Browsing by Subject "AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management"

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  • Davey, Janet; Grönroos, Christian (2019-07-29)
    Purpose Although health-care features prominently in transformative service research, there is little to guide service providers on how to improve well-being and social change transformations. This paper aims to explore actor-level interactions in transformative services, proposing that actors’ complementary health service literacy roles are fundamental to resource integration and joint value creation. Design/methodology/approach In-depth interviews with 46 primary health-care patients and 11 health-care service providers (HSPs) were conducted focusing on their subjective experiences of health literacy. An iterative hermeneutic approach was used to analyse the textual data linking it with existing theory. Findings Data analysis identified patients’ and HSPs’ health service literacy roles and corresponding role readiness dimensions. Four propositions are developed describing how these roles influence resource integration processes. Complementary service literacy roles enhance resource integration with outcomes of respect, trust, empowerment and loyalty. Competing service literacy roles lead to outcomes of discredit, frustration, resistance and exit through unsuccessful resource integration. Originality/value Health service literacy roles – linked to actor agency, institutional norms and service processes – provide a nuanced approach to understanding the tensions between patient empowerment trends and service professionals’ desire for recognition of their expertise over patient care. Specifically, the authors extend Frow et al.’s (2016) list of co-creation practices with practices that complement actors’ service literacy and role readiness. Based on a service perspective, the authors encourage transformative service researchers, service professionals and health service system designers, to recognize complementary health service literacy roles as an opportunity to support patients’ resources and facilitate value co-creation.
  • Teeroovengadum, Viraiyan; Nunkoo, Robin; Grönroos, Christian; Kamalanabhan, T.J.; Keshwar Seebaluck, Ashley (2019-10-14)
    Purpose The purpose of this study is to validate the higher education service quality (HESQUAL) scale using a confirmatory approach and test an improved structural model that predicts student loyalty from image, perceived value, satisfaction and service quality. In addition to validating the HESQUAL scale using a confirmatory approach, two other main limitations in the extant literature are addressed. Design/methodology/approach The model is tested using data collected from 501 students enrolled in different higher education institutions in Mauritius. A two-stage approach to structural equation modeling is used whereby the measurement model is first tested using confirmatory factor analysis and followed by the assessment of the structural model. Findings Importantly, results indicate that student satisfaction is influenced by technical service quality, image and perceived value, but not by functional service quality. Both dimensions of service quality however are significant predictors of image and perceived value. The study uses a comprehensive measure of service quality and demonstrates that it is worthwhile to consider functional service quality as higher-order model and clearly distinguish between functional and technical quality, as both the technical and functional aspects play an important role in shaping students’ perceptions and behaviors. Originality/value First, in the existing literature, service quality has not been considered as a second-order factor model in structural models of student satisfaction and loyalty, thus lacking either precision or parsimony. Second, the transformative quality aspect of higher education has been largely neglected in previous research testing such predictive models. The model delineates service quality into the functional and transformative (technical) aspects and treats functional service quality as a second-order factor comprising nine sub-dimensions.
  • Virtanen, Henrik; Norrgrann, Anu (2020)
    Prior research on massive open online courses (MOOCs) suggests interaction to be a key characteristic in terms of improving learners’ engagement, skills development, and learning experience. This study investigates learners’ experiences of participating in MOOCs in order to develop a more detailed understanding of interaction behaviors and the factors that influence them. Based on in-depth interviews conducted with MOOC participants, the study sheds light on the factors that influence interaction as well as their alignment with the self-determination theory. The results indicate that five personal and five environmental factors play a role in either enhancing or hindering interaction. Supporting learners’ autonomy and personalized learning trajectories should serve to promote both interaction and engagement. Despite the autonomous nature of learning via MOOCs, educators’ guidance and encouragement are still required to enliven learners’ interactions. In fact, this study also elucidates the social nature of learning.
