Marketing

 

Recent Submissions

  • Holmlund, Maria; Witell, Lars; Gustafsson, Anders (2020-03-21)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide authors with guidelines for carrying out excellent qualitative service research. It describes the features that editors and reviewers use to evaluate qualitative research and pinpoints what authors can do to improve their manuscripts for publication. Design/methodology/approach: The paper identifies five features of excellent qualitative service research – relevance, rigor, integrity, narration and impact – and describes them with a focus on what they mean and what authors can do to meet these standards. Findings: The paper suggests that manuscripts are often rejected because they fail to meet key standards of excellent qualitative research. It calls for more discussion on research methodology and research ethics, especially when service research strives to make a difference such as investigating critical service contexts or dealing with vulnerable participants. Originality/value: This paper contributes to a better use and application of qualitative research methodology. It focuses on specific actions that researchers can take to improve the quality of their service research manuscripts.
  • 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.”
  • Rahman, Arafat; Björk, Peter; Ravald, Annika (2020-05-28)
    This paper aims to explore the effects of a service provider’s organizational support and organizational empowerment on employee well-being in the healthcare service context. It also investigates if employee engagement has an effect on employee well-being. An empirical study among the employees (n = 153) of a therapeutic and rehabilitation service provider in Dhaka, Bangladesh reveals that both organizational support and organizational empowerment have positive influences on employee well-being. Although organizational support has the largest effect on employee engagement, the influence of organizational empowerment on employee engagement is not a significant factor. However, employee engagement influences their well-being. The study findings provide insights by explaining the roles that a service provider can play to enhance employee well-being and the strategies that managers can take to realize the positive effects of organizational support and empowerment on well-being.
  • 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.
  • Laamanen, Mikko; Moser, Christine; Bor, Sanne; den Hond, Frank (2020-03-10)
    This article builds on the theoretical notion that social order in organized settings is both emergent and decided. It examines the dynamics of emergent and decided social order in a timebank, a local community initiative within the alternative currency social movement. The authors propose that organized settings are in practice associated with a continuously evolving blend of elements of both decided and emergent social order; thus, allowing organizing to evolve over time. Shedding light on the broader puzzle of how social order in organized settings evolves, the authors empirically show how organizational dynamics change through the interplay of networks, institutions and decisions, as participants adopt and reject various elements of emergent and decided sources of social order. In their analysis, the authors combine content analysis and social network analysis of archival data to describe and explain dynamic and inherently relational organizing activities that unfold in the community’s day-to-day interactions.
  • 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.
  • Wittkowski, Kristina; Klein, Jan F.; Falk, Tomas; Schepers, Jeroen J. L.; Aspara, Jaakko; Bergner, Kai N. (2020-02-13)
    Self-tracking technologies (STTs) in the form of smart devices and mobile applications enable consumers to monitor, analyze, and interpret personal performance data on health and physical or financial well-being. As a result of self-tracking, consumers are not only expected to check their personal performance more actively but also to implement service professionals’ advice to improve their well-being more accurately. Despite the growing popularity of STTs, empirical evidence on the extent to which STT use enhances advice compliance remains scant. A field experiment with 538 participants in a health-care setting suggests that STT use does not increase advice compliance per se. Rather, the effectiveness of STTs depends on consumers’ self-efficacy. For consumers low in self-efficacy, STT use can even undermine advice compliance. A lab experiment with 831 participants replicates and generalizes the findings to a nonmedical professional service (i.e., fitness training). As assessments of self-efficacy might be difficult in practice, service providers in health care can use consumers’ body mass index as an easy-to-measure proxy to predict STT effectiveness. Finally, the lab experiment also identifies perceived empowerment and personalization as psychological mechanisms mediating the influence of STT use on advice compliance.
