Considered Service-specific journals were Journal of Service Research, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Service Industries Journal, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and Service Science.
For more information about the alert system methodology go here
For all previous alerts go here
Jin, B. E. and D. C. Shin (2020): Changing the game to compete: Innovations in the fashion retail industry from the disruptive business model, Business Horizons, 63(3), pp.301-311
Unprecedented competition and emergent technologies have posed a challenge to many traditional retailers in recent years. Yet within this competitive environment, emerging innovative business models have thrived and successfully disrupted the industry. We analyze the nature of disruptive business-model innovations and the ways they disrupt the fashion retail industry. To that end, we examine three disruptors in the industry: born-digital brands, AI-enabled demand forecasting and product design, and collaborative consumption. After introducing the concept of disruptive business-model innovation, we discuss the three disruptors’ effects on the fashion industry. We find that all of these models keenly answer fundamental needs unmet by current business models, such as offering quality products at a competitive price, curated services, and sustainable consumption. At the same time, all three disruptors suggest effective operation models for handling demand uncertainty, inventory management, and timely responses to the market, all of which are inherent issues for current push supply chains and forecast-based, inventory-driven systems. Based on this analysis, we discuss important implications for both academics and industry practitioners.
Ellinger, A. E., J. Naidoo, A. D. Ellinger, K. Filips and G. D. Herrin (2020): Applying blue ocean strategy to hire and assimilate workers with disabilities into distribution centers, Business Horizons, 63(3), pp.339-350
As consumers increasingly choose to make their purchases from the comfort of their own homes rather than to visit brick-and-mortar stores, the need for fast-moving fulfillment and distribution centers (DCs) is proliferating. The Amazon effect that is so significantly changing the way people shop is also associated with an acute shortage of blue-collar workers in the retail-distribution industry. Firms’ traditional responses to the scarcity of warehouse labor are to increase hourly wages and to integrate automation and robotic product-fulfillment technologies. We identify an innovative human-capital-management approach that provides a timely, alternative solution to this important business problem. We present anecdotal, descriptive overviews of firms that are implementing blue ocean strategy (BOS) to proactively hire and assimilate workers with disabilities into their DCs. We also identify effective practices for partnering with local disability-service agencies to ensure that proactively hiring warehouse workers with disabilities creates mutual value and improves productivity. Finally, we discuss corporate social responsibility and the social impact of successfully hiring and assimilating workers with disabilities, with the intent of encouraging firms in the retail-fulfillment industry to view the traditional business problem of hiring warehouse workers from a new and alternative perspective.
Berry, L. L. and B. Stuart (2020): An “Essential Services” Workforce for Crisis Response, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, (), pp.7.4391562093e+14
COVID-19 is a worldwide crisis—cruelly infectious, fast-moving, and lethal. It has stressed or overwhelmed health care infrastructures on a global scale. In the United States, hospitals have been ravaged. Workers who provide for basic needs on which everyone’s health depends have put their own health at greater risk. It is the very threat to these workers—and, by extension, to all of us—that offers an opportunity to reimagine the concept of “essential services” during a crisis and, thereby, better control our destiny (Berry 1999).
Lehr, A., M. Buettgen, S. Benoit and K. Merfeld (2020): Spillover effects from unintended trials on attitude and behavior: Promoting new products through access‐based services, Psychology & Marketing, 37(5), pp.705-723
Access‐based services (ABS) provide an opportunity for brands to promote their new products by enabling (unintended) trials. However, the mechanisms and impact of consumer exposure to products in ABS and the subsequent potential spillover effects on both the brand and the product perception are largely unknown. Our hypotheses are derived from the information integration theory (IIT) and subsequently tested. Study 1 is a field study investigating an unintended trial moderated by involvement and positive experience. The results indicate the positive effects of the unintended trial on product and brand attitudes, brand purchase intention, and word of mouth. In line with IIT, these effects are more pronounced for positive trial experience, although in contrast to IIT, they are less pronounced for high‐involvement consumers. While the results of Study 2, an online experiment, show substantial effects of both trials compared with nontrials, they also reveal that intended and unintended trials have a similar impact on attitude, but ABS experiences have a stronger positive impact on brand purchase intention. We thus recommend that brand managers promote not only new products but also their brands in unintended trials. This study fills a gap in current discussions about the trial effect(s) of ABS.