  • Sthapit, Erose; Björk, Peter (2020-10-03)
    This study explores interactive value formation, particularly the underlying drivers of three value outcomes in the Airbnb context: co-creation, co-destruction and co-recovery. The study focuses on reviews posted online by Airbnb guests in English. These posts contained customers’ positive and negative experiences with Airbnb on Trustpilot. The data analysis uncovered two main themes that reflected the drivers of value co-creation, co-destruction and co-recovery (company’s customer service and hosts’ actions). First, after a service failure, many guests experienced value co-destruction because they felt that Airbnb’s customer service agents could not solve their problems in a timely and proper manner, while the use of successful recovery efforts by the service agents served as an antidote to value co-destruction, thereby contributing to value co-recovery. Second, host’s friendly behaviour, including prompt communication between the host and the guest, led to value co-creation. On the contrary, inadequate communication and unethical actions by the host generated value co-destruction among the guests and resulted in a decline in their well-being. The findings suggest that particular value dimensions can individually act as a source of either value co-creation or co-recovery, while their inadequate integration in the interactive value formation processes leads to value co-destruction.
  • Ciuchita, Robert; Heller, Jonas; Köcher, Sarah; Köcher, Sören; Leclercq, Thomas; Sidaoui, Karim; Stead, Susan (2022-04-11)
    Gamification has attracted considerable practitioner attention and has become a viable tactic for influencing behavior, boosting innovation, and improving marketing outcomes across industries. Simultaneously, studies on the use of gamification techniques have emerged in diverse fields, including computer science, education, and healthcare. Despite the broad popularity of gamification in other fields, it has received only limited attention in the service literature. Moreover, the findings of extant studies on gamification in the service field are inconclusive and suggest an incomplete understanding of the employment of gamification in service contexts. Thus, this study aims to integrate the growing but scattered cross-disciplinary literature on gamification and to emphasize its relevance to service research. Specifically, we first conceptualize gamification for service and differentiate it from related concepts. Then, using a systematic literature review, we identify 34 empirical articles that reflect this gamification conceptualization and can be connected to relevant service research themes (e.g., customer participation, experience, and loyalty). Employing activity theory, we derive four higher-order functions of gamification: production, consumption, exchange, and distribution. Finally, we develop a research agenda to generate a better understanding of the central aspects within each of the identified gamification functions and stimulate future academic efforts on gamification in services.
  • Patricio, Lia; Sangiorgi, Daniela; Mahr, Dominik; Caic, Martina; Kalantari, Saleh; Sundar, Sue (2020-04-16)
    Purpose: This paper explores how service design can contribute to the evolution of health service systems, moving them toward people-centered, integrated and technology-enabled care; the paper develops a research agenda to leverage service design research for healthcare transformation. Design/methodology/approach: This conceptual study starts by analyzing healthcare challenges in terms of demographic trends and economic constraints, along with the problems of lack of people-centricity, dispersion of care and slowness in incorporating emerging technologies. Then, it examines the theoretical underpinnings of service design to develop a framework for exploring how a human-centered, transformative and service systems approach can contribute to addressing healthcare challenges, with illustrative cases of service design research in healthcare being given. Findings: The proposed framework explores how a human-centered service design approach can leverage the potential of technology and advance healthcare systems toward people-centered care; how a transformative service design approach can go beyond explanatory research of healthcare phenomena to develop innovative solutions for healthcare change and wellbeing; and how a service systems perspective can address the complexity of healthcare systems, hence moving toward integrated care. Originality/value: This paper systematizes and develops a framework for how service design can contribute to healthcare transformation. It identifies key healthcare application areas for future service design research and pathways for advancing service design in healthcare by using new interdisciplinary bridges, methodological developments and theoretical foundations.