  • Tronvoll, Bård; Sklyar, Alexey; Sörhammar, David; Kowalkowski, Christian (2020-02-10)
    Manufacturers increasingly look to digitalization to drive service growth. However, success is far from guaranteed, and many firms focus too much on technology. Adopting a discovery-oriented, theories-in-use approach, this study examines the strategic organizational shifts that underpin digital servitization. Notwithstanding strong managerial and academic interest, this link between digitalization and servitization is still under-investigated. Depth interviews with senior executives and managers from a global market leader revealed that to achieve digital service-led growth, a firm and its network need to make three interconnected shifts: (1) from planning to discovery, (2) from scarcity to abundance, and (3) from hierarchy to partnership. Organizational identity, dematerialization, and collaboration play a key role in this transformation. For managers, the study identifies a comprehensive set of strategic change initiatives needed to ensure successful digital servitization.
  • Mohd Jamal, Noriza; Tayles, Mike; Grant, David B. (2020-02-12)
    This paper investigates relationships between supply chain management and management accounting practices and their individual or combined effects on both supply chain and overall organisational performance. Using a contingency theory approach a conceptual model was empirically tested with managers in Malaysian publicly listed organisations and the resultant structural equation analysis found a positive and direct relationship between both sets of practices. The findings also found a positive and direct relationship between these two sets of practices and supply chain performance, but only found an indirect relationship related to overall organisational performance that was mediated through supply chain performance. The findings provide practice with a strategically important overview of these relationships to support the creation of a successful supply chain environment that will lead to improved supply chain and overall performance.
  • Witell, Lars; Holmlund, Maria; Gustafsson, Anders (2020-02-14)
    Purpose: The purpose of this study is to highlight the role of qualitative research in service research. This study discusses what qualitative research is, what role it has in service research and what interest, rigor, relevance and richness mean for qualitative service research. Design/methodology/approach: This study examines the most common qualitative research methods and discusses interest, rigor, relevance and richness as key characteristics of qualitative research. The manuscripts in the special issue are introduced and categorized based on their contributions to service research. Findings: The findings suggest that the amount of research using qualitative research methods has remained stable over the last 30 years. An increased focus on transparency and traceability is important for improving the perceived rigor of qualitative service research. Originality/value: This special issue is the first issue that is explicitly devoted to the qualitative research methodology in service research. In particular, the issue seeks to contribute to a better use and application of qualitative research methodology.
  • 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.
  • Holmlund, Maria; Van Vaerenbergh, Yves; Ciuchita, Robert; Ravald, Annika; Sarantopoulos, Panagiotis; Villarroel Ordenes, Francisco; Zaki, Mohamed (2020-02-06)
    Customer experience (CX) has emerged as a sustainable source of competitive differentiation. Recent developments in big data analytics (BDA) have exposed possibilities to unlock customer insights for customer experience management (CXM). Research at the intersection of these two fields is scarce and there is a need for conceptual work that (1) provides an overview of opportunities to use BDA for CXM and (2) guides management practice and future research. The purpose of this paper is therefore to develop a strategic framework for CXM based on CX insights resulting from BDA. Our conceptualisation is comprehensive and is particularly relevant for researchers and practitioners who are less familiar with the potential of BDA for CXM. For managers, we provide a step-by-step guide on how to kick-start or implement our strategic framework. For researchers, we propose some opportunities for future studies in this promising research area.