Moriuchi, E. (2020): “Social credit effect” in a sharing economy: A theory of mind and prisoner’s dilemma game theory perspective on the two‐way review and rating system, Psychology & Marketing, 37(5), pp.641-662
Using random samples, we conducted three studies to explore the relationships among interpersonal mentalizing in predicting future sharing economy service usage. The primary focus of this research was to examine Uber passengers’ theory of mind in a broader theoretical base of human abilities. The results confirm the dimensions of interpersonal mentalizing such as their experience with the sharing economy service and their current star ratings from the Uber driver. In addition, this study confirms that the dimensions of interpersonal mentalizing are dependent on the situation and the ratings they received from the Uber driver. In extreme rating situations (1‐star rating), interpersonal dimensions did not have an effect on their negative beliefs about the two‐way evaluation system. However, with moderate (3‐star) and high ratings (4.75 and above star rating), the interpersonal dimensions such as nonverbal cues and the ability to shape behaviors and interactions serve as determinants of Uber passengers’ belief in the evaluation system, which then leads to their future usage of the sharing economy services. In sum, these findings shed light on the complementary role of the autonomous abilities of Uber passengers to improve their star ratings, which then leads to their future usage of sharing economy services.
Hartl, B., B. Kamleitner and S. Holub (2020): Take me on a ride: The role of environmentalist identity for carpooling, Psychology & Marketing, 37(5), pp.663-676
Sharing does not need to involve corporate providers but can also happen on a peer‐to‐peer (P2P) basis. P2P sharing platforms who match private providers and users are thus dealing with two different customer segments. An example of this is carpooling, the sharing of a car journey. Recent years have seen considerable research on why people use sharing services. In contrast, there is little knowledge of why people may offer a good for sharing purposes. Drawing on identity theory, this paper suggests that users and providers of carpooling need to be addressed differently. A pilot study and two studies, including both actual car owners and nonowners confirm that the extent to which one identifies as an environmentalist predicts car owners’ willingness to offer carpooling, but does not affect nonowners’ willingness to use carpooling services. These findings remain robust when controlling for various potential confounds. Furthermore, Study 2 suggests that an environmentalist identity plays an important role for car owners’ actual decision to offer a ride via an online platform. These results suggest that marketers of P2P platforms need to pursue different strategies when addressing potential users and providers on the same platform.
Buhalis, D., L. Andreu and J. Gnoth (2020): The dark side of the sharing economy: Balancing value co‐creation and value co‐destruction, Psychology & Marketing, 37(5), pp.689-704
The sharing economy disrupts the marketplace and brings both benefits and disadvantages into service ecosystems. We discuss principles of the S‐D logic and transformative service research and explore the processes of value co‐creation and co‐destruction of well‐being within the ecosystem of the accommodation sharing economy. Following a brief period of euphoria, the dark side of the sharing economy emerges, defined as the socially, environmentally, or economically undesirable effects introduced by the sharing economy. Airbnb introduced new realities for visitors, neighborhoods, the accommodation industry, and city councils, whereby some stakeholders are frequently found to maximize their own value at the expense of others. Value co‐destruction prevails often due to uncontrolled and rapid expansion. We seek to promote a more balanced process, and the optimization of value co‐creation, while seeking to prevent value co‐destruction. Using a literature review, netnography, and a case study, we investigate co‐creation and co‐destruction, as expressed by different stakeholders, and focus on the socio‐psychological implications in the use of sharing platforms that affect the well‐being of individuals and community. A conceptual framework is proposed to manage future research addressing well‐being, value co‐creation and co‐destruction in complex ecosystem service networks.