  • Penttilä, Kaisa Riikka; Ravald, Annika; Dahl, Johanna; Björk, Peter (2020-09-22)
    Disclosing the root cause of managerial action in environments undergoing change, is intrinsically linked to understanding how managers perceive both themselves, and their focal network including the broader surrounding environment. Despite an increased research interest into the interlink between sensemaking and strategizing, empirical evidence on how different limitations manifest in the sensemaking of individual managers in specific contexts is scarce. This study focuses on individual level sensemaking in a transforming business ecosystem as a microfoundation of strategizing. It explores the diverseness of managerial sensemaking by comparing noticed cues, moderating frames and sensemaking outcomes as reflected in different strategizing options. The empirical data derive from 52 semi-structured interviews with top managers in a local business ecosystem. Based on our analysis, we develop an empirically grounded model that unwraps the frames that influence how managers perceive and interpret the changing environment and the implications for their business. Our study provides important empirical corroboration to extant research on the cognitive microfoundations of strategizing in networked environments and adds detail to the underlying sensemaking mechanisms at play. The results highlight the local context and the identity embeddedness of focal actors herein, as factors that significantly influence managerial sensemaking in transforming business ecosystem contexts.
  • Jörling, Moritz; Böhm, Robert; Paluch, Stefanie (2020-09-15)
    In the present research, we test the mechanisms (Studies 1a and 1b, conducted online), consequences, and limitations (Study 2, conducted in the lab) of anthropomorphizing autonomous (vs. manual) products. Building on previous theoretical and empirical research on product anthropomorphism, we argue and find that anthropomorphism is perceived to be more congruent with autonomous products than with manual products. Furthermore, we show that anthropomorphism increases the liking of autonomous products, given that consumers have no prior experience with autonomous products. Increased liking of autonomous products due to anthropomorphism, in turn, increases purchase intentions and positive evaluations of outcomes obtained by the autonomous product. The findings are discussed with regard to optimal marketing and design of autonomous products.
  • Odekerken-Schröder, Gaby; Mele, Cristina; Russo-Spena, Tiziana; Mahr, Dominik; Ruggiero, Andrea (2020-08-25)
    Purpose Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have intensified this so-called “loneliness virus”. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative framework and research agenda on the role of companion robots in mitigating feelings of loneliness. Design/methodology/approach A netnographic analysis of 595 online visual and textual descriptions offer empirical insights about the role of the companion robot Vector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings The contributions of this study are twofold. First, it postulates that companion robots have the potential of mitigating feelings of loneliness (i.e. indicator of well-being). Second, this study contributes to transformative service by developing an integrative framework introducing the roles (personal assistant, relational peer and intimate buddy) that companion robots can fulfill to mitigate feelings of loneliness through building different types of supportive relationships. Research limitations/implications The proposed research agenda encourages future service scholars to investigate 1) the role of robots in addressing loneliness, 2) design features that drive adoption of robots, 3) social support for different groups, 4) the operationalization and the measurement of loneliness and 5) an impact analysis of companion robots. Practical implications Service providers and policy makers can leverage the insights about how companion robots can help reduce a sense of loneliness. Originality/value The integrative framework on loneliness reduction, based on 595 unprompted online contributions issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers initial evidence for the impact of companion robots in reducing people's feelings of loneliness.
  • Rapaccini, Mario; Saccani, Nicola; Kowalkowski, Christian; Paiola, Marco; Adrodegari, Federico (2020-05-30)
    This study draws on an extensive survey and interview data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. The respondents were executives of industrials firms whose factories, warehouses, and headquarters are located in Northern Italy. This is undoubtedly the European region first and most extensively affected by the pandemic, and the government implemented radical lockdown measures, banning nonessential travel and mandating the shutdown of all nonessential businesses. Several major effects on both product and service businesses are highlighted, including the disruption of field-service operations and supply networks. This study also highlights the increased importance of servitization business models and the acceleration of digital transformation and advanced services. To help firms navigate through the crisis and be better positioned after the pandemic, the authors present a four-stage crisis management model (calamity, quick & dirty, restart, and adapt), which provides insights and critical actions that should be taken to cope with the expected short and long-term implications of the crisis. Finally, this study discusses how servitization can enhance resilience for future crises—providing a set of indicators on the presumed role of, and impact on, service operations in relation to what executives expect to be the “next normal.”
