality is an antecedent to customer satisfaction, it is surprising that this customer co-creation aspect has been largely neglected in the extant literature. As such, the role that customer co-production plays in service quality performance has been examined in this paper. It is hoped that this examination will enhance both theoretical and practical understanding of service quality. It would be useful to find modern tools that can help in improving service quality performance.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Shiu Fai Chan, Bradley R. Barnes and Kyoko Fukukawa

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a new conceptual model in an online service context. The model focuses on an important, yet often neglected…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and test a new conceptual model in an online service context. The model focuses on an important, yet often neglected customer-oriented construct, i.e., user “control”, which is embedded in consumer behaviour when accessing the internet. The study examines the relationship between control, online dependency, online encounter satisfaction and overall satisfaction. It explains the strategic implications surrounding customer control and online dependency as means for enhancing customer satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was developed drawing on a combination of existing and new measurement items for the constructs in question. The instrument was later pilot tested on two consecutive occasions ahead of the main survey. A random sample of Hong Kong banking consumers was approached and interviews were undertaken via telephone. The data were analysed via confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modelling was used to test the hypotheses relating to the model.

Findings

The findings reveal positive relationships between control and online dependency, and control and online encounter satisfaction. Meanwhile control, online dependency and online encounter satisfaction lead to overall satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study proposes a counterintuitive argument that while online service customers gain control of the online service process, they become more dependent on it, and their control and dependency also lead to their satisfaction, at both the online service encounter level and corporate level. Drawing on the pertinent literature, this is the first study to examine the importance of two information system constructs, i.e., control and online dependency, as predictors of consumer psychological fulfilment, i.e., satisfaction. The findings confirm that control as an initiator and driver of customer satisfaction in an online context, and online encounter satisfaction, further contributes to overall satisfaction at the corporate level.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Hadi Akbarzade Khorshidi, Sanaz Nikfalazar and Indra Gunawan

The purpose of this paper is to implement statistical process control (SPC) in service quality using three-level SERVQUAL, quality function deployment (QFD) and internal…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to implement statistical process control (SPC) in service quality using three-level SERVQUAL, quality function deployment (QFD) and internal measure.

Design/methodology/approach

The SERVQUAL questionnaire is developed according to internal services of train. Also, it is verified by reliability scale and factor analysis. QFD method is employed for translating SERVQUAL dimensions’ importance weights which are derived from Analytic Hierarchy Process into internal measures. Furthermore, the limits of the Zone of Tolerance are used to determine service quality specification limits based on normal distribution characteristics. Control charts and process capability indices are used to control service processes.

Findings

SPC is used for service quality through a structured framework. Also, an adapted SERVQUAL questionnaire is created for measuring quality of train’s internal services. In the case study, it is shown that reliability is the most important dimension in internal services of train for the passengers. Also, the service process is not capable to perform in acceptable level.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed algorithm is practically applied to control the quality of a train’s services. Internal measure is improved for continuous data collection and process monitoring. Also, it provides an opportunity to apply SPC on intangible attributes of the services. In the other word, SPC is used to control the qualitative specifications of the service processes which have been measured by SERVQUAL.

Originality/value

Since SPC is usually used for manufacturing processes, this paper develops a model to use SPC in services in presence of qualitative criteria. To reach this goal, this model combines SERVQUAL, QFD, normal probability distribution, control charts, and process capability. In addition, it is a novel research on internal services of train with regard to service quality evaluation and process control.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

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Article
Publication date: 4 February 2014

Edward Kasabov and Anna C.C.C. da Cunha

The role of call-centres during service recovery has attracted much attention in research. However, marketers know less about controlling customers during recovery…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of call-centres during service recovery has attracted much attention in research. However, marketers know less about controlling customers during recovery interactions and consequences of such control. In order to address this gap and empirically ascertain whether service interactions are marked by customer centricity or by employees exerting control over customers, the aim of the authors was to organise an empirical research in two Brazilian call-centres.

Design/methodology/approach

The research consisted of direct, open observation and 33 semi-structured interviews with insiders (call-centre managers, supervisors and operatives).

Findings

Four key findings emerged during interviews with insiders. First, control over customers may be more widely practiced than assumed in certain sections of marketing academe. Second, such control is viewed positively by call-centre insiders and is sanctioned by management. Third, control does not disempower and demoralise call-centre staff but protects operatives. Finally, control does not seem to unavoidably generate lasting customer dissatisfaction. These findings are incorporated in a framework of call-centre management which incorporates control through scripting.

Research limitations/implications

The discussion calls for the revisit of certain marketing concepts and philosophies, including customer orientation, by demonstrating that control over customers is practised and should not be viewed negatively or avoided altogether in practice and as a topic of analysis. A re-conceptualisation of call-centres as sites of control over customers is proposed.