Siahtiri, V., N. Heirati and A. O’Cass (2020): Unlocking solution provision competence in knowledge-intensive business service firms, Industrial Marketing Management, 87(), pp.117-127
Business services markets are very competitive and a key challenge for knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) firms is delivering effective solutions for business customers. As solution providers, KIBS firms need to invest competencies that supports their capacity to solve customers’ problems. We examine how KIBS firms address this challenge by investigating how solution-provision competence (SPC), as a firm-level competence, contributes to the delivery of effective solutions, and how and when KIBS firms leverage SPC to transform knowledge gained from various search paths into effective solutions for customers. The results show that distal search enriches knowledge diversity, which helps foster solution-provision competence but only up to a point, after which the relationship turns negative, with distal search showing a diminishing effect on solution-provision competence. In addressing the diminishing returns of distal search to solution-provision competence, we show that higher levels of proximal search and strategic flexibility reverse the diminishing effect of high levels of distal search on solution-provision competence; however, employee collaboration did not help counter the diminishing returns (e.g., marginal benefits). Finally, we demonstrate that solution-provision competence helps KIBS firms offer effective solutions tailored to business customers’ specific needs. • Solution provision competence is a firm level competence that facilitates customization of solutions. • Customers benefit when B2B service firms develop and deploy a effective solution provision competence. • Enriching knowledge assets is a double edge sword and while it decreases core rigidities, it can result in a failure trap. • Distal search helps with rigidities, proximal search, strategic flexibility help with failure traps.
Pei, Z., R. Yan and S. Ghose (2020): Which one is more valuable in coordinating the online and offline distribution? Service support or online price coordination, Industrial Marketing Management, 87(), pp.150-159
Nowadays effective mechanisms to coordinate the online and offline distribution become increasingly important in the business market. In this research, we first propose two mechanisms (i.e. the offline service to the retailer and the online price coordination) for the manufacturer and the retailer to employ. Our results show that the online price coordination does help coordinate the online and offline distribution and bring higher profits to the manufacturer-retailer supply chain and thus both the manufacturer and the retailer, while the offline service to the retailer does not; comparing to the offline service to the retailer, the online price coordination is a better strategy to be utilized to alleviate the online to offline competition. Furthermore, we investigate if a novel coordination mechanism, which combines the offline service to the retailer with the online price coordination, can help coordinate the online and offline distribution better and becomes the optimal coordination mechanism. Surprisingly, our results show that compared to both the offline service to the retailer and the online price coordination, this combination coordination mechanism does show a dominant competitive advantage to bring highest profits to all parties. • Coordinating the online and offline distribution is crucial in B2B industries. • Offline service to the retailer is not a double-win tool in channel coordination. • Online price coordination is an effective coordination mechanism. • Combination coordination mechanism is the most effective approach.
Hossain, T. M. T., S. Akter, U. Kattiyapornpong and Y. Dwivedi (2020): Reconceptualizing Integration Quality Dynamics for Omnichannel Marketing, Industrial Marketing Management, 87(), pp.225-241
Omnichannel marketing, the notion of seamless integration between channels to provide consistent service experience for customers, has become one of the most crucial aspects of multichannel management for companies in recent years. Although many companies have embraced omnichannel strategies, there remains a gap of understanding factors influencing integration quality (INQ) within all these channels. Drawing on omni and multi channel services research, this paper develops and validates the dimensions and sub-dimensions of omnichannel integration quality. This research further examines how the perceived INQ impacts cross-buying behavior and customer value in an omnichannel environment. This research is based on 20 in-depth interviews, two focus group discussions (n = 18) and 301 survey data from multichannel banking customers in Australia. PLS path modeling was used to test hypothesized relations and validate the hierarchical INQ model and its effects on outcome constructs. The findings of this research confirm that INQ is a hierarchical construct consisting of four primary dimensions and ten sub-dimensions. Furthermore, this research provides evidence of cross-buying intentions as a behavioral outcome of INQ, which acts as a partial mediator between INQ and perceived value. • Omnichannel marketing refers to seamless integration between marketing channels. • Omnichannel marketing has become one of the most crucial aspects in multichannel management. • There remains a gap of understanding factors influencing integration quality (INQ) within all these channels. • INQ is a hierarchical construct consisting of four primary dimensions and ten sub-dimensions. • This research provides evidence of cross-buying intentions as a behavioral outcome of INQ.