  • Sthapit, Erose; Björk, Peter; Jiménez Barreto, Jano (2020-03-07)
    Purpose: This paper aims to explore the components of a negative memorable Airbnb experience. Design/methodology/approach: Two studies of North American and British nationals were conducted online using an open-ended survey questionnaire with photo-elicitation via Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk). The grounded theory was used to analyse the collected data. Findings: The findings of the current study are destination-specific and generalisation is limited. In addition, this study gathered data using an open-ended survey questionnaire with visual images (photo-elicitation technique) in MTurk. Moreover, the study participants were mainly Westerners. Research limitations/implications: Airbnb could provide hosts with a service quality checklist to warrant quality assurance across listings. Hosts must be informed, guided and monitored so that service quality standards are fulfilled. In addition, hosts should be incentivised to write an honest and accurate description of their listing. Practical implications: Airbnb can provide hosts with a service quality checklist to ensure standardisation and quality assurance across listings. Hosts must be informed, guided and monitored so that service quality standards are fulfilled. In addition, hosts might benefit from training or workshops on the role of hosting and service quality management. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to explore the components of a negative memorable experience in the context of Airbnb.
  • Sklyar, Alexey; Kowalkowski, Christian; Tronvoll, Bård; Sörhammar, David (2019-02-14)
    Harnessing digital technology is of increasing concern as product firms organize for service-led growth. Adopting a service ecosystem perspective, we analyze interfirm and intrafirm change processes taking place as firms pursue digital servitization. The study draws on in-depth interviews with 44 managers involved in organizing activities in two multinational industry leaders. Our findings identify major differences between the two focal firms in terms of digital service-led growth and associated ecosystem-related activities. The study disentangles underlying processes of organizational change in the ecosystem and suggests that within-firm centralization and integration play a key role in the capacity to organize for digital servitization. For managers, the findings highlight the need to foster service-centricity in order to take full advantage of digitalization beyond purely technological benefits.
  • Virtanen, Henrik; Hagberg-Andersson, Åsa (2017)
    Studies of Finnish export partner groups have revealed that a fundamental problem exists concerning the limping cooperation between the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the groups. Cooperation is strongly connected to the organization and coordination of the groups. Different organizational forms imply that the export manager’s role likewise differs. This paper examines the organization of export partner groups and the role of the export manager in relation to the organizational form and how this can enhance cooperation between the participating SMEs. Individuals who have worked as export managers were interviewed. In export partner groups, organization depends primarily on the companies’ technology, the compatibility between their products and services, and the goals of the groups. Different organizational forms have different benefits, and the export manager’s role concerning sales preparation and coordination, as well as management of other net activities, varies accordingly to the organizational form.
  • Helkkula, Anu; Buoye, Alexander John; Choi, Hyeyoon; Lee, Min Kyung; Liu, Stephanie Q.; Keiningham, Timothy Lee (2020-07-21)
    Purpose: The purpose of this investigation is to gain insight into parents' perceptions of benefits vs burdens (value) of educational and healthcare service received for their child with ASD. Parents are the main integrators of long-term educational and healthcare service for their child with ASD. Design/methodology/approach: Design/methodology/approach included (1) a sentiment analysis of discussion forum posts from an autism message board using a rule-based sentiment analysis tool that is specifically attuned to sentiments expressed in social media and (2) a qualitative content analysis of one-on-one interviews with parents of children diagnosed with ASD, complemented with interviews with experienced educators and clinicians. Findings: Findings reveal the link between customized service integration and long-term benefits. Both parents and service providers emphasize the need to integrate healthcare and educational service to create holistic long-term care for a child with ASD. Parents highlight the benefits of varied services, but availability or cost are burdens if the service is not publicly provided, or covered by insurance. Service providers' lack of experience with ASD and people's ignorance of the challenges of ASD are burdens. Practical implications: Ensuring health outcomes for a child with ASD requires an integrated service system and long-term, customer-centric service process because the scope of service covers the child's entire childhood. Customized educational and healthcare service must be allocated and budgeted early in order to reach the goal of a satisfactory service output for each child. Originality/value: This is the first service research to focus on parents' challenges with obtaining services for their child with ASD. This paper provides service researchers and managers insight into parents' perceptions of educational and healthcare service value (i.e. benefits vs. burdens) received for their child with ASD. These insights into customer-centric perceptions of value may be useful to research and may help service providers to innovate and provide integrated service directly to parents, or indirectly to service providers, who serve children with ASD.