  • Pura, Minna; Liewendahl, Helena; Fred, Marianne (Yrkeshögskolan Novia, 2019)
  • Larson, Paul D. (2019-12-19)
    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop and test theory-driven hypotheses on the influence of corruption and gender inequality on logistics performance. Design/methodology/approach – This paper develops hypotheses based on a review of the literature and theory linking corruption, gender inequality and logistics performance. Testing the hypotheses draws on the following secondary data sources: the World Bank Logistics Performance Index, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index and the United Nations Development Programme Gender Inequality Index. Regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. Findings – A significant direct effect is evident between corruption perceptions and perceived logistics performance. Corruption is detrimental to logistics. Further, there is evidence of an indirect effect, via gender inequality. Gender inequality is also linked directly to lower logistics performance. Gross domestic product/ capita enters the analysis as a control variable. Research limitations/implications – While the analysis uses secondary data, sources are credible and their methods – while not perfect – are logical and appear to be reasonable. It is possible that excluded variables could further explain the relationships under study. This implies future research opportunities, perhaps involving case studies of specific nations. Practical implications – The results should inspire businesses, non-governmental organizations and governments to invest in, aid, advocate for and legislate toward greater gender equality – and against corruption. Logistics educators have an important role in disseminating this message. Social implications – Gender inequality and corruption are current, global social issues. Moving forward toward equality and away from corruption are the right moves. Such moves appear to also yield better logistics. Originality/value – This paper is among the first linking corruption and gender inequality to logistics performance. It shows how social issues impact logistics performance at a national level.
  • Caic, Martina; Holmlid, Stefan; Mahr, Dominik; Odekerken-Schröder, Gaby (2019-12-31)
    In design for service, understanding the social fabric of the service system demands special focus, because the networks of actors that collaboratively create value strongly affect the multitude of service values for the beneficiaries of the system. This article explores mental models of actor networks from the phenomenological perspective of the beneficiaries, who ultimately determine the value of the service. The authors argue for a visual phenomenology and leverage the resourcefulness of individual network actors through a qualitative interpretive study that relies on in-depth interviews supported by generative card activities. By asking service beneficiaries (in this case, the elderly) to map their care-based network contexts, this method encourages human-centered, participatory approaches that reveal service systems from beneficiaries’ perspectives. With an analysis of constructed visual artefacts and data-rich narratives that uncover the instrumentality of visualizations, the authors further identify different types of networks and the dominant values held by each network’s focal actors. The authors hence suggest that not only should value creation as such be viewed as idiosyncratic, but so should the networks of actors that co-create value. Finally, the concept of service resonance is suggested to aid in accounting for the pluralistic perspectives of the network actors.
  • Elg, Mattias; Gremyr, Ida; Halldorsson, Arni; Wallo, Andreas (2020-01-08)
    Purpose – Conducting research that is both practice- and theory-relevant is important for the service research community. Action research can be a fruitful approach for service researchers studying the transformative role of service research and wanting to make contributions to both the research community and to practical development. By exploring the current use of action research in service research, this study aims to make suggestions for enhancing the contribution to theory and practice development and to propose criteria for research quality for action research in service research. Design/methodology/approach – This study builds on a systematic literature review of the use of action research approaches in service research. Findings – The study makes three main contributions. First,it posits that any action research project needs to consider the four elements of problem identification, theorization, creating guiding concepts and intervention. Second, based on these elements mirrored in service action research, it outlines and analyzes three approaches to action research (i.e. theory-enhancing, concept developing and practice-enhancing). Third, it suggests a move from instrumental to a more conceptual relevance of the research and elaborates on the criteria for research quality. Originality/value – This study contributes to the understanding of how action research may be applied for conducting high-quality collaborative research in services and proposes measures to enhance research quality in action research projects focusing services.
  • Grange, Ray; Heaslip, Graham; McMullan, Caroline (2019-12-04)
    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify how coordination has evolved in humanitarian logistics, what were the triggers for change, and how have they been facilitated. Design: Systematic literature review of academic journals. Findings: This is the first paper to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. The research revealed that network coordination has moved on in the commercial sector to include orchestration and now, choreography concepts which have not been tested in HL literature. This reveals a lag exists between HL research and practice. Research limitations/implications: This paper represents an exploratory study and provides the basis for further research on the concepts of orchestration and choreography in humanitarian logistics. The paper sets a research agenda for academics. Practical implications: This paper is the first to discuss the concepts of network orchestration and choreography in a humanitarian context. Originality/value: The areas of orchestration and choreography have received limited consideration within the humanitarian aid logistics literature to date. This paper is designed to redress this shortfall. As a result, it is hoped that it will act as a catalyst for further research and to widen and deepen the resultant debate with a view to improving the outcome for those affected by current and future disasters.
