Today we identify service articles published in Marketing, Management, Operations, Productions, Information Systems & Practioner-oriented Journals in February 2017.
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Leonardi, P. and T. Neeley (2017): What Managers Need To Know About Social Tools: Avoid The Common Pitfalls So That Your Organization Can Collaborate, Learn, And Innovate, Harvard Business Review, 95(6), pp.118-126
To identify the value that social tools can bring to companies, the authors split employees at a large financial services firm into two groups, only one of which used an internal social platform, and observed them for six months. Those who had used the tool became 31% more likely to find coworkers with relevant expertise and 88% more likely to discover who had useful connections. Internal social tools can help employees make faster decisions, develop more innovative ideas for products and services, and become more engaged in their work and their companies. But companies that try to “go social” often fall into four traps: They (1) assume that Millennials will embrace social tools at work; (2) struggle to foster personal interaction that builds trust and promotes knowledge sharing; (3) fail to recognize how learning occurs on social tools; and (4) focus on the wrong data. The authors offer advice on how to avoid these traps.
Berry, L. L., T. S. Danaher, R. A. Chapman and R. L. A. Awdish (2017): Role of Kindness in Cancer Care, Journal of Oncology Practice, (), pp.JOP.2017.026195
The wonders of high-tech cancer care are best complemented by the humanity of high-touch care. Simple kindnesses can help to diffuse negative emotions that are associated with cancer diagnosis and treatment?and may even help to improve patients? outcomes. On the basis of our experience in cancer care and research, we propose six types of kindness in cancer care: deep listening, whereby clinicians take the time to truly understand the needs and concerns of patients and their families; empathy for the patient with cancer, expressed by both individual clinicians and the care culture, that seeks to prevent avoidable suffering; generous acts of discretionary effort that go beyond what patients and families expect from a care team; timely care that is delivered by using a variety of tools and systems that reduce stress and anxiety; gentle honesty, whereby the truth is conveyed directly in well-chosen, guiding words; and support for family caregivers, whose physical and mental well-being are vital components of the care their loved ones receive. These mutually reinforcing manifestations of kindness?exhibited by self-aware clinicians who understand that how care is delivered matters?constitute a powerful and practical way to temper the emotional turmoil of cancer for patients, their families, and clinicians themselves.
Alison, Z. P., H. W. Gillian, E. W. Keith and B. Emma (2017): Value co-creation in high-involvement services: the animal healthcare sector, International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, 45(5), pp.518-531
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate the significance of value co-creation to the UK animal healthcare sector from the perspective of the key industry stakeholders: clients, veterinarians and paraprofessionals. Design/methodology/approach Value co-creation constructs in the sector were identified and measured using a mixed methods approach comprised of qualitative NVivo? thematic analysis of depth interviews (n=13) and quantitative exploratory factor analysis (EFA) (n=271). Findings Qualitative results revealed nine underlying dimensions regarding service delivery in the sector: trustworthiness, communication, value for money, empathy, bespoke, integrated care, tangibles, accessibility and outcome driven service. EFA of professional survey data loaded onto seven latent factors, with strong value co-creation dimensions identified. Research limitations/implications The sampling process is sufficiently representative and diverse to present meaningful and valuable results, however, surveying should be extended to include the client group. Due to the originality of the research replication of the study will be beneficial to the broader understanding and application of value co-creation to the high-involvement services of animal healthcare. Practical implications Recognition of the importance of value co-creation to the sector should encourage professional stakeholders to develop and adopt integrated models of service provision and to provide improved levels of service quality. Originality/value The paper makes an original contribution to knowledge regarding value co-creation in respect of high-involvement service provision. Its findings should be of value to academics interested in value co-creation in service sectors as well as animal healthcare practitioners seeking to offer better value and quality service provision.
