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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2014

Timothy G. Hawkins, Mark E. Nissen and Rene G. Rendon

Knowledge-based services (KBS) comprise a major portion of services acquired by public organizations. However, their procurement is not well managed; consequently…

Abstract

Knowledge-based services (KBS) comprise a major portion of services acquired by public organizations. However, their procurement is not well managed; consequently, inefficiencies abound. Therefore, this study explores whether and how KBS can be sourced more efficiently by examining best practices and precepts from knowledge management theory. A spend analysis of one agencyʼs spend is used to identify the types of KBS procured. Interviews from 12 cases are then used to identify best practices and cost drivers in sourcing KBS. Twenty one recommendations for improving efficiency in sourcing KBS are offered. The findings suggest that potential is available from demand reduction strategies, and that public policy governing the procurement of knowledge is needed. The research concludes with theoretical implications and suggestions for future research.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2020

Tejas R. Shah

This paper aims to identify the dimensions of service quality in the case of ride-sourcing services in Indian context.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify the dimensions of service quality in the case of ride-sourcing services in Indian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The service quality dimensions of ride-sourcing services are identified using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA). Further, the reliability and validity of the factors are established through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) using AMOS.

Findings

The service quality dimensions of ride-sourcing services are identified: comfort, internal environment, safety and personnel, mobile convenience and reliability, mobile system efficiency and availability, mobile customer service and billing and mobile security and privacy.

Research limitations/implications

The various dimensions are identified to measure service quality of ride-sourcing services in India. So, these dimensions can be tested for ride-sourcing services of countries having similar culture as India.

Practical implications

The proposed dimensions can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify and compare important criteria for service quality of ride-sourcing services.

Originality/value

Most relevant studies about dimensions of service quality for ride-sourcing services do not have stable factor structure. The dimensions identified include the traditional taxi service quality and mobile app service quality, which are not covered in current literature.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 17 April 2009

Ajay Sharma and Patricia Loh

The purpose of this paper is to examine key emerging trends in sourcing of business services.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine key emerging trends in sourcing of business services.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is primarily theoretical and observational. It is based on the author's review of major academic and managerial publications, extensive interactions with industry leaders and prior experience in the industry.

Findings

Scale and scope of sourcing of business services from across firm and national boundaries is increasing. Offshore is increasingly being leveraged for higher value activities. As business services get more industrialized, activities are being split into smaller units for servicing, and a services supply chain is beginning to emerge. With sourcing becoming more strategic, risk management has become more complex and critical.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides an overview of significant emerging trends in sourcing of business services. Further complementary research – theoretical, survey or case‐study based – on each of these identified trends will help develop a more exhaustive understanding.

Practical implications

This paper provides business executives with a framework to view emerging changes in sourcing of business services, and to better prepare for future opportunities and challenges.

Originality/value

This paper takes a holistic view at sourcing of business services and identifies some key emerging trends. The review of academic, managerial and popular press publications, and insights gathered from the field have been summarized into this succinct overview. This perspective should guide further focused academic research as well as practical application in business projects.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 15 February 2016

Malgorzata Sobinska and Leslie Willcocks

The purpose of this paper is to find how mature the Polish commercial production companies are in their information technology (IT) sourcing practices, what they do, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find how mature the Polish commercial production companies are in their information technology (IT) sourcing practices, what they do, the practices that are successful, the challenges experienced and the outcomes.The paper presents and critically evaluates the results of a study of IT outsourcing management processes in selected industrial enterprises operating in Poland. Dynamic business contexts, globalisation and advances in IT make the development of IT sourcing models challenging in both theory and practice. This paper examines the principles and practice of sourcing IT and business processes in Poland, a country much under-represented in the literature. Little research has been conducted on the strategic rationale behind IT sourcing decisions, the resulting challenges and the potential or actual consequences of such decisions. This paper addresses these gaps in the understanding of IT sourcing processes by way of examining the types of sourcing models and solutions among manufacturing companies operating in Poland, and by identifying the most problematic and critical factors in effective IT sourcing collaborations. The outcomes are assessed against findings from the broader empirical outsourcing literature, and lessons are drawn for Polish client firms and those in similar economies.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey methodology of a limited number of organisations in Poland was used. The study was designed to address the process of managing IT sourcing relations in production companies operating in Poland. The main objective of the study was to formulate working hypotheses to be used in further research on the sourcing models used in the IT sphere. Additionally, the study was designed to provide information on: the potential respondent reactions to the research problem, the understanding of the notions and terms used in the survey questionnaire and the evaluation of the research instrument itself.

