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Article

Brian Leavy

With the growing importance of services in the overall economy, it is surprising that the notion of service firms investing in systematic and dedicated innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

With the growing importance of services in the overall economy, it is surprising that the notion of service firms investing in systematic and dedicated innovation activities has taken so long to materialize. This is now set to change as service firms undertake the kind of research, design and development disciplines which for more than a century have been mainstays of modern manufacturing.

Design/methodology/approach

S&L interviews the well-known former editor of Harvard Business Review Thomas A. Stewart and his co-author, former BloombergBusinessweek.com editor Patricia O’Connell, in their latest book, Woo, Wow and Win: Service Design, Strategy and the Art of Customer Delight (Harper Business, 2016). They believe we are on the cusp of a “design revolution” in services.

Findings

The central thesis of their book is that services “should be designed with as much care as products are” and they include service “delivery” in that premise.

Practical implications

Service design principles offer powerful new ways to address the three basic strategy questions: What do we sell? To whom? And how do we win?

Originality/value

Service design helps you understand how to configure a set of activities, behaviors and touchpoints–a journey–that allows you to serve that customer well.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 45 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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Article

John N. Walsh and Jamie O'Brien

While service scholars see modularisation as balancing the efficiency of standardisation with the value added through customisation the relationships between these…

Abstract

Purpose

While service scholars see modularisation as balancing the efficiency of standardisation with the value added through customisation the relationships between these concepts are under-theorised. In addition, although information and communication technologies can facilitate all three service strategies, the degree to which they codify service knowledge is not explicitly considered in the extant literature. The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a model that examines service strategy trajectories by specifically considering the ICTs used and the degree of knowledge codification employed.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on three qualitative case studies of service departments of firms involved in cardiovascular applications, orthopaedic, spinal and neuroscience product development and information technology support. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews, document analysis and non-participant observation.

Findings

Findings show that ICTs were increasingly used to codify both standardised and customised services, though in different ways. For standardised services ICTs codified the service process, making them even more rigid. Due to the dynamic nature of customised services, drawing on experts' tacit knowledge, ICTs codified the possessors of knowledge rather than the service process they undertook. This study also identified a duality between the tacit development of customised services and modular service codification.

Research limitations/implications

The model is validated using case studies from three companies in the medical and information technology sectors limiting its generalisability.

Practical implications

The importance of considering the degree of tacitness or explicitness of service knowledge is important for service codification. The paper provides managers with empirical examples of how ICTs are used to support all three strategies, allows them to identify their current position and indicates possible future trajectories.

Originality/value

The papers main contribution is the development of a model that integrates the literature on service strategies with knowledge management strategies to classify service standardisation, customisation and modularisation in terms of both service orientation and degree of ICT codification.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article

Ahmad Beltagui, Marina Candi and Johann C.K.H. Riedel

The purpose of this paper is to identify service design strategies to improve outcome-oriented services by enhancing consumers’ emotional experience, while overcoming…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify service design strategies to improve outcome-oriented services by enhancing consumers’ emotional experience, while overcoming customer variability.

Design/methodology/approach

An abductive, multiple-case study involves 12 service firms from diverse online and offline service sectors.

Findings

Overall, six service design strategies represent two overarching themes: customer empowerment can involve design for typical customers, visibility, and community building, while customer accommodation can involve design for personas, invisibility, and relationship building. Using these strategies helps set the stage for a service to offer an emotional experience.

Research limitations/implications

The study offers a first step toward combining investigations of service experience and user experience. Further research can strengthen these links.

Practical implications

The six design strategies described using examples from case research offer managerial recommendations. In particular, these strategies can help service managers address the customer-induced variability inherent in services.

