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Article
Publication date: 13 January 2012

Antti Lönnqvist and Harri Laihonen

The purpose of this paper is to examine productivity at the level of a welfare service system. This approach aims at optimizing the performance of the whole system and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine productivity at the level of a welfare service system. This approach aims at optimizing the performance of the whole system and to avoid sub‐optimizing the production of individual services or organizations. The paper also aims to develop a definition for the concept of welfare service system productivity and demonstrate its applicability.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a literature‐based definition of welfare service system productivity is produced. This definition is applied empirically in a case service system. Empirical data were collected by interviewing a total of 17 managers either in the Social Service Department (City of Helsinki, Finland) or in external service provider organizations.

Findings

The findings show that the system‐level productivity concept is a challenging phenomenon in practice. The practitioners representing different parts of the system could not easily see things the same way. This study also shows that the concept can be applied as an analytical tool. The key benefit of lifting the level of analysis from organizational to system level is that new kinds of challenges and areas for improvement are revealed.

Practical implications

Despite the conceptual nature of the paper, the purpose is to comprise a managerially relevant approach that helps to increase understanding about the issues affecting system‐level productivity and to identify the potential for productivity improvements in a welfare service system (e.g. by locating productivity barriers).

Originality/value

The existing literature on public sector productivity is mainly concentrated on individual organizations whereas system‐level approach is given little attention.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 61 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2018

Moira Scerri and Renu Agarwal

The purpose of this paper is to measure service productivity using the Service Enterprise Productivity in Action (SEPIA) model. The research operationalises only one of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to measure service productivity using the Service Enterprise Productivity in Action (SEPIA) model. The research operationalises only one of the five stakeholder groups, the customer interface which incorporates service complexity (SC), customer interactions, customer channel, customer loyalty (CL) (new) as inputs, and CL (referred and repeat) and willingness to pay as output measures.

Design/methodology/approach

The research extends our understanding of existing service productivity models with the development of the SEPIA model. Data were collected from 14 organisations operating in the Australian travel and tourism industry, which was analysed using a data envelopment analysis input oriented variable return to scale method as applied to the SEPIA model customer interface.

Findings

Four key findings from the research include: customer choice and their ability to pay is a determinant of service productivity; service productivity is a two stage process when measured; SC is not categorical; and quality business systems do impact service productivity.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this research is that only one (customer) of the five key stakeholders, customer, employee, manager, supplier and shareholder, was operationalised in this research paper.

Practical implications

The operationalisation of the SEPIA customer interface using transactional data and measuring non-financial, intangible factors of productivity provide managers with insights on what services to offer, when to invest in or promote the use of technology and whether to spend marketing effort on customer acquisition or customer retention.

Originality/value

The SEPIA model positions service firms within a social and service value network and provides a range of customer measures that extend the current capital (K), labour (L), energy (E), materials (M) and service (S), KLEMS measure of productivity and can be used to show the impact customers have on service productivity.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1971

ELEVEN YEARS have passed, we were reminded at the Hague Congress last month, since a handful of people met a few kilometres away and agreed to bring together all concerned…

Abstract

ELEVEN YEARS have passed, we were reminded at the Hague Congress last month, since a handful of people met a few kilometres away and agreed to bring together all concerned with work study through the medium of a European Federation. The tenth assembly of that body gave at least one member of that original group an opportunity to consider the present position.

Details

Work Study, vol. 20 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Stephan Klingner, Stephanie Pravemann and Michael Becker

The purpose of this paper is to quantitatively evaluate of the current status of productivity management of industrial and non-industrial service companies in Germany…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to quantitatively evaluate of the current status of productivity management of industrial and non-industrial service companies in Germany. Based on that knowledge, best practices and needs regarding tools and methods can be identified.

Design/methodology/approach

In two qualitative pre-studies the theoretical foundation of service productivity was built. Using this knowledge, a quantitative empirical survey was conducted, including almost 2000 service companies. The sampling frame was based on a company database provided by Hoppenstedt. Samples were randomly selected using proportionate stratified sampling.

Findings

The findings show the economic importance and meaningfulness of service productivity management, independently from the industry.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the chosen population, the findings are limited to Germany. Furthermore, a more detailed comparison of service industries beyond industrial and non-industrial services was not feasible.