Originality/value

Control and power are rarely analysed in services marketing. This is one of a few studies that makes sense of providers' (insiders') viewpoints and argues that control may play a constructive role and should be seen as a legitimate topic of services and call-centre analysis. As such it addresses a question of intellectual and practical importance which is rarely discussed and may be viewed as incongruous with an age when customers are assumed to have rights.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 48 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Philip E. Varca

The purpose of this study is to examine telephone surveillance in call centers and the role that job control plays in reducing the strain associated with the practice.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine telephone surveillance in call centers and the role that job control plays in reducing the strain associated with the practice.

Design/methodology/approach

Supervisory practices influencing job control – a form of worker empowerment – were viewed by the study as a key variable mitigating the long‐standing relationship between telephone surveillance and work strain. As part of a field experiment, a sample of 163 service representatives completed a questionnaire measuring strain, perceived degree of surveillance, and job control.

Findings

Correlational and path analyses indicated that the strain associated with telephone surveillance could be explained by a loss of perceived control, even though service representatives had no direct control over the surveillance process itself.

Research limitations/implications

These findings support previous research emphasizing the importance of task control during service encounters and suggest that supervisory practices that empower service workers may also reduce job strain. The immediate findings may be limited to the call center environment but recent research suggests that the control construct may be robust in other settings.

Originality/value

This project is one a few studies that outlines specific management practices that could reduce strain associated with telephone surveillance.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2007

Marijke Coetzee and J.H.P. Eloff

This paper seeks to investigate how the concept of a trust level is used in the access control policy of a web services provider in conjunction with the attributes of users.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to investigate how the concept of a trust level is used in the access control policy of a web services provider in conjunction with the attributes of users.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review is presented to provide background to the progressive role that trust plays in access control architectures. The web services access control architecture is defined.

Findings

The architecture of an access control service of a web service provider consists of three components, namely an authorisation interface, an authorisation manager, and a trust manager. Access control and trust policies are selectively published according to the trust levels of web services requestors. A prototype highlights the incorporation of a trust level in the access control policy as a viable solution to the problem of web services access control, where decisions of an autonomous nature need to be made, based on information and evidence.

Research limitations/implications

The WSACT architecture addresses the selective publication of policies. The implementation of sophisticated policy‐processing points at each web service endpoint, to automatically negotiate about policies, is an important element needed to complement the architecture.

Practical implications

The WSACT access control architecture illustrates how access control decisions can be made autonomously by including a trust level of web services requestors in an access control policy.

Originality/value

The WSACT architecture incorporates the trust levels of web services requestors and the attributes of users into one model. This allows web services providers to grant advanced access to the users of trusted web services requestors, in contrast with the limited access that is given to users who make requests through web services requestors with whom a minimal level of trust has been established.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Edward Kasabov

This paper aims to empirically explore and theorise the application of technology control over customers during call-centre interactions. The author seeks to ascertain…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to empirically explore and theorise the application of technology control over customers during call-centre interactions. The author seeks to ascertain distinct types of technology-mediated control, with potentially distinct ingredients and consequences for repatronage and service relations.

Design/methodology/approach

During three stages of empirical research across Western and non-Western, developed and developing country settings and across call-centre types, customers who have experienced control during call-centre exchanges, as well as providers (operatives, supervisors and managers) are interviewed as part of ethnographic research also reliant upon observation and company documentation.

Findings

Findings suggest that, first, the rapid adoption of technology has facilitated the application of control during provider-customer interactions, second, such control may be more widespread than suggested in the literature and, third, there are various types, processes and ingredients of technology-mediated control. The discussion contrasts deliberate from accidental control.

Research limitations/implications

Studies on call-centre interactions often assume that relationships between providers and customers follow customer-centric expectations in service marketing theory. Only a minority of theorists in service marketing contest these assumptions, arguing instead that service providers may be using techniques to control customers by dominating and regulating processes and outcomes of interactions with customers. This study advances extant literature by theorising control types, their ingredients and impact on service provision.

Practical implications

Businesses may benefit from knowing when, how and how much customers are willing to revoke control. Customers are shown to accept being controlled, with customers’ tolerance for control being larger than anticipated.

Originality/value

This is a rare attempt to analyse control over customers seen through the eyes of providers across levels of decision-making within organisational hierarchies. Whereas research tends to study control in generic terms, the author demonstrates the multifarious and complex nature of control. The author challenges conventional thinking in the discipline by providing empirical evidence of, and theorising, how and why customers permit themselves to be controlled in service relations.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 50 no. 7/8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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