Originality/value

Extant studies of experience staging have focused on particular sectors such as hospitality and leisure; this study contributes by investigating outcome-focused services and identifying strategies to create unique experiences that offset variability. It also represents a rare effort to combine research from service management and interaction design, shedding light on the link between service experience and user experience.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

Michael Dixon, Ekaterina V. Karniouchina, Bo van der Rhee, Rohit Verma and Liana Victorino

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of a coordinated marketing and operations strategy in goods and service producing business organizations. Customer…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of a coordinated marketing and operations strategy in goods and service producing business organizations. Customer engagement and co-production are imperative service delivery considerations, and therefore an aligned marketing and operations strategy is essential for the formulation, development, and effectiveness of managerial decisions especially for service sector firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present arguments in support of this paper's primary objectives by reviewing past research that have introduced theoretical frameworks, empirical support and applications in support of the close coordination between marketing and operations strategy. The paper then describes how the inter-relationship between marketing and operations strategy impacts several managerial decisions.

Findings

The paper discusses several different types of managerial decisions within goods and service producing firms that require active interaction between marketing and operations. These decisions include aligning strategic priorities, new product development, service design, and experience design.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is primarily theoretical and therefore does not include any new empirical data.

Practical implications

The inter-relationship between the marketing and operations functions is well known to practicing managers. However, they may not have a specific understanding of the academic research described in this paper that shows how firm performance can be further improved by better managing these interactions for specific managerial decisions.

Originality/value

This paper is theoretical and provides a comprehensive review of literature and a compelling argument for including marketing and operations strategy in the corporate executive suite. Therefore, this paper should be of interest to researchers and practitioners interested in the functional areas of marketing, operations, and strategy for service organizations.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

F. Ponsignon, P.A. Smart and R.S. Maull

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to explore and empirically investigate the characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design.

Design/methodology/approach

Informed by the service strategy triad, a single embedded case study was designed to explore empirical data on four target markets, four service concepts, and on the design characteristics of the corresponding four service delivery systems. Data were collected in a market‐leading organisation in the business‐to‐business sector within the power industry. The service delivery systems comprise processes that sell electricity contracts and processes that bill against those contracts.

Findings

First, the findings indicate what design characteristics are contingent upon the degree of customisation of the service concept. The authors show how this contingency has implications for the extents of employee skills, employee discretion, task routineness, automation, and for front office (FO)‐back office (BO) configurations. Second, the authors challenge the consensus that low customer‐contact processes are designed for the purpose of efficiency. Third, the findings contradict Metters and Vargas who state that it is not possible to have different FO‐BO configurations in a single organisation.

Research limitations/implications

While there are major interactions between the four service delivery systems supporting each individual service concept, this paper does not examine the trade‐offs between the various possible designs of these service delivery systems.

Practical implications

The paper emphasises the importance of considering the complexity of the service offering, the customer relationship strategy, and of taking a process‐orientation to address service delivery system design.

Originality/value

This paper extends current understanding of service delivery system design characteristics and contingencies. The authors show how design characteristics are contingent on the service concept. Research propositions are formulated to emphasise this contingency. Additionally, we report findings which challenge existing FO‐BO design theory.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article

Cho Sung‐Eui

The purpose of this study is to develop new frameworks for operations strategy and service system design in electronic commerce (EC) to provide strategic insights to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop new frameworks for operations strategy and service system design in electronic commerce (EC) to provide strategic insights to academics and practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Product/service process matrices for intangible and tangible products in EC operations are presented based on the classification of products and delivery channel options and three cases are investigated to illustrate the newly developed matrices.

Findings

The fit between two dimensions (characteristics of product/service, service delivery processes) in the matrices contributes to firm's competitiveness through market expansion and improvement of customer services. Through the case studies, it was confirmed that the conceptual framework developed in this study illustrates actual EC operations well.

Research limitations/implications

Further case or empirical research on more diverse products or services will be required to increase robustness of the matrices and to additionally confirm the results of this study including the effects of the “fit”.

Practical implications

The new frameworks have the potential to be useful as a planning tool in developing an operations strategy and service system design, as well as a diagnostic tool for examining the causes of poor service quality and low customer satisfaction resulting from a mismatch between two dimensions.