Hill, A., R. Cuthbertson, B. Laker and S. Brown (2017): Service fitness ladders: improving business performance in low cost and differentiated markets, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(10), pp.1266-1303
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present 13 propositions about how internal strategic fit (often referred to as fit) impacts the business performance of low cost and differentiated services. It then uses these relationships to develop two “fitness ladder” frameworks to help practitioners understand how to improve fit given their business strategy (low cost or differentiation) and performance objectives (operational, financial or competitiveness). Design/methodology/approach: In total, 11 strategic business units were studied that perform differently and provide a range of low cost and differentiated services to understand how changes in internal strategic fit impacted business performance over a 7 year period. Findings: The findings suggest aligning systems with market needs does not improve performance. Instead, firms serving low cost markets should first focus managers’ attention on processes and centralise resources around key processes, before reducing process flexibility and automate as many steps as possible to develop a low cost capability that is difficult to imitate. By contrast, firms serving differentiated markets should first focus managers’ attention on customers and then locate resources near them, before increasing customer contact with their processes and making them more flexible so they can develop customer knowledge, relationships and services that are difficult to imitate. Research limitations/implications: Some significant factors may not have been considered as the study only looked at the impact of 14 internal strategic fit variables on 7 performance variables. Also, the performance changes may not be a direct result of the strategic fit improvements identified and may not generalise to other service organisations, settings and environments. Practical implications: The strategic fit-performance relationships identified and the “fitness ladder” frameworks developed can be used by organisations to make decisions about how best to improve fit given their different market needs, business strategies and performance objectives. Originality/value: The findings offer more clarity than previous research about how internal fit impacts business performance for low cost and differentiated services.
Grant, K., R. Mateousek, M. Meyer and N. G. Tzeremes (2017): A research note on multinationality and firm performance: Nonparametric frontier analysis, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(10), pp.1408-1424
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to provide a fresh insight into the examination of the comparison between multinationality and firm performance, measured through technical efficiency levels by overcoming methodological constraints and misunderstandings presented in earlier research. Design/methodology/approach: The authors estimate firms’ efficiency levels in a production function-type framework through technical efficiency levels using nonparametric data envelopment analysis. The authors include firms from both developed and developing economies, from different national origins and with different sectoral characteristics, with a particular focus on knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) and capital-intensive business services (CIBS). Findings: The study confirms for the case of KIBS the existence of the three-stage sigmoid (S-shaped) hypothesis between multinationality and firm performance measured through technical efficiency levels. Finally, the empirical findings reveal that CIBS exhibit only the first two stages, thus forming a “U”-shape relationship. Originality/value: The authors propose the application of different firms’ performance measurements, providing us with the ability to unpack a firms’ managerial decision processes with regards to determining the optimised investment(s) in technology and research and development and with a particular focus on KIBS and CIBS.
Hirzel, A.-K., M. Leyer and J. Moormann (2017): The role of employee empowerment in the implementation of continuous improvement: Evidence from a case study of a financial services provider, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 37(10), pp.1563-1579
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the role of increasing employees’ level of continuous improvement (CI) empowerment, i.e. employees’ knowledge and understanding of CI, the possibility of open communication and support from the work environment regarding CI, in the implementation of CI over time. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the theory of structural empowerment, the authors test the research question using evidence from a case study in a European financial services provider. Data are gathered with questionnaires on a team level and cover a period of 2.5 years including 780 participants. Findings: The findings show that after conducting a CI programme in the case, there is a significant increase in employees’ CI empowerment over time, which has a positive but time-lagged relationship with the level of CI implementation. Research limitations/implications: Implications are that CI empowerment can be created sustainably and is an important factor in establishing CI in a company, but that it takes time until empowerment leads to changes in behaviour. However, it has to be considered that these implications are solely derived from empirical results from a single company. Practical implications: Financial service providers should invest in establishing CI empowerment and consider a delay in realising measurable benefits in terms of the level of CI implementation. Originality/value: This paper is the first empirical study to examine the relationship between employee CI empowerment and the implementation of CI from a longitudinal perspective.
Viglia, G. and G. Abrate (2017): When distinction does not pay off – Investigating the determinants of European agritourism prices, Journal of Business Research, 80(), pp.45-52
Agritourism aims to deliver a particular kind of travel experience when compared to more mainstream types of hospitality, calling for the development of a specific model to design pricing strategies. This research examines the impact of three groups of factors on price: (i) internal attributes, classified as common or distinctive to other hospitality categories, (ii) external attributes, in terms of natural environment or cultural attractiveness and (iii) reputation, in the form of online and offline ratings. The proposed methodology, which provides a possible solution to collinearity among attributes, is the Shapley Value Regression. The database consists of 1268 agritourism establishments in five European countries. The findings show the relevance of the services that are common to mainstream types of hospitality and of the cultural attractiveness of the area. Managerial and policy implications build on the threat to the exclusivity of agritourism establishments with respect to traditional hotels in rural areas.
