Today we identify service articles published in Marketing, Management, Operations, Productions, Information Systems & Practioner-oriented Journals in the last month.

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Campbell, C., S. Sands, C. Ferraro, H.-Y. Tsao and A. Mavrommatis (2020): From data to action: How marketers can leverage AI, Business Horizons, 63(2), pp.227-243

Artificial intelligence (AI) is at the forefront of a revolution in business and society. AI affords companies a host of ways to better understand, predict, and engage customers. Within marketing, AI’s adoption is increasing year-on-year and in varied contexts, from providing service assistance during customer interactions to assisting in the identification of optimal promotions. But just as questions about AI remain with regard to job automation, ethics, and corporate responsibility, the marketing domain faces its own concerns about AI. With this article, we seek to consolidate the growing body of knowledge about AI in marketing. We explain how AI can enhance the marketing function across nine stages of the marketing planning process. We also provide examples of current applications of AI in marketing.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2019.12.002 [Google]

Canhoto, A. I. and F. Clear (2020): Artificial intelligence and machine learning as business tools: A framework for diagnosing value destruction potential, Business Horizons, 63(2), pp.183-193

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) may save money and improve the efficiency of business processes, but these technologies can also destroy business value, sometimes with grave consequences. The inability to identify and manage that risk can lead some managers to delay the adoption of these technologies and thus prevent them from realizing their potential. This article proposes a new framework by which to map the components of an AI solution and to identify and manage the value-destruction potential of AI and ML for businesses. We show how the defining characteristics of AI and ML can threaten the integrity of the AI system’s inputs, processes, and outcomes. We then draw from the concepts of value-creation content and value-creation process to show how these risks may hinder value creation or even result in value destruction. Finally, we illustrate the application of our framework with an example of the deployment of an AI-powered chatbot in customer service, and we discuss how to remedy the problems that arise.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2019.11.003 [Google]

Lee, I. and Y. J. Shin (2020): Machine learning for enterprises: Applications, algorithm selection, and challenges, Business Horizons, 63(2), pp.157-170

Machine learning holds great promise for lowering product and service costs, speeding up business processes, and serving customers better. It is recognized as one of the most important application areas in this era of unprecedented technological development, and its adoption is gaining momentum across almost all industries. In view of this, we offer a brief discussion of categories of machine learning and then present three types of machine-learning usage at enterprises. We then discuss the trade-off between the accuracy and interpretability of machine-learning algorithms, a crucial consideration in selecting the right algorithm for the task at hand. We next outline three cases of machine-learning development in financial services. Finally, we discuss challenges all managers must confront in deploying machine-learning applications.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bushor.2019.10.005 [Google]

Knight, E., J. Daymond and S. Paroutis (2020): Design-Led Strategy: How To Bring Design Thinking Into The Art of Strategic Management, California Management Review, 62(2), pp.30-52

Design thinking has emerged as an important way for designers to draw on rich customer insights to enhance their products and services. However, design thinking is now also beginning to influence how corporate managers bring customer data into their day-to-day strategic planning. We call this integration of design thinking into the practice of strategic management “Design-Led Strategy” and show how it complements but extends current design-thinking perspectives. Adopting a strategy-as-practice perspective, this article identifies four archetypal practices that managers can use to strategize with design-thinking content. Its findings provide insight into the practices associated with situating design thinking within organizational practice.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0008125619897594 [Google]

Berry, L. L., J. Crane, K. A. Deming and P. Barach (2020): Using Evidence to Design Cancer Care Facilities, American Journal of Medical Quality, (), pp.1.0628606199e+15

The nuts and bolts of planning and designing cancer care facilities?the physical space, the social systems, the clinical and nonclinical workflows, and all of the patient-facing services?directly influence the quality of clinical care and the overall patient experience. Cancer facilities should be conceived and constructed on the basis of evidence-based design thinking and implementation, complemented by input from key stakeholders such as patients, families, and clinicians. Specifically, facilities should be designed to improve the patient experience, offer options for urgent care, maximize infection control, support and streamline the work of multidisciplinary teams, integrate research and teaching, incorporate palliative care, and look beyond mere diagnosis and treatment to patient wellness?all tailored to each cancer center?s patient population and logistical and financial constraints. From conception to completion to iterative reevaluation, motivated institutions can learn to make their own facilities reflect the excellence in cancer care that they aim to deliver to patients.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1062860619897406 [Google]

Jacobson, J. O., L. L. Berry, P. A. Spears, K. D. Steffensen and D. J. Attai (2020): Proposing a Bill of Rights for Patients With Cancer, JCO Oncology Practice, 16(3), pp.121-123