Originality/value

The development of new frameworks is an important first step in the gradual process of theory building and theory testing, as well as providing strategic insights for practitioners.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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Article

Milind M. Lele

In response to questions about how to provide the correct level of after sales service in the face of shifting customer needs and expectations, SLC Consultants, Inc. has…

Abstract

In response to questions about how to provide the correct level of after sales service in the face of shifting customer needs and expectations, SLC Consultants, Inc. has developed an after‐sales service framework, which examines the costs customers absorb when their equipment fails. Describes a framework which helps manufacturers identify the most cost‐effective service strategies for different customer segments, and determine how these strategies should influence equipment design. Suggests that the framework can also be used to predict how product and service strategies must change in response to new technologies and evolving customer needs.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Nataša Golik Klanac

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the nature of linkages between characteristics of a service and customer consequences and elicit the types of such linkages.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to investigate the nature of linkages between characteristics of a service and customer consequences and elicit the types of such linkages.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds on current research on linkages and customer consequences within the means‐end approach and on a qualitative case study in the context of website use in business‐to‐business relationships.

Findings

The paper introduces six types of linkages between characteristics of a service and customer consequences: common and unique, conflicting and non‐conflicting, and homogenous and heterogeneous linkages.

Practical implications

The paper portrays four cases of implications of the linkages for simplicity and homogeneity of the design of services and of their marketing strategies.

Originality/value

The ways in which characteristics of a service are linked with customer consequences of an engagement with the service are of crucial importance in marketing. Despite the importance, research on linkages is scarce. By considering currently neglected aspects such as different units of analysis, different relationships between characteristics and customer consequences, and diversity in characteristics and consequences, the paper introduces new types of linkages. It also depicts the relevance of the knowledge of the linkages for portraying customer value fully.

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Article

Michael Little and Ali Abunimah

Ireland has suddenly become a hub of activity around children's services — at central and local government levels, involving the primary statutory and voluntary agencies…

Abstract

Ireland has suddenly become a hub of activity around children's services — at central and local government levels, involving the primary statutory and voluntary agencies, and engaging some of the more disadvantaged communities. In the previous article, Sylda Langford outlined relevant aspects of the broader context in Ireland before describing the origins and work of the Office of the Minister for Children (OMC), of which she is Director‐General.This article considers the role of philanthropic investment in the reforms. It outlines a 10‐year programme of work funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies to encourage strategy development and service design to improve outcomes for children on the island of Ireland. It assesses progress thus far and reflects on lessons learnt that might be useful for those mounting similar programmes in the future. We do not normally write for the journal that we edit but given our close involvement in the aforementioned work it was deemed necessary in this instance. Future articles in the series will examine the reform process at a local level (from the perspective of a leader in one of the community engagement sites) and put the reforms into the context of the evolution of children's services in Ireland over the last 20 years (by a leading figure in the voluntary sector).

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

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Article

Chiara Gobbi and Juliana Hsuan

– The purpose of this paper is to investigate how buyers and the vendors pursue alignment in collaborative purchasing (CP) of complex medical technologies.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how buyers and the vendors pursue alignment in collaborative purchasing (CP) of complex medical technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a literature review in CP, the paper identify factors for shareholder alignment (i.e. aligning the needs of the buyers within the purchasing group) and customer alignment (i.e. aligning buyers’ needs with the vendors offering strategies) and investigate how they manifest in the case of CP of complex technology in the Danish National Healthcare System.

Findings

Shareholder alignment requires appropriate management of the relationships, expertise and guidance in simplifying procedures and effective management of the purchasing group. Customer alignment is facilitated by buyers’ understating of the vendor’s design options, which are moderated by the vendor’s design strategies.

Research limitations/implications

The findings and generalizations from a single case study are limited to the complexity of the purchased technology and the specific cultural context. However the paper represents the first explorative study that poses the attention on the relevance of shareholder and customer alignment in CP.

Practical implications

The study can offer hospitals, vendors, governmental and regional institutions a better understanding about the alignment mechanisms for successful implementation of CP and how to avoid pitfalls.

Originality/value

Literature on CP is scarce as there are virtually no contributions that debate the key elements and tradeoffs that need to be considered for strategic alignment. The study addresses this gap.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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