Taylor, S. A., G. L. Hunter, A. H. Zadeh, D. Delpechitre and J. H. Lim (2020): Value propositions in a digitally transformed world, Industrial Marketing Management, 87(), pp.256-263
Business-to-Business and broader marketing are increasingly influenced by the digital transformation of business, leading to the evolution of new central marketing concepts (e.g., value propositions, value co-creation, customer experiences/journeys, customer centricity, etc.). Therefore, it is not surprising that important emerging marketing concepts, such as value propositions remain ill-defined. We argue herein for the evolution/expansion of the theoretical boundaries of value propositions from largely a firm-centric communication marketing tool toward a concept representing a significant step in an actor’s judgment & decision-making processes. A framework emphasizing marketing interactions is developed that reconciles much of the emerging evidence related to goal theory, perceived value, resource sharing, value propositions and their communication, marketing ecosystems, and the value co-creation process. In the proposed framework, value propositions are re-conceptualized as a central within-subject belief about resource-sharing vis–vis marketing interactions within the larger process of value co-creation over time. The managerial and research implications of the proposed framework are presented and discussed. • A new Value Proposition (VP) model is presented that accommodates digit
Winkler, T. J. and J. Wulf (2020): Effectiveness of IT Service Management Capability: Value Co-Creation and Value Facilitation Mechanisms, Journal of Management Information Systems, 36(2), pp.639-675
Information technology service management (ITSM) has become the prevalent management approach to the provision of IT services worldwide. Researchers and practitioners, however, still lack an understanding regarding through which mechanisms and in which strategic contexts an ITSM capability contributes most to information systems (IS) effectiveness. Grounded in a service-dominant logic, we hypothesize that ITSM capability contributes to IS effectiveness through sustaining the alignment of the IS function with the business and contingent upon organizational IS strategic conservativeness. Data collected from 256 organizations confirms that direct effects from ITSM capability are mediated by IS-business alignment and strengthened by IS strategic conservativeness. Our findings provide evidence for a co-occurrence of value co-creation and value facilitation mechanisms in internal IT service relationships and for a greater value of ITSM capability in stable strategic contexts. Overall, our results contribute a novel understanding to the service literature of the distinct mechanisms and the facilitating contextual contingencies of value creation in IT service relationships.
Bartel, A. P., C. W. Chan and S.-H. Kim (2020): Should Hospitals Keep Their Patients Longer? The Role of Inpatient Care in Reducing Postdischarge Mortality, Management Science, 66(6), pp.2326-2346
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the National Quality Forum have endorsed the 30-day mortality rate as an important indicator of hospital quality. Concerns have been raised, however, as to whether postdischarge mortality rates are reasonable measures of hospital quality as they consider the frequency of an event that occurs after a patient is discharged and is no longer under the watch and care of hospital staff. Estimating the causal effect of length of stay (LOS) on postdischarge mortality from retrospective data introduces a number of econometric challenges. We describe three potential sources of (endogeneity and censoring) biases and propose an approach that provides conservative estimates of the true treatment effect. Using a large data set comprising all hospital encounters of every Medicare fee-for-service patient with acute myocardial infarction from 2000 to 2011, we find evidence that an increase in LOS is associated with a decrease in 30-day mortality rates. An additional day in the hospital could decrease 30-day mortality rates by over 6%. Moreover, we find that, from a social planner’s perspective, the gains achieved in reducing mortality rates likely exceed the cost of keeping the patients in the hospital for an additional day. This paper was accepted by Vishal Gaur, operations management.
Sfekas, A. (2020): Focus, Uncertain Needs, and Consumer Choice in the Hospital Industry, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 22(3), pp.446-460
Problem definition: This study examines the relationship between organizational focus, diversification of services, and consumer choice in the market for healthcare services. Academic/practical relevance: While previous studies have examined the roles of focus and diversification in efficiency and quality of care, their role in patient choice has received less attention. Methods: We use hospital inpatient data from the state of Florida for the years 2006–2010 to examine this problem in the context of obstetrics services. Results: Patients are more likely to choose hospitals that specialize in obstetrics services. They also show preferences for diversification across hospital units but not diversification within the focal unit. Specifically, they prefer hospitals offering wider ranges of services for newborns, which often involve different departments in the hospital but do not prefer hospitals offering wider ranges of obstetrics services. Managerial implications: Hospitals can gain an advantage by focusing on a small set of services. However, focus has important limits, as patients may have needs that cut across medical specialties and prefer facilities that can serve these sometimes complex needs. We discuss potential implications for hospital performance.