Oncologists naturally believe that the care they deliver is patient focused, a core part of their mission. Nevertheless, many patients with cancer perceive gaps in their care experience.1-3 They report such concerns as excessive waiting for appointments, for scheduled interventions to begin, and for return phone calls; a lack of coordination among their multiple clinicians; unclear answers about disease prognosis; and daunting financial challenges, frequently with little pertinent assistance.1-3 Physicians who are diagnosed with cancer themselves often evolve in how they view patient care. As oncologist Marc Garnick writes, “Until I became a patient [with cancer], the accumulated burdens of treatment…that can sap a patient’s will had escaped my imagination.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00705 [Google]

Nyadzayo, M. W., R. Casidy and P. Thaichon (2020): B2B purchase engagement: Examining the key drivers and outcomes in professional services, Industrial Marketing Management, 85(), pp.197-208

The concept of engagement in regard to the business-to-business (B2B) sector has received less attention due to the complexity and heterogeneity of people involved in making the buying decisions. Hence, there is limited research examining the role of professional service firms’ simultaneous collaboration with stakeholders in general, and the drivers and outcomes of engagement in particular, within the B2B sector. To address this gap, this study examines the drivers and outcomes of purchase engagement in B2B professional services. Using the structural equation modelling approach, the results from a survey of CEOs and/or owner-managers of small and medium-sized enterprises in Australia found that customization and loyalty to the account manager are two salient drivers of purchase engagement. Purchase engagement is also found to yield three important outcomes, namely consideration set size (CSZ), dependence, and willingness to pay a premium price (WTP). In the study, customers’ dependence on the suppliers was found to act as a mechanism through which engagement can influence CSZ and WTP. • The study is among the first of empirical studies to examine the concept of purchase engagement in a B2B context. • Customization and loyalty to the account manager emerge as two salient drivers of purchase engagement. • Purchase engagement engenders three outcomes (consideration set size, dependence, and willingness to pay premium price). • Customer’s dependence on the supplier acts as a key mechanism through which engagement influences CSZ and WTP.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2019.11.007 [Google]

Statsenko, L. and G. Corral de Zubielqui (2020): Customer collaboration, service firms’ diversification and innovation performance, Industrial Marketing Management, 85(), pp.180-196

To sustain competitive advantage, service firms must adapt to the market environment, often by means of diversification and innovation. While extensive research has focussed on the role of customer collaboration in service firm innovation performance, fewer studies have examined the role of firm diversification in this relationship. This study draws on the resource-based view and dynamic capability literature to explore relationships between customer collaboration, diversification and innovation performance of service firms. A conceptual framework was developed and tested using a survey of 156 mining equipment, technology and services (METS) firms in South Australia, and case studies. The findings indicate that service and market diversification mediate the relationship between customer collaboration and innovation performance. Importantly, our findings demonstrate that customer collaboration has no direct effect on the innovation performance of service firms. The research helps practitioners and policymakers to understand the importance of enhancing collaboration across supply chains to build diversified and resilient to downturns in traditional sectors service economies. • Service and market diversification mediate the relationship between customer collaboration and the innovation performance of service firms • Through collaboration with customers service firms develop dynamic capabilities, which underpin diversification and innovation • Practitioners and policy makers may foster and incentivise supply chain collaboration to build diversified and resilient service economies

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2019.09.013 [Google]

De Giovanni, P. (2020): When feature-based production capabilities challenge operations: Drivers, moderators, and performance, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 40(2), pp.221-242

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence that competitors and supply chain (SC) partners have on firms’ feature-based production capabilities (FBPC). Also, it analyzes the consumers’ customization options, the operational challenges and the need for servitization as a service-operations strategy to bypass the product complexity created through features. The author assesses the impact of FBPC on performance and uses some moderators to explore the operational implications in depth. Design/methodology/approach: The author tests research hypotheses through structural equation modeling using a sample of 172 manufacturing firms. The author analyzes the links existing among constructs and tests the influence of certain operational moderators within the network of relationships. Findings: FBPC are highly dictated by competitors’ and SC partners’ decisions, while servitization is a vital prerequisite to guarantee a valuable customization option. Although operational performance is highly challenged by FBPC, only good consumer experiences with features enhance economic performance. The analysis of moderators reveals that advanced planning systems, vendor managed inventory and distribution requirement planning enable firms to better exploit their operations. Total quality management helps firms to offer higher levels of servitization while reverse logistics needs careful evaluation to balance the trade-offs between higher operational performance and supply structure changes. Originality/value: This research empirically tests the influence of both competitors and suppliers when firms acquire FBPC. The author investigates consumers’ requests for features and the benefits that servitization can supply when goods become too complex. The author tests how FBPC affect operations as well as the implications for economic performance. Finally, the author searches for moderators to assess the overall economic benefits of FBPC and better appreciate the operational implications.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-04-2019-0309 [Google]