Practical implications

The data contained evidence that companies conducing productivity management are more successful than those who are not. This underlines the economic importance service productivity management.

Originality/value

The paper provides reliable, quantitative insights of the current status, demands, and benefits of service productivity management in the industrial as well as non-industrial sector.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1971

ELEVEN years ago a small group, of whom the writer was one, met in Oud Poelgeest Castle in Holland to consider forming a European body concerned with Work Study. They…

Abstract

ELEVEN years ago a small group, of whom the writer was one, met in Oud Poelgeest Castle in Holland to consider forming a European body concerned with Work Study. They share a sense of pride that the Federation which emerged will celebrate its decennary next month. Sadly, of the four British members of that group only two survive to greet the event.

Details

Work Study, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0043-8022

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Kit‐Fai Pun, Kwai‐Sang Chin, Man‐Fai Chow and Henry C.W. Lau

This paper reviews the basic concepts of several maintenance approaches and discusses the increasing needs of effectiveness‐centred maintenance (ECM). It discusses the…

Abstract

This paper reviews the basic concepts of several maintenance approaches and discusses the increasing needs of effectiveness‐centred maintenance (ECM). It discusses the principles and relates them to the measurement of ECM performance. The development and implementation of the ECM approach is elaborated based on a pilot program in the radio unit of an electricity company in Hong Kong. Two ECM performance indices (i.e. individual system effectiveness (ISE) and overall system effectiveness (OSE)) were introduced to monitor the ECM process in the company. Being an integrated maintenance approach, ECM focuses on system functions and customer service, and may contribute to the continuous improvement of maintenance management practices in organizations irrespective of their business nature and size.

Details

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2511

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2008

Wei‐Feng Tung and Soe‐Tysr Yuan

This study proposes to discuss an up‐to‐date framework for service design as a means‐end tool for modeling, designing, and developing the service systems (e‐service) which…

Abstract

Purpose

This study proposes to discuss an up‐to‐date framework for service design as a means‐end tool for modeling, designing, and developing the service systems (e‐service) which can fulfil (semi‐)automated value co‐production between the service providers and the customers in a service. In order to achieve the goal of service innovation, this study raises concerns regarding how an innovative e‐service can be a systematic service process according to the proposed service design framework. However, the framework takes into account a novel service classification and individual criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

This study addresses an intelligent service design using design science. According to the proposed framework, the service systems (e‐services) are implemented by simulation. In this study, either service classification or the counterparts of service performance measures emerged from the ecological symbiosis perspective through analytic and synthetic methods. The proposed service design framework defines two dimensions – continuity of co‐production and mutual adaptability – characterized by the process of exchanging service/benefit and building relationship (i.e. partnership) involved within a service. The framework indicated how the interactions and the service/benefit exchange between the service provider and the consumer can work in a service process. The aim is to build a partnership by the service participants due to mutual adaptability in adapting to the counterpart of service (i.e. the service provider or the customer).

Findings

Comparing with traditional service classification and service design, a more positive niche in systematic service innovation was established than before. According to the synthetic methodology, this study classifies the six categories of service based on ecological symbiosis perspectives. Examining individual service performance is derived from a set of criteria of species performance measures in ecological mutualism including proximate response, evolved dependence, and ultimate response. The service systems comply with the characteristics and criteria in the framework to demonstrate the sets of methodology for innovative service design.

Practical implications

This study has yielded findings on both managerial insight on service innovation and the impact of service system design.

Originality/value

The value of the framework is demonstrated through the diverse service systems. For example, digital content, interior design, or mobile phone design is characterized by service participants who embody knowledge‐intensive attributes when engaged in their service process. In order to further complete a novel framework for service design, the question of evaluation that arises concerns the extent of ensuring the necessary service performance.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Harri Laihonen, Aki Jääskeläinen and Sanna Pekkola

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of the networked and open nature of the service business on performance measurement. The literature has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of the networked and open nature of the service business on performance measurement. The literature has acknowledged that the value of service is increasingly produced by service systems, but solutions for measuring the performance of a service system are still lacking.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper constructs a conceptual framework for capturing performance of a service system by combining ideas from the service management and performance measurement literatures. This framework is then applied in two service systems, one from the public sector and one from the private sector. Two different service systems provide complementary views on the phenomenon of service system performance and call for distinctive measurement solutions. In both cases, interviews, series of workshops and an analysis of documentation of the prevailing measurement systems were conducted when applying the framework.

