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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 18 February 2022

Vera Blazevic and Karim Sidaoui

Service providers increasingly use conversational agents (CAs), such as chatbots, to effectively communicate with customers while managing interaction costs and providing…

1969

Abstract

Purpose

Service providers increasingly use conversational agents (CAs), such as chatbots, to effectively communicate with customers while managing interaction costs and providing round-the-clock customer service. Yet, the adoption and implementation of such agents in service contexts remains a hit-and-miss, and firms often struggle to balance their CAs implementation complexities and costs with relation to their service objectives, technology design and customer experiences. The purpose of this paper is to provide guidance on optimizing CA design, therefore, the authors develop a conceptual framework, TRISEC, that integrates service logic, technology design and customer experience to examine the implementation of CA solutions in search, experience and credence (SEC) contexts.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on service marketing and communications research, combining the service context classification scheme of search, experience and credence and the technology infused service marketing triangle foci (service, technology and customer) in its conceptual development.

Findings

The authors find that an opportunity exists in recognizing the importance of context when designing CAs and aiming to achieve a balance between service objectives, technology design and customer experiences.

Originality/value

This study contributes to service management and communications research literature by providing interactive service marketing researchers with the highly generalizable TRISEC framework to aid in optimizing CA design and implementation in interactive customer communication technologies. Furthermore, the study provides an array of future research avenues. From a practical perspective, this study aims at providing managers with a means to optimize CA technology design while maintaining a balance between customer centricity and implementation complexity and costs in different service contexts.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Alex da Mota Pedrosa, Vera Blazevic and Claudia Jasmand

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the microfoundations of customer knowledge acquisition during logistics innovation development. Specifically, the authors explore the…

1971

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the microfoundations of customer knowledge acquisition during logistics innovation development. Specifically, the authors explore the activities and behaviors of employees with customer contact (i.e. boundary-spanning employees (BSEs)) to deepen and broaden their knowledge about customers for the development of innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research based on multiple semi-structured interviews with BSEs of six logistics service providers was conducted to explore the deepening and broadening of customer knowledge during innovation development. Data were analyzed for similarities and differences in BSEs’ knowledge acquisition and their interactions with customers across six innovations.

Findings

Results show that BSEs engage sequentially in deepening and broadening customer knowledge throughout the logistics innovation development process. Yet, the specific sequence depends on the type of innovation developed (customized vs standardized). Customer knowledge tends to be deepened in one-on-one interactions, while knowledge tends to be broadened in interactions with numerous and diverse customer firm members.

Research limitations/implications

In general, this paper contributes to the understanding of the individuals’ behaviors underlying organization-level phenomena, such as logistics service providers’ customer knowledge acquisition.

Practical implications

Findings illustrate that BSEs are well advised to concentrate on either deepening or broadening their customer knowledge in a single stage of the logistics innovation development process but switch between these two knowledge acquisition approaches from stage-to-stage to leverage customer interaction.

Originality/value

By investigating firms’ customer knowledge acquisition at the individual level, this paper addresses the calls in the literature for more research into the microfoundations of organizational phenomena.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 45 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Vera Blazevic, Annouk Lievens and Evelien Klein

Mobile service innovations are crucial for the long‐term success of companies operating in turbulent and uncertain environments. These innovations need to be introduced at a rapid…

2529

Abstract

Mobile service innovations are crucial for the long‐term success of companies operating in turbulent and uncertain environments. These innovations need to be introduced at a rapid pace while at the same time companies have to absorb market information during the new mobile service development. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual framework on the critical antecedents of project learning and time‐to‐market during new mobile service development. An extensive case study research involving four innovation projects was performed in a leading Dutch telecommunications company. With respect to project learning, our research findings indicate the crucial influence of a flexible decision architecture, project team memory, a high information awareness and a good fit between information requirements and capabilities. Both innovative and coordinative communication are required throughout the service innovation process. With regard to time‐to‐market, our research results point to the essential impact of project complexity, top management support, information power of suppliers and technological synergy. Finally, a medium level of project learning is the ideal condition for a fast time‐to‐market during mobile service innovation.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Vera Blazevic, Wafa Hammedi, Ina Garnefeld, Roland T. Rust, Timothy Keiningham, Tor W. Andreassen, Naveen Donthu and Walter Carl

Business and academia alike have become aware of the crucial role of customer‐to‐customer interactions. Facilitated by the increasing customer connectedness through online media…

9327

Abstract

Purpose

Business and academia alike have become aware of the crucial role of customer‐to‐customer interactions. Facilitated by the increasing customer connectedness through online media possibilities, companies need to understand how customers influence each other and how to manage these customer interactions. The purpose of this paper is to conceptualize an expanded model of customer‐driven influence (CDI) that presents an overview of the influence process and its determinants. The model covers important issues, such as deliberate versus unintentional sender actions, verbal and non‐verbal communication, and reflective and impulsive receiver reactions.