Karatzas, A., G. Papadopoulos and J. Godsell (2020): Servitization and the Effect of Training on Service Delivery System Performance, Production & Operations Management, 29(5), pp.1101-1121
Manufacturers moving into services must design a service delivery system that can effectively and efficiently support their product‐service offerings. Commonly, such manufacturers outsource customer service and support to independent service suppliers, while maintaining the ownership and control of certain service units. Despite the increasing number of studies in service triads investigating ways that may improve service performance and customer satisfaction, the dynamics of mixed‐ownership service delivery systems have remained understudied. By deploying the Motivation–Opportunity–Ability (MOA) framework, and synthesizing insights from research in franchising and the literature on training effectiveness, we hypothesize that manufacturer‐led formal training increases the service performance of the entire network, but that outsourced service units choose more suitable training courses and derive comparatively higher performance benefits than company‐owned ones. We test (and find support for) our hypotheses within the UK service network of a major commercial vehicles manufacturer, using several panel data regression models and objective measures of training and performance. This study primarily contributes to the literature on servitization and service triads by showing the performance‐enhancing capacity of manufacturer‐led training. The results have practical implications for the development and implementation of the service operations strategy of servitized manufacturers that support customers through mixed‐ownership service networks.
de Vries, H., J. van de Klundert and A. P. M. Wagelmans (2020): The Roadside Healthcare Facility Location Problem A Managerial Network Design Challenge, Production & Operations Management, 29(5), pp.1165-1187
The population of truck drivers plays a key role in the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases in sub‐Saharan Africa. Truck drivers thereby affect the health and lives of many, but also suffer from poor health and significantly reduced life expectancy themselves. Due to professional circumstances, their health service needs are generally not well addressed. Therefore, the non‐governmental organization North Star Alliance builds a network of healthcare facilities along the largest trucking routes in sub‐Saharan Africa. This paper studies the problem where to place additional facilities, and which health service packages to offer at each facility. The objective combines the maximization of the patient volume at these facilities and the maximization of the effectiveness of the health service delivery to the population served. The latter criterion is modeled through three novel access measures which capture the needs for effective service provisioning. The resulting optimization problem is essentially different from previously studied healthcare facility location problems because of the specific mobile nature of health service demand of truck drivers. Applying our model to the network of major transport corridors in South‐East Africa, we investigate several prominent questions managers and decision‐makers face. We show that the present network expansion strategy, which primarily focuses on patient volumes, may need to be reconsidered: substantial gains in effectiveness can be made when allowing a small reduction in patient volumes. We furthermore show that solutions are rather robust to data impreciseness and that long‐term network planning can bring substantial benefits, particularly in greenfield situations.
Ertekin, N., M. E. Ketzenberg and G. R. Heim (2020): Assessing Impacts of Store and Salesperson Dimensions of Retail Service Quality on Consumer Returns, Production & Operations Management, 29(5), pp.1232-1255
This study contributes to the understanding of consumer return behavior by examining associations between in‐store customer shopping experiences and subsequent customer returns. Return rates can vary a great deal across stores within a company and across salespersons within a store. We empirically examine returns across these two levels with respect to three retail service quality dimensions: salesperson friendliness, salesperson competence, and store environment. We conduct a detailed analysis using transaction data and customer survey responses from 25,131 customers at a national jewelry retailer. We find salesperson friendliness, salesperson competence, and store environment are significantly associated with subsequent return events, since, theoretically, customers use the three service quality dimensions as information cues to form their product quality perceptions. Our analysis reveals managerially relevant insights for retailers. The empirical associations suggest retailer management might obtain the most benefit in reducing returns from improving salesperson competence, which is followed by improving store environment and improving salesperson friendliness. We also conduct analyses using customer shopping attributes to identify how retailers might modify service for different customer segments to increase the efficacy of return prevention. Lastly, our counterfactual analysis predicts substantial improvements in return rates and net sales due to potential store execution efforts targeted at improving salesperson friendliness, salesperson competence, or store environment. The predictions support the idea that return prevention should start at the point of sale.
