Browsing by Subject "narrative inquiry technique"

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  • Helkkula, Anu (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2010)
    Service researchers and practitioners have repeatedly claimed that customer service experiences are essential to all businesses. Therefore comprehension of how service experience is characterised in research is an essential element for its further development through research. The importance of greater in-depth understanding of the phenomenon of service experience has been acknowledged by several researchers, such as Carú and Cova and Vargo and Lusch. Furthermore, Service-Dominant (S-D) logic has integrated service experience to value by emphasising in its foundational premises that value is phenomenologically (experientially) determined. The present study analyses how the concept of service experience has been characterised in previous research. As such, it puts forward three ways to characterise it in relation to that research: 1) phenomenological service experience relates to the value discussion in S-D logic and interpretative consumer research, 2) process-based service experience relates to understanding service as a process, and 3) outcome-based service experience relates to understanding service experience as one element in models linking a number of variables or attributes to various outcomes. Focusing on the phenomenological service experience, the theoretical purpose of the study is to characterise service experience based on the phenomenological approach. In order to do so, an additional methodological purpose was formulated: to find a suitable methodology for analysing service experience based on the phenomenological approach. The study relates phenomenology to a philosophical Husserlian and social constructionist tradition studying phenomena as they appear in our experience in a social context. The study introduces Event-Based Narrative Inquiry Technique (EBNIT), which combines critical events with narratives and metaphors. EBNIT enabled the analysis of lived and imaginary service experiences as expressed in individual narratives. The study presents findings of eight case studies within service innovation of Web 2.0, mobile service, location aware service and public service in the municipal sector. Customers’ and service managers’ stories about their lived private and working lifeworld were the foundation for their ideal service experiences. In general, the thesis finds that service experiences are (1) subjective, (2) context-specific, (3) cumulative, (4) partially socially constructed, (5) both lived and imaginary, (6) temporally multiple-dimensional, and (7) iteratively related to perceived value. In addition to customer service experience, the thesis brings empirical evidence of managerial service experience of front-line managers experiencing the service they manage and develop in their working lifeworld. The study contributes to S-D logic, service innovation and service marketing and management in general by characterising service experience based on the phenomenological approach and integrating it to the value discussion. Additionally, the study offers a methodological approach for further exploration of service experiences. The study discusses managerial implications in conjunction with the case studies and discusses them in relation to service innovation.