  • Heinonen, Kristina; Strandvik, Tore (2020-09-15)
    Purpose: The empirical study draws on a crowdsourced database of 221 innovations associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: Aside from the health and humanitarian crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an acute economic downturn in most sectors, forcing public and private organizations to rethink and reconfigure service provision. The paper introduces the concept of imposed service innovation as a new strategic lens to augment the extant view of service innovation as a primarily discretionary activity. Findings: The identified imposed service innovations were assigned to 11 categories and examined in terms of their strategic horizon and strategic stretch. The innovations are characterized by spatial flexibility, social and health outreach and exploitation of technology. Research limitations/implications: As a new area of service innovation research, imposed service innovations highlight strategic issues that include the primacy of customers and the fragility of institutions. Practical implications: Situations involving imposed service innovation represent opportunities for rapid business development when recognized as such. A severe disruption such as a pandemic can catalyze managerial rethinking as organizations are forced to look beyond their existing business strategies. Social implications: As a strategic response to severe disruption of institutions, markets and service offerings, imposed service innovations afford opportunities to implement transformation and enhance well-being. This novel strategic lens foregrounds a societal account of service innovation, emphasizing societal relevance and context beyond the challenges of business viability alone. Originality/value: While extant service innovation research has commonly focused on discretionary activities that enable differentiation and growth, imposed service innovations represent actions for resilience and renewal.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Heinonen, Kristina; Vollmer, Sanna (2019)
    Purpose This paper aims to identify how, in contrast to a provider-oriented stance where customer value is conceptualised as being controlled by the provider, customer value is formed for business customers beyond what is visible to the provider. Design/methodology/approach This paper builds on the primacy of the customer. Customer-dominant logic (CDL) is used as the conceptual underpinning, meaning that the customer, rather than the service provider or the service system, is at the centre. A case study was conducted with seven key users from three customer companies of an information and communications technology (ICT) provider of in-house services. The study used a micro-social level focus by capturing customers’ experiences of those activities where value in use is formed. Findings The findings indicate that value formation is not related only to direct service interactions and furthermore substantially takes place beyond a service provider’s visibility line. Hence, value formation is in large part hidden for the service provider because it is embedded in customers’ activities and experiences. Research limitations/implications Although the study is limited to one case concerning ICT services, these findings may apply to other service businesses, in particular to knowledge-intensive outsourcing businesses. Practical implications Understanding a customer’s value formation from the customer’s point of view is the key to service development for any business service provider. Originality/value Applying a CDL approach, the authors deepen the understanding of customer value formation as it emerges in customer activities. The study provides detailed insight into business customers’ value formation processes. The study’s findings challenge the current emphasis on interactions and co-creation and instead demonstrate the importance of understanding customer logics and contexts.
  • Henkel, Alexander P.; Caic, Martina; Blaurock, Marah; Okan, Mehmet (2020-08-18)
    Purpose: Besides the direct physical health consequences, through social isolation COVID-19 affects a considerably larger share of consumers with deleterious effects for their psychological well-being. Two vulnerable consumer groups are particularly affected: older adults and children. The purpose of the underlying paper is to take a transformative research perspective on how social robots can be deployed for advancing the well-being of these vulnerable consumers and to spur robotic transformative service research (RTSR). Design/methodology/approach: This paper follows a conceptual approach that integrates findings from various domains: service research, social robotics, social psychology and medicine. Findings: Two key findings advanced in this paper are (1) a typology of robotic transformative service (i.e. entertainer, social enabler, mentor and friend) as a function of consumers' state of social isolation, well-being focus and robot capabilities and (2) a future research agenda for RTSR. Practical implications: This paper guides service consumers and providers and robot developers in identifying and developing the most appropriate social robot type for advancing the well-being of vulnerable consumers in social isolation. Originality/value: This study is the first to integrate social robotics and transformative service research by developing a typology of social robots as a guiding framework for assessing the status quo of transformative robotic service on the basis of which it advances a future research agenda for RTSR. It further complements the underdeveloped body of service research with a focus on eudaimonic consumer well-being.