Acquila-Natale, E. and S. Iglesias-Pradas (2020): How to measure quality in multi-channel retailing and not die trying, Journal of Business Research, 109(), pp.38-48

In multi-channel contexts, interactions between retailers and shoppers may occur in two or more channels along the shopping process. Besides making a revision of both service and e-service quality models, this study proposes a unified model for multi-channel contexts across four dimensions: in-store experience, reliability and fulfillment, security and privacy, and customer service. Moreover, it empirically tests this model using a questionnaire administered to a sample of Spanish shoppers (N = 432) of clothing and apparel. The results suggest an alternative factor configuration of four components: store design; delivery options; reliability, fulfillment and product information; and facilitation of touch and feel experiences. The research includes a practical application example of the resulting conceptualization of quality by exploring the relationship between its dimensions and single-channel or multi-channel behaviors. The results also show that store design has a positive relationship with single-channel behaviors and reliability, and that fulfillment-related aspects are associated with multi-channel behavior.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.10.041 [Google]

Barney, C., C. L. E. Jones and A. Farmer (2020): Approacher be-wear? Increasing shopper approach intentions through employee apparel, Journal of Business Research, 108(), pp.401-416

• Apparel can be used as a cue to encourage customers to approach employees. • The relationship between apparel and approach intentions is mediated by perceptions of expertise and service expectations. • Embarrassment moderates the relationship between expertise and service expectations in this relationship. Employee-customer interactions have been shown to influence perceptions of service quality, but what encourages customers to approach an employee has yet to be explored. As technology is increasingly integrated into service and retail environments and employee presence is decreasing, much of the responsibility for initiating service encounters has shifted from employees to customers. However, many customers are reluctant to approach employees. This manuscript examines the process through which a customer decides whether to approach an employee. Apparel is among the most noticeable cues customers’ use to evaluate employees, thus, signaling theory is used to examine employee apparel’s effect on consumers’ approach intentions. Additionally, embarrassment is shown to moderate the approach decision process. Three studies, including a 360° video experiment and a behavioral lab study, are used to assess the relationship between apparel and approach decisions. These findings provide evidence that expertise-signaling apparel may be more effective at increasing approach intentions.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.11.061 [Google]

Bourke, J., S. Roper and J. H. Love (2020): Innovation in legal services: The practices that influence ideation and codification activities, Journal of Business Research, 109(), pp.132-147

• A new framework comprising firms’ innovation ‘activities’ and related ‘practices’. • A bespoke survey of innovation in legal services. • A structured and organised approach to innovation benefits professional services. • Identifies firm-level practices which benefit ideation and codification activities. • Little evidence that competition affects innovation in legal services. This study examines how firms’ innovation practices affect ideation and knowledge codification. Building on previous studies of service innovation, we develop a hierarchic framework comprising firms’ innovation ‘activities’ and related ‘practices’. Using survey data on UK legal services firms, we then identify the individual practices that contribute to successful ideation and codification. Our study contributes to our understanding of how a structured and organised approach to innovation benefits professional services firms. Beneficial practices include multifunctional working, promoting effective team-working, developing in-house research capability, having a leadership team committed to innovation and having strong external relationships. Firms with owners from outside the focal services sector, in the present case legal services, prove more effective at both ideation and knowledge codification. We find little evidence that competition affects innovation, suggesting that de-regulation initiatives in the legal services sector have to improve if market forces are to operate effectively.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.11.057 [Google]

Raj, S. P., B.-D. Rhee and K. Sivakumar (2020): Manufacturer adoption of a unilateral pricing policy in a multi-channel setting to combat customer showrooming, Journal of Business Research, 110(), pp.104-118

Unilateral pricing policy (UPP), in which the manufacturer mandates a minimum retail price for all retailers, has become increasingly popular. Manufacturers employ this pricing policy to encourage brick-and-mortar retailers to offer a high level of service in their stores and to support brick-and-mortar retailers that provide presales services for customers in the presence of showrooming—a phenomenon in which a customer visits an offline retailer to learn about the product but purchases from an online retailer for a lower price. Our proposed analytical model identifies the motivations of a UPP and helps determine the approach to setting a UPP-based price under various conditions. The UPP price depends on key factors such as the extent of showrooming in the market, customer price sensitivity, and the salience of presales service in their valuation. We compare the outcomes of a UPP with those under the conventional policy, in which the retailers determine prices independently.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.01.001 [Google]

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