Ou, Y.-C. and P. C. Verhoef (2017): The impact of positive and negative emotions on loyalty intentions and their interactions with customer equity drivers, Journal of Business Research, 80(), pp.106-115
Customer equity drivers (CEDs) include value, brand, and relationship equity, which have a strong link with loyalty intentions. This study aims to examine the incremental effects of positive and negative emotions on loyalty intentions and to determine whether these emotions moderate the positive link between CEDs and loyalty intentions. We use customer data with 102 leading firms across eighteen services industries in the Netherlands. The results show that (1) positive and negative emotions have incremental effects on loyalty intentions, (2) positive emotions weaken the positive link (negative interaction), and (3) negative emotions strengthen the positive link, but only for brand and relationship equity (positive interaction). Thus, positive and negative emotions also explain loyalty intentions. However, managers should be cautious when combining CEDs with positive and negative emotions. We provide a strategic matrix to help managers arrive at effective combinations.
Weitzl, W. and C. Hutzinger (2017): The effects of marketer- and advocate-initiated online service recovery responses on silent bystanders, Journal of Business Research, 80(), pp.164-175
Dissatisfied customers increasingly voice their complaints on social media. These negative comments and subsequent responses are an important information source for potential customers. In a consumer-empowered era, these responses not only originate from marketers, but are often articulated by engaged brand advocates. In this study we investigate the effect of both marketers’ and advocates’ responses to service failures on bystanders’ favorable and unfavorable brand-related reactions. Specifically, two scenario-based experiments (n 1 = 731; n 2 = 361) were conducted in which specific webcare response types and sources were systematically manipulated. Results show that companies are particularly effective in enhancing bystander-brand relationships by means of credible and accommodative responses and sometimes even with credible, defensive responses. Most importantly, however, brand advocates can help the company to increase favorable brand-related outcomes with accommodative responses and mitigate unfavorable outcomes with web-specific defensive responses.
Sipilä, J., K. Herold, A. Tarkiainen and S. Sundqvist (2017): The influence of word-of-mouth on attitudinal ambivalence during the higher education decision-making process, Journal of Business Research, 80(), pp.176-187
This study investigates the influence of word-of-mouth (WOM) on consumers’ attitudinal ambivalence in the context of higher education decision-making. Construal level theory (CLT) is combined with attitudinal ambivalence literature to generate hypotheses about how different types of WOM (i.e., praise and activity) received during the decision-making process reduce attitudinal ambivalence. The subsequent consequences of attitudinal ambivalence for decision-making are also studied. A two-wave survey of applicants to international higher education programs is used to test the hypotheses. This study contributes to the ambivalence literature by showing that different types of WOM information reduce attitudinal ambivalence depending on the temporal closeness of a choice and the consumption of a service. The findings have implications for the management of attitudinal ambivalence and WOM throughout the consumer decision-making process and consequently for assisting consumers in making choices.
Kos Koklic, M., M. Kukar-Kinney and S. Vegelj (2017): An investigation of customer satisfaction with low-cost and full-service airline companies, Journal of Business Research, 80(), pp.188-196
Using a survey of 382 passengers, this research examines customer satisfaction and its antecedents and consequences in the context of the airline industry. The relationships among airline tangibles, quality of personnel, satisfaction with the airline, the intention to repurchase and intention to recommend the airline are examined. The findings indicate that tangibles and personnel quality positively affect satisfaction, and satisfaction positively influences intentions to both repurchase and recommend. The key contribution is to test the moderating effect of the airline type: a low-cost vs. a full-service carrier. The results reveal a significant moderating effect of airline type on two relationships: personnel quality – satisfaction and satisfaction – repurchase intention. Specifically, the positive effect of quality of personnel on satisfaction is weaker for the low-cost versus full-service airline, while the positive effect of satisfaction on repurchase intent is stronger for the low-cost airline. The study also discusses implications for airline carriers.