Leung, F. F., S. Kim and C. H. Tse (2020): Highlighting Effort Versus Talent in Service Employee Performance: Customer Attributions and Responses, Journal of Marketing, 84(3), pp.106-121
Firms often attribute their service employees’ competent performance to either dedicated effort or natural talent. However, it is unclear how such practices affect customer evaluations of service employees and customer outcomes. Moreover, prior work has primarily examined attributions of one’s own performance, providing little insight on the impact of attributions of others’ performance. Drawing on research regarding the warmth–competence framework and performance attributions, the current research proposes and finds that consumers expect a more communal-oriented and less exchange-oriented relationship when a service employee’s competent performance is attributed to dedicated effort rather than natural talent, as effort (vs. talent) attribution leads consumers to perceive the employee as warmer. The authors further propose customer helping behaviors as downstream consequences of relationship expectations, finding that effort (vs. talent) attribution is more likely to induce customers’ word-of-mouth and idea provision behaviors. The findings enrich existing literature by identifying performance attributions as a managerially meaningful antecedent of relationship expectations and offer practical guidance on how marketers can influence consumers’ relationship expectations and helping behaviors.
Gremler, D. D., Y. Van Vaerenbergh, E. C. Brüggen and K. P. Gwinner (2020): Understanding and managing customer relational benefits in services: a meta-analysis, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(3), pp.565-583
Recent meta-analyses provide clear insights into how service firms can benefit from relationship marketing, whereas investigations of customers’ relational benefits (1) are unclear about the absolute and relative strengths by which different relational benefit dimensions induce different customer responses and (2) have not simultaneously examined the various mediating processes (including perceived value, relationship quality, and switching costs) through which relational benefits reportedly affect customer loyalty. To consolidate extant research on the benefits of relationship marketing for customers, this meta-analysis integrates 1242 effect sizes drawn from 235 independent samples across 224 papers disseminated in the past two decades. The results reveal that all three relational benefits affect loyalty, though confidence benefits and social benefits have the strongest effects. Among the three identified mediation paths through which relational benefits influence customer loyalty, the sequential path through perceived value and relationship quality is the strongest. From a service research perspective, this study provides novel empirical generalizations; managerially, the findings suggest that a primary goal for service managers should be strengthening confidence and social benefits.
Khamitov, M., Y. Grégoire and A. Suri (2020): A systematic review of brand transgression, service failure recovery and product-harm crisis: integration and guiding insights, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48(3), pp.519-542
Research studies on brand transgression (BT), service failure and recovery (SFR), and product-harm crisis (PHC) appear to have a common focus, yet the three streams developed surprisingly independently and with limited reference to one another. This situation is unfortunate because all three fields study a similar phenomenon by using complementary conceptualizations, theories, and methods; we argue that this development in silos represents an unnecessary obstacle to the development of a common discipline. In response, this review synthesizes the growing BT, SFR, and PHC literatures by systematically reviewing 236 articles across 21 years using an integrative conceptual framework. In doing so, we showcase how the mature field of SFR in concert with the younger but prolific BT and PHC fields can enrich one another while jointly advancing a broad and unified discipline of negative events in marketing. Through this process, we provide and explicate seven overarching insights across three major themes (theory, dynamic aspects, and method) to encourage researchers to contribute to the interface between these three important fields. The review concludes with academic contributions and practical implications.
Hazée, S., Y. Van Vaerenbergh, C. Delcourt and S. Kabadayi (2020): Service delivery system design for risk management in sharing-based product service systems: a customer-oriented approach, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 40(4), pp.459-479
Purpose: Organizations increasingly develop and offer sharing services enabled by means of product-service systems (PSS). However, organizations offering sharing-based PSS face a unique set of design challenges and operational risks. The purpose of this paper is to provide researchers and practitioners with customer-based insights into service delivery system design and risk management for sharing-based PSS operational success. Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative study combines in-depth interviews with supplementary, multidisciplinary literature and secondary firm data. In total, the authors conducted 56 semi-structured interviews with diverse customers across different business-to-customer (B2C) PSS settings. Findings: First, the authors develop an integrative conceptual framework that reveals what structural and infrastructural design choices customer expect organizations to make for mitigating risks and enhancing customer-perceived value in the sharing economy. These design choices may influence customers’ trust and control perceptions in all actors involved in the service delivery system. Second, the results suggest that sharing value proposition, customer-perceived level of consequentiality and level of customer-supplied resources are contingency factors that need to be considered when making design decisions for risk management in the sharing economy. Originality/value: This study extends Sampson’s Unified Service Theory by proposing that, with sharing-based PSS, production flows from customers to customers. This situation creates unique challenges for operations management. This paper extends current understanding of the role, characteristics and contingencies of service delivery system design for risk management in the sharing economy. In doing so, authors challenge common wisdom and suggest understanding both the organizational and customers’ individual contexts is critical for (contingency) theory and practice.