Design/methodology/approach

This article is the result of the first Thought Leadership Conference on Service Marketing, held in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, June 2012.

Findings

The model shows the importance of considering goal theory in studying customer‐driven influence. Both sender and receiver can act and react in deliberate and unintentional ways. The mechanisms for customer‐driven influence are then contingent upon which particular goal (combination) is activated. Message reception is either verbal or non‐verbal. Furthermore, the receiver can react either by reflective processing or by impulsive processing leading to liking a particular product or wanting the product (respectively). Accordingly, the receiver builds behavioral intentions of purchasing and further talking about the particular product.

Originality/value

This paper synthesizes insights from the extant literature on word‐of‐mouth, social influence, and dual processing of information to develop a comprehensive model customer‐driven influence. The authors' framework is embedded in goal system theory, as it addresses fundamental self‐regulatory issues, such as the impact of implicit goal activation and essential contextual factors on preference formation and choice.

Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2022

Marion Festing and Lynn Schäfer

The highly unpredictable, complex, and dynamic business environment forces companies to innovate constantly. One organizational response to coping with environmental pressures is…

Abstract

The highly unpredictable, complex, and dynamic business environment forces companies to innovate constantly. One organizational response to coping with environmental pressures is organizational ambidexterity, that is, the ability to pursue simultaneously the exploitation of existing capabilities and the exploration of new opportunities. It has an impact on the way of working, and consequently, organizations need to reevaluate their talent strategies. With this conceptual contribution, we first provide a fresh view on talent and talent management (TM) by suggesting an ambidextrous TM approach, including novel TM practices that have been rather neglected in the so far dominant traditional TM approach. It centers on the system-controlling element of an ambidextrous mindset. Second, in a theory-based framework, we explain how dynamic TM capabilities (hybrid, dual, and ambidextrous TM), which represent processes for deploying, developing, and shaping talent, can contribute to gaining competitive advantages in various ambidextrous structures reflecting the complexity and dynamism of and within human resource (HR) ecosystems. The authors advance the under-researched process perspective on TM by using the lenses of the HR ecosystems discussion, insights from a dynamic view on the person–environment fit, and dynamic capabilities. The authors conclude with a broad agenda for future research in TM in dynamic environments.

Details

Talent Management: A Decade of Developments
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80117-835-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Shu-Mei Tseng

The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of knowledge management capability (KMC) and customer knowledge gaps (CKG) on corporate performance, as well as proposing…

2083

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of knowledge management capability (KMC) and customer knowledge gaps (CKG) on corporate performance, as well as proposing concrete suggestions for filling CKG and enhancing corporate performance.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to explore on KMC, CKG, and corporate performance, the questionnaire and partial least square (PLS) techniques were used.

Findings

The results showed that KMC is the major factor for enhancing corporate performance, and suggested CKG to be a significant intervening factor between KMC and corporate performance.

Research limitations/implications

This research applied a purposive sampling method and obtained a slightly inadequate number of respondents. Therefore, it is suggested that future research should apply a random sampling method to collect more responses and increase the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

Firms should apply their KMC to gather knowledge for, from and about customers to decrease CKG and enhance their relationship with customers as well as improve corporate performance.

Originality/value

Developing a method by which to apply KMC in order to bridge CKG and to enhance corporate performance has become a significant issue. However, a holistic picture among KMC, CKG, and corporate performance has yet to emerge. This study thus applies a questionnaire survey method to explore the influence of KMC and CKG on corporate performance. Based on the results, specific recommendations are provided for enterprises planning to enhance their corporate performance in the future.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Devin Bin, Keo Mony Sok, Phyra Sok and Sonariddh Mao

Prior studies have mainly advanced the understanding of a linear relationship between leadership humility and employee work outcomes, mediated and/or moderated by various…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior studies have mainly advanced the understanding of a linear relationship between leadership humility and employee work outcomes, mediated and/or moderated by various individual, team and organizational variables. This study attempts to advance prior knowledge by investigating a potential curvilinear relationship between leadership humility and frontline service employee (FSE) performance and the role of FSE's psychological capital (PsyCap) in attenuating this curvilinear relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were drawn from a survey sample of 273 FSEs working in the hospitality industry of the United States of America. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was used to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

The results uncover the existence of a tipping point in the relationship between leader humility and FSE performance; that is, humble behaviors expressed by leaders positively influence FSE performance up to the tipping point beyond which FSE performance starts to diminish. However, this curvilinear effect is attenuated when FSE's PsyCap is high but not when it is low.