Findings

Organisations (and their employees) are generally well aware of their IT needs, and that they select quite well providers that suit their particular requirements. In their selection processes, organisations carefully consider not only the providers’ experience and the range of services on offer but also their flexibility in response to the client’s demands, the location and the trust formed in the course of previous cooperation. Communication between the parties typically takes the form of telephone conversations and e-mails. The majority of respondents reported more than one type of problems faced in the course of outsourcing. Problems concentrated in the areas of communication (52 per cent) and organisation (48 per cent), followed by difficulties in enforcing the terms of the contract.

Research limitations/implications

It is a selective sample, focuses only on production companies and does not look at the offshore outsourcing market that has grown up in Poland, but rather what domestic polish organisations do in their sourcing practices.

Practical implications

The organisations still struggle with the organisation and management of relations with their external service providers while getting reasonable results. They have much to learn from the published literature on managing the outsourcing life cycle.

Social implications

There is a need for better inter-organisational cooperation.

Originality/value

Poland is very underrepresented in the outsourcing literature – there are no examples of surveys like this in the English literature.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Jonas Molin and Lars-Johan Åge

The purchasing of services is a significantly under-researched area. The purpose of this study is to suggest a conceptual model of service sourcing relationships…

Abstract

Purpose

The purchasing of services is a significantly under-researched area. The purpose of this study is to suggest a conceptual model of service sourcing relationships, including the post-contract phase.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative methodology involving two longitudinal case studies that were analyzed with a grounded theory approach to build a conceptual model was applied.

Findings

The proposed model consists of a core process that is termed “business streamlining” and denotes the process by which four interrelated dimensions are managed to making the business processes of the buying organization simpler and more effective and/or productive.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research methodology is qualitative and does not allow statistical generalization, the study does provide valuable insights into the management of the service sourcing process.

Practical implications

The model proposed in this study can be utilized by managers to impose a useful conceptual structure on otherwise fluid and intangible processes, which makes them easier to analyze and facilitates strategic corporate decision-making.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a model that grasps the dynamics and reality of service (out-) sourcing relationships, including the ongoing relationship management process.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Book part
Publication date: 3 May 2012

Eric La Lau, Michel A. van der Laan, Anne-Marie Kruis and Roland F. Speklé

This chapter provides evidence on the factors that influence the design of the control arrangements that govern support services. Specifically, we study sourcing decisions…

Abstract

This chapter provides evidence on the factors that influence the design of the control arrangements that govern support services. Specifically, we study sourcing decisions of non-strategic information technology (IT) support services. While the popular management literature suggests to outsource non-strategic activities, in practice organizations perform these services (partly) in-house. Based on transaction cost economics (TCE), we hypothesize that control structure choices depend on asset specificity, uncertainty and frequency. Using survey data on IT sourcing decisions from 89 firms in the construction industry, we find support for most of our hypotheses. Our results indicate that asset specificity deriving from the degree of organizational embeddedness of the IT function negatively affects firms’ propensity to outsource their non-core IT support, and that (behavioural) uncertainty intensifies this negative effect. As expected, we also find that frequency has a negative direct effect on the willingness to outsource IT services provision. However, we find no support for the hypothesized interaction between asset specificity and frequency. Overall, our study indicates that the organization's choice to outsource non-strategic support services depends on the organizational role of these services, rather than on their technological characteristics.

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2012

Silvia Massini and Arie Y. Lewin

Purpose – To discuss how coevolutionary framework is useful to research emerging and evolving phenomena, such as global sourcing of business services, where West meets…

Abstract

Purpose – To discuss how coevolutionary framework is useful to research emerging and evolving phenomena, such as global sourcing of business services, where West meets East.

Approach – The authors first introduce the phenomenon of global sourcing of business services and then review extant literature on coevolutionary research.

Findings – The authors discuss how global sourcing is a coevolutionary and multilevel phenomenon, which can be better understood by identifying micro and macro factors (task, firm, industry, and country), demand and supply (clients and service providers), technological and institutional factors (Information and Communication Technology (ICT), digitization, demographic trends, national and regional policies).