Swani, K. and G. R. Milne (2017): Evaluating Facebook brand content popularity for service versus goods offerings, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.123-133
Marketers using social media are struggling with its successful implementation, specifically in engaging their audiences through creation of popular brand content. Yet, creating popular brand content can lead to positive financial and brand outcomes. This research examines Fortune 500 companies’ brand content strategies that contribute to Facebook content popularity metrics (i.e., number of likes and comments) for service versus goods offerings. Building on psychological motivation theory and the noted differences in culture and capabilities between goods and service firms, the article analyzes the key differences in service and goods brand content strategies in terms of branding, message appeals, and vividness. The findings from a multivariate multilevel Poisson model show that the use of corporate brand names is more popular for service messages whereas the use of product brand names, images, and videos is more popular for goods messages. Furthermore, service messages generate a higher number of comments than goods messages.
v. Wangenheim, F., N. V. Wünderlich and J. H. Schumann (2017): Renew or cancel? Drivers of customer renewal decisions for IT-based service contracts, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.181-188
Manufacturers increasingly integrate information and communication technologies into their products so that they can provide IT-based services. Organizations that formerly concentrated on transactional sales thus confront a new challenge associated with managing service usage—retention and extracting value from investments in smart technology. This study combines a marketing and an information systems perspective in a field study conducted jointly with a large European car manufacturer. Understanding the renewal decision for IT-based service contracts requires knowledge from both disciplines. The paper shows that combining behavioral predictor variables stemming from marketing research and technology-related perceptual variables stemming from technology acceptance research increases the explanatory power and prediction accuracy of forecasting models for customer renewal decisions. Specifically, the authors show that perceptions of usefulness become more important the longer customers use IT-based services and the more services they use within the service contract.
Kukar-Kinney, M. and L. Xia (2017): The effectiveness of number of deals purchased in influencing consumers’ response to daily deal promotions: A cue utilization approach, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.189-197
This research proposes and empirically tests a theoretical model of consumers’ response to online daily deal promotions. A unique feature of such promotions is their social influence, as they provide information about how many others have already purchased the offer. Integrating cue utilization and social influence theories, the model outlines how the social cue about the number of deals purchased by others influences consumers’ deal evaluations and purchase intentions across a variety of conditions. The research findings indicate that the number of deals as an extrinsic cue affects consumers’ deal evaluations and intentions only when intrinsic product and deal cues (good vs. service, discount size) and consumer personal characteristics (familiarity with the provider) are not present or are insufficient to infer deal attractiveness. The research offers managerial implications with respect to effectively designing and promoting online daily deals.
Gustafsson, A. and D. E. Bowen (2017): The curious case of interdisciplinary research deficiency: Cause or symptom of what truly ails us?, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.212-218
This article introduces some service research challenges and opportunities then comments on the articles in this special issue on emergent topics in service research. It is an exciting time for service research as the area is rapidly developing and growing on a global basis. Service research is also especially apt for interdisciplinary as service is not developed by any one function in a company; it is a purpose in some way for everyone across the organization regardless of where they are working. It is strange, then, that we have not advanced further on interdisciplinary research, particularly since it has been in focus for a long time in the field. In this opinion piece we take the opportunity to suggest ways forward that include goals of mastering paradoxical thinking and making a difference.
Benoit, S., T. L. Baker, R. N. Bolton, T. Gruber and J. Kandampully (2017): A triadic framework for collaborative consumption (CC): Motives, activities and resources & capabilities of actors, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.219-227
Collaborative consumption (CC) is an increasingly prevalent form of exchange. CC occurs within a triangle of actors: a platform provider (e.g., Uber), a peer service provider (e.g., an Uber driver) and a customer. The platform provider’s main role is matchmaking, so that a customer can access assets of a peer service provider. This paper has three objectives. First, this article identifies three criteria to delineate CC from related constructs such as access-based consumption, sharing or renting. Second, it introduces a literature-based framework explicating the roles of the actors in the CC triangle along three dimensions: motives, activities and resources and capabilities. Third, it highlights areas for further research, such as the dynamics of CC, context-dependent motives and the emergence of professional (peer) service providers.