  • Caic, Martina; Avelino, João; Mahr, Dominik; Odekerken-Schröder, Gaby; Bernardino, Alexandre (2019-07-10)
    This empirical study compares elderly people’s social perception of human versus robotic coaches in the context of an active and healthy aging program. In evaluating hedonic and utilitarian value perceptions of exergames (i.e., video games integrating physical activity), we consider elderly people’s judgments of the warmth and competence (i.e., social cognition) of their assigned coach (human vs. robot). The field experiments involve 58 elderly participants in the real-life context. Leveraging a mixed-method approach that combines quantitative and qualitative data, we show that (1) socially assistive robots activate feelings of (automated) social presence (2) human coaches score higher on perceived warmth and competence relative to robotic coaches, and (3) social cognition affects elderly people’s experience (i.e., emotional and cognitive reactions and behavioral intentions) with respect to exergames. These findings can inform future developments and design of social robots and systems for their smoother inclusion into elderly people’s social networks. In particular, we recommend that socially assistive robots take complementary roles (e.g., motivational coach) and assist human caregivers in improving elderly people’s physical and psychosocial well-being.
  • Raddats, Chris; Kowalkowski, Christian; Benedettini, Ornella; Burton, Jamie; Gebauer, Heiko (2019-04-26)
    Servitization describes the addition of services to manufacturers' core product offerings to create additional customer value. This study aims to identify the key themes and research priorities in this body of literature over thirteen years from 2005 and 2017, based on four major research streams (general management, marketing, operations, and service management). Prior multi-theme literature reviews have focused on operations journals, overlooking important work in other streams, particularly marketing. Informed by a systematic literature review of 219 papers, the study identifies five main themes: service offerings; strategy and structure; motivations and performance; resources and capabilities; service development, sales, and delivery. Within each theme, gaps in the literature are identified and eleven research priorities presented. The review shows that the literature has evolved significantly in recent years, becoming increasingly diverse. A recent noteworthy topic is the use of digital technologies, which indicates the increasing relevance of technological developments to manufacturers' service activities. Our review highlights that there are still some fundamental aspects of servitization that warrant further research, primarily the need to replace the focal-manufacturer perspective with a multi-actor perspective that highlights the important role of relationships with existing and potentially new actors as a result of technological developments.
  • Kelleher, Carol; O'Loughlin, Deirdre; Gummerus, Johanna; Peñaloza, Lisa (2019-11-06)
    The predominant value discourse among scholars characterizes value cocreation as involving multiple actors at the micro-, meso-, and macrolevels in service systems. This research contributes to the knowledge of the interdependencies among multiple resource-integrating actors and value outcomes by employing a relational perspective on value cocreation within the empirical context of family caregiving. The findings reveal how interdependent actors orchestrate value cocreation in service systems, how this impacts value, and how orchestration precipitates system adjustments, which form the recursive context of value cocreation over time. We differentiate and delineate three multi-actor orchestration mechanisms—assembling, performing, and brokering—through which nonreferent beneficiaries coordinate value cocreation on behalf of dependent referent beneficiaries. We term the mutually generalized oscillating multiform negative and positive well-being outcomes that emerge from orchestration among interdependent actors as relational value. In employing the metaphor of the kaleidoscope to emphasize system dynamism, our discussion of relational value cocreation deepens our understanding of how nonreferent beneficiary-led orchestration, founded on generalized mutuality and on behalf of referent beneficiaries with reduced agency, enhances and balances multiform, oscillating and positive and negative well-being outcomes in service systems. This will help service practitioners facilitate orchestration and optimize value for all.