Research implications – The authors identify the main mechanisms, research questions, and methodological issues that underlie coevolutionary analysis.

Originality/Value – The main contribution of this chapter is twofold: provide a deeper and more nuanced understanding of global sourcing of business services, and assert that in coevolutionary research the role of mechanisms affecting a phenomenon may change over time.

Details

West Meets East: Building Theoretical Bridges
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-028-4

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Masaaki Kotabe and Janet Y. Murray

Global procurement of service activities has received an increasing amount of managerial attention in recent years. Service firms seem to have begun sourcing part of their…

Abstract

Global procurement of service activities has received an increasing amount of managerial attention in recent years. Service firms seem to have begun sourcing part of their service activities from abroad in much the same way as manufacturing firms have sourced components and finished goods in the past 30 years. However, little is known about the nature of service global sourcing strategy. In this study, we examine the differences in the characteristics of core service activities provided by service firms that market pure service activities versus those service firms that market service activities which involve tangible goods, and the extent to which both types of service firms engage in internal and foreign sourcing of core service activities before the service activities are provided to their customers. The results show, among others, that the level of inseparability of core service activities performed and/or sourced by “pure” service firms is significantly higher than that of “non‐pure” service firms and that “non‐pure” service firms consider foreign sourcing drivers as much more important factors in influencing the decisions in selecting potential suppliers for core service activities. Managerial and theoretical implications are explored.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2007

Tomi Ventovuori

The purpose of this research is to analyse Facilities Management (FM) service market trends and different supply models of FM services in Finland. In addition, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to analyse Facilities Management (FM) service market trends and different supply models of FM services in Finland. In addition, the implications of the prevailing market conditions for a client's decision‐making concerning FM services sourcing are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on thematic interviews and a survey that were conducted in Finnish FM service companies.

Findings

In order to compete successfully in the FM service market and fulfil the clients' needs in the near future, service providers need to be able to offer a wider range of FM services. In addition, it is important that the suppliers become stronger in the area of technical service competence. As the service companies are developing their internal technical competences, the clients might become more confident in outsourcing more technically demanding FM services. These market trends might explain why buyers in the FM service market are more ahead in using supply models like the integrated service provider model as opposed to using supply models like the specialized service provider model.

Research limitations/implications

This research offers new insight into FM service market trends in Finland and sheds light on the implications of the market conditions on the client's decision‐making process concerning the sourcing of FM services. In order to make stronger claims and to better understand the FM service industry as a whole, one should also gather data from the buyer side.

Practical implications

As information on a certain market is important for the buyers, it is suggested that the buyers of FM services should make a systematic research of the FM markets as part of sourcing strategy development or at least prior to releasing an invitation to tender to selected potential suppliers.

Originality/value

This research offers important market information that could be used to help the clients to make well‐grounded FM service sourcing decisions. In addition, this research describes those factors of competitiveness that come into play when service providers are in the process of reaching their competitive position in a certain market.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2020

Chioma Sylvia Okoro, Malusi Nkambule and Andre Kruger

Sourcing decisions are important considerations in organizations’ strategic and policy resolutions. Given sometimes conflicting factors such as cost and financial…

Abstract

Purpose

Sourcing decisions are important considerations in organizations’ strategic and policy resolutions. Given sometimes conflicting factors such as cost and financial implications, individual perceptions and motivation, health and safety of facility users, and organizational objectives, finding a balance and basis for making such decisions, presently and in future, is crucial. This paper aims to investigate the quality of services delivered by an insourced cleaning service team in a higher learning institution. The objective of the study is to establish the condition of the facilities (restrooms) in the institution, and thus the quality of services delivered by the insourced team.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a descriptive approach including observation and scoring to obtain and analyse information about the state of five restrooms on two campuses of the institution.

Findings

Findings revealed that the condition of the restrooms inspected over a period of five weeks was good, except for a week where there was low water supply on the sampled campuses. Further findings revealed that restrooms provided in the library were paid more attention to.

Practical implications

The findings from the study are envisaged to assist facilities management stakeholders and organizations’ management in making decisions on sourcing services and supporting core business functions.

Originality/value

Better decision-making can be made to improve the quality of services provided by sourcing teams, which will contribute to supporting core strategies and increasing value-add and image of organizations.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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