Larivière, B., D. Bowen, T. W. Andreassen, W. Kunz, N. J. Sirianni, C. Voss, N. V. Wünderlich and A. De Keyser (2017): “Service Encounter 2.0”: An investigation into the roles of technology, employees and customers, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.238-246
The service encounter – one of the foundational concepts in service research – is fundamentally changing due to rapid evolutions in technology. In this paper, we offer an updated perspective on what we label the “Service Encounter 2.0”. To this end, we develop a conceptual framework that captures the essence of the Service Encounter 2.0 and provides a synthesis of the changing interdependent roles of technology, employees, and customers. We find that technology either augments or substitutes service employees, and can foster network connections. In turn, employees and customers are taking on the role of enabler, innovator, coordinator and differentiator. In addition, we identify critical areas for future research on this important topic.
McColl-Kennedy, J. R., T. S. Danaher, A. S. Gallan, C. Orsingher, L. Lervik-Olsen and R. Verma (2017): How do you feel today? Managing patient emotions during health care experiences to enhance well-being, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.247-259
Health care customers (patients) experience heightened emotions due to high stakes from risks to life, health, and well-being. Understanding and managing emotions during service experiences is an important area of inquiry because emotions influence customer perceptions, future intentions and behaviors. Yet despite its significance, research focusing on the impact of emotions on customer experiences remains fragmented, lacking a theoretically based conceptual framework. The authors attempt to fill this gap by addressing two important research questions contextualized in health care: (1) How can health care organizations better understand patient and family emotions during health care experiences? and (2) How should health care organizations use this understanding to design and better manage patient experiences to enhance patient well-being? The authors propose a new theoretically based framework on emotional responses following triggering events to enhance outcomes. Recommendations designed to enhance health care customer well-being are provided, as are directions to guide future work.
Voorhees, C. M., T. Walkowiak, P. W. Fombelle, Y. Gregoire, S. Bone, A. Gustafsson and R. Sousa (2017): Service encounters, experiences and the customer journey: Defining the field and a call to expand our lens, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.269-280
Service researchers have emphasized the importance of studying the service experience, which encompasses multiple service encounters. Although the reflection on a series of service encounters has increased, the scope of research in this space remains narrow. Service research has traditionally concentrated on understanding, measuring and optimizing the core service delivery. While this focused lens has generated extraordinary knowledge and moved service research and practice forward, it has also resulted in a narrowly focused research field. The authors present a framework to guide comprehensive service experience research. Broadly, they define (1) pre-core service encounter , (2) core service encounter , and (3) post-core service encounter as distinct periods within a service experience. Further, they review the literature and put forward important research questions to be addressed within and across these periods. Finally, they argue that researchers need to consider simultaneously all periods of the service experience to make valuable contributions to the literature.
Rosenbaum, M. S., C. Kelleher, M. Friman, P. Kristensson and A. Scherer (2017): Re-placing place in marketing: A resource-exchange place perspective, Journal of Business Research, 79(), pp.281-289
This study clarifies the marketing discipline’s conceptualization of place by presenting a revised perspective and conceptual framework of place, referred to as REPLACE. Drawing from resource exchange theory and attention restoration theory, the framework problematizes the assumption that places are merely physical locales by foregrounding how places can become inseparable aspects of consumers’ lives. We present an alternative resource-based perspective of place, namely as a repository of resources that are potentially available to consumers through exchange processes. These exchange processes, and the complexity of the offered resources, influence consumers’ relationship with a locale as well as their sense of well-being. With this alternative perspective, we bridge the place concept to public health and extend the understanding of attachment in service settings.
Sugathan, P., K. R. Ranjan and A. G. Mulky (2017): An examination of the emotions that follow a failure of co-creation, Journal of Business Research, 78(), pp.43-52
Service research has contributed to our understanding of the externally-directed emotions that customers experience, such as anger. However, there is limited knowledge about the self-directed emotions that customers experience, such as shame and guilt. This knowledge is specifically lacking within the context of failure of co-created products and services. Our mixed-method research delineates the self-directed emotions that arise when co-created products and services fail. We found that failure of co-created products differ from general situations of failure in that externally-directed emotions attain latency and customers experience self-directed emotions such as guilt, shame, and self-pity. We also found that the self-directed emotions are driven by (a), sadness, and (b), the nature of the causal attributions that the customers ascribe to the failure. This effect was moderated by the degree of co-creation. After analyzing our findings, we discuss the theoretical and practical relevance of the study.