Findings

The results indicate that the performance measurement of a service system necessitates measurement information from three perspectives: the performance of individual actors, the internal efficiency of a network and the customer-perceived performance of service operations. The paper provides empirical evidence about the design and implementation of performance measurement for a service system. It also provides some guidance to overcome the recognized measurement challenges that relate, for example, to the shared responsibilities, to integration of measurement data and to capturing customer-perceived impacts of services.

Originality/value

The paper provides new understanding about performance measurement practice in a service system. It integrates service-dominant management philosophy into the long tradition of performance measurement, which concentrates excessively on organizational structures. Even though the common balanced performance measurement frameworks include the perspective of a customer, the application of the frameworks is easily side-tracked leading to sub-optimization when several organizations and customers participate in value creation.

Practical implications

Empirical evidence illustrates the practical need for a new perspective on performance measurement of service systems. This can be achieved by shifting the unit of analysis from organizations to customer-perceived performance. The practical performance measurement systems need to balance with the aspects of effectiveness and outcomes of services, the efficiency of the production network and the performance of individual actors.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2014

Petri Virtanen and Jari Stenvall

Based on the concept of “intelligent public organisation” as a new theoretical trajectory for New Public Management (NPM) theory, this paper brings together the recent…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the concept of “intelligent public organisation” as a new theoretical trajectory for New Public Management (NPM) theory, this paper brings together the recent critical discussion on NPM as it relates to public services and service science while specifically pinpointing the nature of public sector intelligence, evaluation, as well as management and leadership of public services. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper highlights the ongoing discussion on service-dominant logic and reflects the major innovations in service research, innovation studies, organisational learning, development methods, and evaluation from the public services’ perspective.

Findings

It is argued that contemporary public management theories and practices – and theories reflecting the role of public services – should make more use of that body of literature focusing on substantive service-dominant theories found in marketing and business studies. The paper concludes that the academic discourse on NPM and New Public Governance (NPG) has been rich in content, but to date rather biased from a public services perspective.

Practical implications

It is argued that public services are arenas for interaction, co-operation, and co-creation, orchestrated by the networks of organisations providing these services. The essence of “service user” has also changed in recent decades. This development has practical implications for developing leadership practices in public services.

Originality/value

Doctrines of NPM and NPG have been missing an appreciation of the comprehensive role played by public services and the role of evaluation of public services has also been largely ignored. In this light and in regards to public services in particular, the new wave of public policy evaluation paradigms could usefully be integrated with NPG.

Details

International Journal of Leadership in Public Services, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9886

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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2014

Aki Jääskeläinen, Harri Laihonen and Antti Lönnqvist

The purpose of this paper is to study the distinctive features of service performance measurement. It also provides an overview of current status of performance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the distinctive features of service performance measurement. It also provides an overview of current status of performance measurement in three service sectors in Finland.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on two complementary empirical studies. In the first study, data were gathered through individual interviews in Finnish service organizations. In the second study, group interviews were held in order to enhance the understanding. The service sectors studied are knowledge-intensive, public and industrial services. There are two main units of analysis in the data set: an organization and service operations.

Findings

The results show that the specific performance measurement characteristics are more apparent at service operations level. The findings reveal three distinctive features of service performance measurement. First, the contingency perspective stresses a need to consider the characteristics of different service contexts. Second, customer-orientation implies that the measurement should also cover customers’ actions during the service operation as well as the impacts of service operations. Third, the systemic perspective proposes that performance measurement should encompass all actors participating to service operations.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide support for structuring the existing research and identifying paths for future research. They also assist practitioners in their search for best measurement practices.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by providing empirical insights from three service sectors on the development needs of performance measurement. The findings provide understanding on what exactly makes service performance measurement problematic and suggests three paths to move forward.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 34 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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