Practical implications

The findings provide service managers with insights into the importance of balancing their humble behaviors to yield optimal FSE performance. Furthermore, the paper points to the need for FSE's PsyCap cultivation within service firms so that FSEs are less dependent on their supervisors and can deliver highly satisfactory results.

Originality/value

This research is one of the very first to investigate the curvilinear relationship between leader humility and FSE performance and the moderating role of PsyCap in attenuating the curvilinear effect.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2015

Juan Pablo Torres, Camilo Drago and Claudio Aqueveque

The purpose of this paper is to report on lab experiments conducted to determine what impact managerial top-down knowledge transfer has on a middle manager’s individual…

1578

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on lab experiments conducted to determine what impact managerial top-down knowledge transfer has on a middle manager’s individual ambidexterity and decision performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors designed an experimental approach using a business simulator to test the hypotheses with middle managers. The methodological approach provides the authors with a framework to enhance the middle manager’s understanding of how to attain superior short-term financial results by exploiting current resources, in addition to mastering new strategies to avoid a potential business bankruptcy.

Findings

The results suggest that top-down managerial knowledge inflow benefits middle manager strategic decision making, as well as his/her short- and long-term performance. Nonetheless, the best short-term results were achieved by those middle managers that mastered both exploitation and exploration activities simultaneously.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is to identify and test a control mechanism called top-down inflows that enhance middle manager’s ability to exploit current resources to increase financial performance, and exploring new strategies to avoid a business bankruptcy.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 October 2022

Xiaoyong Zheng

Although social networks play an important role in individual ambidexterity, few studies have examined the impact of salespeople's social networks on sales-service ambidexterity…

Abstract

Purpose

Although social networks play an important role in individual ambidexterity, few studies have examined the impact of salespeople's social networks on sales-service ambidexterity. The purpose of this paper is to explore how salespeople's internal and external social networks affect sales-service ambidexterity.

Design/methodology/approach

The unique data of 331 salespeople from 39 units in retail banking industry and insurance industry were collected, and the hierarchical linear model was adopted to test the hypotheses. Finally, the alternative measure of the dependent variable and the alternative estimation method were adopted for robustness test.

Findings

The results show that the strength of salespeople's internal social networks and the extensiveness of salespeople's external social networks could facilitate sales-service ambidexterity of salespeople separately and synergistically. Salespeople's role breadth self-efficacy partially mediates the influences of internal and external social networks on sales-service ambidexterity, while empowerment climate and transformational leadership positively moderate the aforementioned mediational process by strengthening the relationship between salespeople's role breadth self-efficacy and sales-service ambidexterity.

Practical implications

Practical guidelines are provided for managers to shape ambidextrous salespeople by facilitating salespeople's internal and external social networks, promoting transformational leadership and creating empowerment climate within the unit.

Originality/value

To the best of the author's knowledge, this paper is the first to systematically examine the impact of salespeople's social network on sales-service ambidexterity. Drawing from social cognitive theory and the ambidexterity literature, this research reveals the mechanism of how salespeople's internal and external social networks contribute to sales-service ambidexterity.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 60 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 November 2018

Keo Mony Sok, Phyra Sok, Lan Snell and Pingping Qiu

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of frontline service employees (FSEs) motivation (enjoyment of work and driven to work) and ability (customer service ability) in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of frontline service employees (FSEs) motivation (enjoyment of work and driven to work) and ability (customer service ability) in the relationship between TFL and employee service performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a survey-based study which involves 534 FSEs and 135 supervisors in a hair salon setting. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Results show that TFL is significantly related to employee service performance; this relationship is enhanced with the presence of driven to work; yet, it is neutralized with the presence of enjoyment of work. Further, the three-way interaction of TFL, enjoyment of work and customer service ability as well as TFL driven to work, and customer service ability are negatively associated with employee service performance.

Practical implications

The results advance service managers’ understanding of the importance of FSEs motivation and ability if they are to fully reap the benefits from their FSEs. The role of leader is not always effective in all situations. FSEs with high level of enjoyment of work and customer service ability would least rely on the guidance and support from the supervisors.

Originality/value

This research is one of the first to examine the role of subordinate’s characteristics (motivation – enjoyment of work and driven to work and ability – customer service ability) as the key moderators in the relationship between TFL and employee service performance.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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