Kienzler, M. and C. Kowalkowski (2017): Pricing strategy: A review of 22 years of marketing research, Journal of Business Research, 78(), pp.101-110
This article investigates the development and current state of pricing strategy research by undertaking a content analysis of 515 articles published in leading academic journals between 1995 and 2016. The results suggest several developments in research focus and methodology; recent research has focused more strongly on services and applies more rigorous research designs. The results also indicate a persistent focus on consumer markets and economic theories, as well as an increasing consideration of demand-side respondents, at the expense of supply-side respondents. An important feature of this review is a set of actionable takeaways, with both theoretical and methodological implications for pricing strategy research.
Hunneman, A., P. C. Verhoef and L. M. Sloot (2017): The moderating role of shopping trip type in store satisfaction formation, Journal of Business Research, 78(), pp.133-142
Consumers may weigh store attributes differently depending on the type of shopping trip. For example, fill-in shoppers likely value convenience, due to the ad-hoc nature and urgency of such trips. However, no study has yet explored the effects of shopping trip types on satisfaction formation. This study investigates how three types of shopping trips — major, regular fill-in, and special fill-in — affect satisfaction formation. Using data for all Dutch grocery chains from 2009–2014, we show that service, price, and convenience are important drivers of satisfaction. We also find that the effects of these drivers on store satisfaction depend on the shopping trip type. Major shoppers, for instance, treat service factors as less important to their satisfaction than other shoppers do. Convenience is a more important driver of satisfaction for regular fill-in shoppers. Price is a more important determinant of satisfaction on fill-in trips related to special occasions like birthdays and family dinners.
Batt, R. J. and C. Terwiesch (2017): Early Task Initiation and Other Load-Adaptive Mechanisms in the Emergency Department, Management Science, 63(11), pp.3531-3551
We study a multistage service process that adapts to system occupancy level. Using operational data from more than 140,000 patient visits to a hospital emergency department, we show that the system-level performance of the emergency department is an aggregation of several simultaneous server-level workload response mechanisms. We identify early task initiation as a between-stage adaptive response mechanism that occurs when an upstream stage initiates tasks that are normally handled by a downstream stage. We show that having some diagnostic tests ordered during the triage process reduces treatment time by 20 minutes, on average. However, ordering too many tests at triage can lead to an increase in the total number of tests performed on the patient. We also demonstrate the presence of other response mechanisms such as queuing delays for tasks such as medication delivery, and rushing as nurses spend less time with their patients when the queue length is high. This paper was accepted by Serguei Netessine, operations management.
Lu, S. F. and L. X. Lu (2017): Do Mandatory Overtime Laws Improve Quality? Staffing Decisions and Operational Flexibility of Nursing Homes, Management Science, 63(11), pp.3566-3585
During the 2000s, over a dozen U.S. states passed laws that prohibit healthcare employers from mandating overtime for nurses. Using a nationwide panel data set from 2004 to 2012, we find that these mandatory overtime laws reduced the service quality of nursing homes, as measured by an increase in deficiency citations. This outcome can be explained by two undesirable changes in the staffing hours of registered nurses: decreased hours of permanent nurses and increased hours of contract nurses per resident day. We observe that the increase in deficiency citations concentrates in the domains of administration and quality of care rather than quality of life, and the severity levels of the increased citations tend to be minor rather than major. We also find that the laws’ negative effect on quality is more severe in nursing homes with higher percentages of Medicare-covered residents. These observations are consistent with the predictions of a stochastic staffing model that incorporates demand uncertainty and operational flexibility. Furthermore, we rule out an alternative hypothesis that the quality decline is induced by an increase in nurse wages. This paper was accepted by Gad Allon, operations management.
Zacharias, C. and M. Armony (2017): Joint Panel Sizing and Appointment Scheduling in Outpatient Care, Management Science, 63(11), pp.3978-3997
Patients nationwide experience difficulties in accessing medical care in a timely manner due to long backlogs of appointments. Medical practices aim to utilize their valuable resources efficiently, deliver timely access to care, and at the same time they strive to provide short waiting times for patients present at the medical facility. We address the joint problem of determining the panel size of a medical practice and the number of offered appointment slots per day, so that patients do not face long backlogs and the clinic is not overcrowded. We explicitly model the two time scales involved in accessing medical care: appointment delay (order of days, weeks) and clinic delay (order of minutes, hours). Closed-form expressions are derived for the performance measures of interest based on diffusion approximations. Our model captures many features of the complex reality of outpatient care, including patient no-shows, balking behavior, and random service times. Our analysis provides theoretical and numerical support for the optimality of an ‘open access’ policy in outpatient scheduling when we account for both types of delay, and it demonstrates the importance of considering panel sizing and scheduling decisions in a joint framework. This paper was accepted by Noah Gans, stochastic models and simulation.