  • Vega, Diego (2019-10-31)
    Project networks link specialists from different fields and organizations to work jointly on a shared activity for a limited period. In this structure, the central actor - the project owner - plays a key role acting as host, sponsor or parent of the project network. But, how do owners fulfil their role?We argue that the role of the project owner is to continuously reconfigure the relationships among the networks to quickly develop temporary organizations that respond to emerging needs. Using a humanitarian organization, we consider the important activity of the project owner as dynamic assembling. This capability relies on the owner's capacity to conceive, combine, coordinate and control the network. By adopting a dynamic view of the project, businesses could increase their capability to rapidly respond to trends. Playing a central role on multiple project network contributes to the owner's capability to dynamically combine resources and increase its innovation capacity.
  • Ekwall, Daniel; Torstensson, Håkan (Turku School of Economics, 2019)
    The transport of dangerous goods incorporates hazards, which may seriously affect people, property and the environment in various adverse ways. In a previous HAZARD project report, transport stresses were addressed, in particular concerning their impact on dangerous goods transport and the risk of subsequent accidents. The report referred to essential results from the vast research and regulatory work,which was carried out by the end of the 20th century in order to provide guidance for designing and testing packagings and packages for the transport. There is now a need to scrutinise those results with regard to possible changes over time. The present report therefore addresses some of the issues again, now based on a questionnaire to stakeholders, aiming to identify whether conditions are sufficiently stable to validate the results of the first report. The results presented here are based on a questionnaire to stakeholders which, with reservation for its very limited response, essentially confirms that the previous findings are still valid. As always, organisational issues and human error are the primary causes of adverse events, but may still not be adequately addressed in activities for prevention of cargo loss and damage. Education, instructions, training and, where necessary, supervision are therefore of crucial importance. In addition, ensuring that equipment and technology are in order and not malfunctioning, is essential. Appropriate quality routines, inspections and testing should be in focus. While previous research thus to a large extent is still applicable, there is always a need for refinement. At the organisational level as well as in associated research, relevant risk analyses should be carried out. As noted in the previous report, a first step for future research in this area should be a simple risk assessment for the most common causes of cargo damage (shock and impact, vibration, stacking overload, torn packaging, moisture, mould, wet packaging, overheating, freezing, over pressure, leakage and fire) but also in relation toot her reasons for cargo losssuch as thef tor jettison.The present report contributes to the understanding of whether the trends regarding cargo damage and loss are changing or remain stable over time, which helps to assess the relevance of available data and the need for further investigations.Nothing in this report contradicts or falsifies the findings summarised in the previous report, which in a way, however limited, can be considered validated.
  • Syrjälä, Henna; Norrgrann, Anu (Emerald, 2019)
    Purpose: This chapter examines two rather extreme examples of non-human entities in home assemblage, interior objects, and companion animals, and how their agency appears distributed with human consumers in assembling home. The authors aim at drawing conceptual contrasts and overlappings in how agency expresses itself in these categories of living and non-living entities, highlighting the multifaceted manifestations of object agency. Methodology/Approach: This chapter employs multiple sets of ethnographi-cally inspired data, ranging from ethnographic interviews and an autoethno-graphic diary to three types of (auto-)netnographic data. Findings: The findings showcase oscillation of agency between these three analytic categories (human, non-human living, and non-human non-living), focusing on how it is distributed between two of the entities at a time, within the heterogeneous assemblage of home. Furthermore, the findings show instances in which agency emerges as shared between all three entities. Originality/Value: The contribution of this chapter comes from advancing existing discussion on object agency toward the focus on distributed and shared agency. The research adds to the prevailing discussion by exhibiting how agency oscillates between different types of interacting entities in the assemblage, and in particular, how the two types of non-human entities are agentic. The research demonstrates the variability and interwovenness of non-human and human, living and non-living agency as they appear intertwined in home assemblage.

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