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  • Hahtovirta, Henrik (Hanken School of Economics, 2010-05-27T07:40:27Z)
  • Gebauer, Heiko; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, 2012)
    Purpose – The paper aims to provide a better understanding of the interrelatedness of customer and service orientations in the organizational structures of capital goods manufacturing companies. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, multi-case research design was employed using 36 European capital goods manufacturing companies. Findings – This article explored four different patterns of how companies move from being product-focused to service-focused, and from having an organizational structure that is geographically focused to one that is customer-focused. The four patterns are termed as follows: emphasizing service orientation, service-focused organizational structure, emphasizing customer orientation, and customer-focused organizational structure. Research limitations/implications – Although the study is based on 36 case studies, the external validity (generalizability) of the findings could not be assessed accurately. Practical implications – The description of the four organizational approaches offers guidance for managers to restructure their companies towards service and customer orientations. Originality/value – The article links the relatively independent discussions of service and customer orientations in the context of organizational structures. The four patterns provide a better understanding of how capital goods manufacturers integrate increased customer and service focuses in their organizational structures.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria; Edvardsson, Bo (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd, 2012-01-20)
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria; Edvardsson, Bo (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-04-30)
    Views on industrial service have conceptually progressed from the output of the provider’s production process to the result of an interaction process in which the customer also is involved. Although there are attempts to be customer-oriented, especially when the focus is on solutions, an industrial company’s offering combining goods and services is inherently seller-oriented. There is, however, a need to go beyond the current literature and company practices. We propose that what is needed is a genuinely customer-based parallel concept to offering that takes the customer’s view and put forward a new concept labelled customer needing. A needing is based on the customer’s mental model of their business and strategies which will affect priorities, decisions, and actions. A needing can be modelled as a configuration of three dimensions containing six functions that create realised value for the customer. These dimensions and functions can be used to describe needings which represent starting points for sellers’ creation of successful offerings. When offerings match needings over time the seller should have the potential to form and sustain successful buyer relationships.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2000)
    Our paper can be seen as a supplement to Halinen-Kaila and Tähtinen' s (2000) review of different direct research approaches on the ending of exchange relationships. Our purpose is to illuminate the borderline between research explicitly focusing on ending and research implicitly considering ending of relationships. Another purpose is to give an overview of how researchers within the Nordic School of Service Management and Nordic School of Relationship Marketing have approached customer relationship ending. A third purpose is to put forward a managerial perspective and managerial issues related to relationship ending. Finally we present some conclusions regarding further research avenues concerning relationship ending.
  • Grönlund, Markus Hjalmar (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-06-22)
  • Oloruntoba, Richard; Gray, Richard (2009)
  • Korkman, Oskar (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2006-01-31)
    This thesis introduces a practice-theoretical approach to understanding customer value formation to be used in the field of service marketing and management. In contrast to current studies trying to understand value formation by analysing customers as independent actors and thinkers, it is in this work suggested that customer value formation can be better understood by analysing how value is formed in the practices and contexts of the customers. The theoretical approach developed in this thesis is applied in an empirical study of family cruises. The theoretical analysis in this thesis results in a new approach for understanding customer value formation. Customer value is, according to this new approach, something that is formed in practice, meaning that value is formed in constellations of the customer and contextual elements like tools, physical spaces and contextually embedded images and know-how. This view is different from the current views that tend to see value as subjectively created, co-created, perceived or experienced by the customer. The new approach has implications on how we view customer value, but also on the methods and techniques we can use to understand customer value in empirical studies. It is also suggested that services could in fact be reconceptualised as practices. According to the stance presented in this thesis the empirical analysis of customer value should not focus on individual customers, but should instead take the contextual entity of practices as its unit of analysis. Therefore, ethnography is chosen as a method for exploring how customer value is formed in practice in the case of family cruises on a specific cruise vessel. The researcher has studied six families, as well as the context of the cruise vessel with various techniques including non-participant observation, participant observation and interviews in order to create an ethnographic understanding of the practices carried out on board. Twenty-one different practices are reported and discussed in order to provide necessary insight to customer value formation that can be used as input for service development.
  • Gummerus, Johanna (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2011-02-18)
    Customer value has been identified as “the reason” for customers to patronize a firm, and as one of the fundamental blocks that market exchanges build upon. Despite the importance of customer value, it is often poorly defined, or seems to refer to different phenomena. This dissertation contributes to current marketing literature by subjecting the value concept to a critical investigation, and by clarifying its conceptual foundation. Based on the literature review, it is proposed that customer value can be divided into two separate, but interrelated aspects: value creation processes, and value outcome determination. This means that on one hand, it is possible to examine those activities through which value is created, and on the other hand, investigate how customers determine the value outcomes they receive. The results further show that customers may determine value in four different ways: value as a benefit/sacrifice ratio, as experience outcomes, as means-end chains, and value as phenomenological. In value as benefit/sacrifice ratio, customers are expected to calculate the ratio between service benefits (e.g. ease of use) and sacrifices (e.g. price). In value as experience outcomes, customers are suggested to experience multiple value components, such as functional, emotional, or social value. Customer value as means-ends chains in turn models value in terms of the relationships between service characteristics, use value, and desirable ends (e.g. social acceptance). Finally, value as phenomenological proposes that value emerges from lived, holistic experiences. The empirical papers investigate customer value in e-services, including online health care and mobile services, and show how value in e-service stems from the process and content quality, use context, and the service combination that a customer uses. In conclusion, marketers should understand that different value definitions generate different types of understanding of customer value. In addition, it is clear that studying value from several perspectives is useful, as it enables a richer understanding of value for the different actors. Finally, the interconnectedness between value creation and determination is surprisingly little researched, and this dissertation proposes initial steps towards understanding the relationship between the two.
  • Golik Klanac, Natasa (Svenska handelshögskolan, 2008-08-11)
    During past years, we have witnessed the widespread use of websites in communication in business-to-business relationships. If developed appropriately, such communication can result in numerous positive implications for business relationships, amplifying the importance of designing website communication that meet customer needs. In doing that, an understanding of value of website communication for customers is crucial. The study develops a theoretical framework of customer value of website communication in business-to-business relationships. Theoretically, the study builds on the interaction approach to industrial marketing, different approaches to customer value and inter-organisational communication theory. The empirical part involves a case study with a seller and nine different customer companies in the elevator industry. The data collection encompasses interviews and observations of representatives from the customer companies, interviews with the seller and an analysis of various reports of the seller. The continuous iteration between the theory and the case study resulted in the integrated approach to customer value and in the holistic theoretical framework of customer value of website communication in business-to-business relationships. The framework incorporates and elicits meanings of different components of customer value: website communication characteristics that act as drivers of customer value, customer consequences – both benefits and sacrifices, customer end-states as the final goals that lead customer actions, and different types of linkages between these components. Compared to extant research on customer value, the study offers a more holistic framework of customer value that depicts its complexity and richness. In addition, it portrays customer value in the neglected context of website communication. The findings of the study can be used as tools in any analysis of customer value. They are also of relevance in designing appropriate website communication as well as in developing effective website communication strategies. Nataša Golik Klanac is associated with the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management (CERS) at Hanken.
  • Tatham, Peter; Oloruntoba, Richard; Spens, Karen (Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, 2012)
  • Tami Tamsia, Leo (Hanken School of Economics, 2010-04-26T09:44:54Z)