Freeman, M., N. Savva and S. Scholtes (2017): Gatekeepers at Work: An Empirical Analysis of a Maternity Unit, Management Science, 63(10), pp.3147-3167
We use a detailed operational and clinical data set from a maternity hospital to investigate how workload affects decisions in gatekeeper-provider systems, where the servers act as gatekeepers to specialists but may also attempt to serve customers themselves, albeit with a probability of success that is decreasing in the complexity of the customers’ needs. We study the effect of workload during a service episode on gatekeepers’ service configuration decisions and the rate at which gatekeepers refer customers to a specialist. We find that gatekeeper-providers (midwives in our context) make substantial use of two levers to manage their workload (measured as patients per midwife): they ration resource-intensive discretionary services (epidural analgesia) for customers with noncomplex service needs (mothers with spontaneous onset of labor) and, at the same time, increase the rate of specialist referral (physician-led delivery) for customers with complex needs (mothers with pharmacologically induced labor). The workload effect in the study unit is surprisingly large and comparable in size to those for leading clinical risk factors: when workload increases from two standard deviations below to two standard deviations above the mean, noncomplex cases are 28.8% less likely to receive an epidural, leading to a cost reduction of 8.7%, while complex cases are 14.2% more likely to be referred for a physician-led delivery, leading to a cost increase of 2.6%. These observations are consistent with overtreatment at both high and low workload levels, albeit for different types of patients, and suggest that smoothing gatekeeper workload would reduce variability in customer service experience. This paper was accepted by Serguei Netessine, operations management.
Lee, Y. S. and E. Siemsen (2017): Task Decomposition and Newsvendor Decision Making, Management Science, 63(10), pp.3226-3245
We conduct three behavioral laboratory experiments to compare newsvendor order decisions placed directly to order decisions submitted in a decomposed way by soliciting point forecasts, uncertainty estimates, and service-level decisions. Decomposing order decisions in such a way often follows from organizational structure and can lead to performance improvements compared with ordering directly. However, we also demonstrate that if the critical ratio is below 50%, or if the underlying demand uncertainty is too high, task decomposition may not be preferred to direct ordering. Under such conditions, decision makers are prone to set service levels too high or to suffer from excessive random judgment error, which reduces the efficacy of task decomposition. We further demonstrate that if accompanied by decision support in the form of suggested quantities, task decomposition becomes the better-performing approach to newsvendor decision making more generally. Decision support and task decomposition therefore appear as complementary methods to improve decision performance in the newsvendor context. This paper was accepted by Serguei Netessine, operations management.
Anderson, M. L. and F. Lu (2017): Learning to Manage and Managing to Learn: The Effects of Student Leadership Service, Management Science, 63(10), pp.3246-3261
Employers and colleges value individuals with leadership service, but there is limited evidence on whether leadership service itself creates skills. Identification in this context has proved difficult because settings in which leadership service accrues to individuals for ostensibly random reasons are rare. In this study we estimate the effects of random assignment to classroom leadership positions in a Chinese secondary school. We find that leadership service increases test scores, increases students’ political popularity in the classroom, makes students more likely to take initiative, and shapes students’ beliefs about the determinants of success. The results suggest that leadership service may impact human capital and is not solely a signal of preexisting skills. Data are available at . This paper was accepted by John List, behavioral economics.
Ata, B., A. Skaro and S. Tayur (2017): OrganJet: Overcoming Geographical Disparities in Access to Deceased Donor Kidneys in the United States, Management Science, 63(9), pp.2776-2794
There are over 90,000 patients in the United States waiting for a kidney transplant. Under the current allocation policy, the vast majority of deceased organs are allocated locally. This causes significant disparities in waiting times and access to transplant across different geographical areas. To ameliorate this inequity, we propose an operational solution that offers affordable jet services (OrganJet) to patients on the transplant waiting list, allowing them to list in multiple different, and possibly very distant, donation service areas (DSAs) of their choosing. First, using a fluid approximation, we formulate the patients’ problem of choosing a location to multiple list as a selfish routing game in which each patient tries to minimize his ‘congestion cost,’ i.e., maximize his life expectancy. Through a combination of numerical, simulation, and analytical results, we show that multiple listing can lead to a significant improvement in geographic equity. In the special case when sufficiently many patients can multiple list, the geographic inequity disappears. Moreover, the supply of deceased donor organs increases under multiple listing, leading to more transplants and saved lives. We also consider a diffusion approximation and study the resulting multiple-listing game. The equilibrium outcome under the diffusion approximation is a second-order perturbation of that under the selfish routing formulation. In particular, the geographic equity metric, waiting times, and probabilities of receiving a transplant at various DSAs in equilibrium are second-order perturbations of those predicted by the selfish routing equilibrium. Hence, the analysis under the diffusion approximation also supports the finding that multiple listing leads to an improvement in geographic equity. In addition, restricting attention to the special case of sufficiently many patients multiple listing leads to an explicit characterization of the equilibria, which in turn yields additional structural insights. Last, we undertake a simulation study that supports aforementioned findings. This paper was accepted by Assaf Zeevi, stochastic models and simulation.
Bouwens, J. and P. Kroos (2017): The Interplay Between Forward-Looking Measures and Target Setting, Management Science, 63(9), pp.2868-2884
We examine whether financial targets are based on both forward-looking and financial information, rather than on financial information only. We collect sales and performance appraisal data of store managers in a retail chain. The firm issues directives focused on the provision of excellent customer service and assesses store managers’ compliance with these directives subjectively. We demonstrate that, controlling for current sales, compliance with directives scores predicts future sales performance. We find that, next to objective sales information, this forward-looking information is impounded in the next year’s sales target. Finally, we find some evidence that suggests that incorporating forward-looking information improves the accuracy of sales targets. This paper was accepted by Mary Barth, accounting.
Goode, S., H. Hoehle, V. Venkatesh and S. A. Brown (2017): USER COMPENSATION AS A DATA BREACH RECOVERY ACTION: AN INVESTIGATION OF THE SONY PLAYSTATION NETWORK BREACH, MIS Quarterly, 41(3), pp.703-A716
Drawing on expectation confirmation research, we develop hypotheses regarding the effect of compensation on key customer outcomes following a major data breach and consequent service recovery effort. Data were collected in a longitudinal field study of Sony customers during their data breach in 2011. A total of 144 customers participated in the two-phase data collection that began when the breach was announced and concluded after reparations were made. Using polynomial modeling and response surface analysis, we demonstrate that a modified assimilation–contrast model explained perceptions of service quality and continuance intention and a generalized negativity model explained repurchase intention. The results of our work contribute to research on data breaches and service failure by demonstrating the impacts of compensation on customer outcomes. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.
Ranjan, C., K. Paynabar, J. E. Helm and J. Pan (2017): The Impact of Estimation: A New Method for Clustering and Trajectory Estimation in Patient Flow Modeling, Production & Operations Management, 26(10), pp.1893-1914
The ability to accurately forecast and control inpatient census, and thereby workloads, is a critical and long-standing problem in hospital management. The majority of current literature focuses on optimal scheduling of inpatients, but largely ignores the process of accurate estimation of the trajectory of patients throughout the treatment and recovery process. The result is that current scheduling models are optimizing based on inaccurate input data. We developed a Clustering and Scheduling Integrated (CSI) approach to capture patient flows through a network of hospital services. CSI functions by clustering patients into groups based on similarity of trajectory using a novel semi-Markov model (SMM)-based clustering scheme, as opposed to clustering by patient attributes as in previous literature. Our methodology is validated by simulation and then applied to real patient data from a partner hospital where we demonstrate that it outperforms a suite of well-established clustering methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate that extant optimization methods achieve significantly better results on key hospital performance measures under CSI, compared with traditional estimation approaches, increasing elective admissions by 97% and utilization by 22% compared to 30% and 8% using traditional estimation techniques. From a theoretical standpoint, the SMM-clustering is a novel approach applicable to any temporal-spatial stochastic data that is prevalent in many industries and application areas.