Peltokorpi, A., J. Matinheikki, J. Lehtinen and R. Rajala (2020): Revisiting the unholy alliance of health-care operations: payor–provider integration of occupational health services, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 40(4), pp.357-387
Purpose: To investigate the effects of payor–provider integration on the operational performance of health service provision. The research explores whether integration governs agency problems and tilts the incentives of diverse actors toward more systematic outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: A two stage multimethod case study of occupational health services. A qualitative stage aimed to understand the reasons, mechanisms, and outcomes of payor–provider integration. A quantitative stage evaluated the performance of the integrated hospital against fee-for-service partner hospitals with a sample of 2,726 patients. Findings: Payor–provider integration mitigates agency problems on multiple levels of the service system by complementing formal governance mechanisms with informal mechanisms. Compared to partner hospitals, the integrated hospital yielded 9% lower the total costs of occupational injuries achieved primarily by emphasizing conservative care and faster recovery. Research limitations/implications: Focuses on occupational health services in Finland. Provides initial evidence of the effects of payor–provider integration on the operational performance. Practical implications: Vertical integration may provide systematic outcomes but requires mindful implementation of multiple mechanisms. Rigorous change management initiative is advised. Social implications: For patients, the research shows payor–provider integration of health services can be implemented in a manner that it reduces care costs while not compromising care quality and customer satisfaction. Originality/value: This study provides a rare longitudinal analysis of payor–provider integration in health-care operations management. The study adds to the knowledge of operational performance improvement of health services.
Matthews, L., M. Eilert, L. Carlson and J. Gentry (2020): When and how frontline service employee authenticity influences purchase intentions, Journal of Business Research, 114(), pp.111-123
• Frontline service employee (FSE) personal authenticity increases purchase intentions. • FSE personal authenticity matters more when brands are not seen as authentic. • Personal authenticity increases perceived trust and quality of the FSE. • Trust and quality mediate the FSE authenticity – purchase intent relationship. • FSE authenticity is especially important in credence (vs. experience) services. In this manuscript, we investigate the central role of perceived frontline service employee (FSE) authenticity and the process by which it impacts purchase intentions, taking into account the represented brand’s authenticity. While brand authenticity has previously been shown to enhance consumer outcomes, we find that FSE authenticity is a separate significant predictor of purchase intentions. Further, we find that FSE authenticity enhances purchase intentions by increasing perceived trust and perceived quality. However, this finding only holds for brands that do not emphasize their authenticity, indicating that brand managers should differentially emphasize FSE authenticity based on their brand’s positioning. Furthermore, we investigate the robustness of these effects across both experience and credence services, and find that FSE authenticity is especially important in credence service contexts.
Raja, J. Z., T. Frandsen, C. Kowalkowski and M. Jarmatz (2020): Learning to discover value: Value-based pricing and selling capabilities for services and solutions, Journal of Business Research, 114(), pp.142-159
• Capabilities for value-based pricing and value-based selling are analyzed. • The influence of learning on VBP and VBS capabilities is explored. • Higher-level learning supports value discovery through dialogue over time. • Learning capabilities facilitate the adoption and replication of VBP and VBS capabilities. • A framework for capabilities for industrial services and solutions is derived. Many manufacturers invest in advanced services and solutions to achieve superior customer value; however, research has only begun to examine capabilities for value-based pricing (VBP) and value-based selling (VBS) in relation to such offerings. This article explores (1) which capabilities firms seek to develop for VBP and VBS of industrial services and solutions and (2) how learning influences the development of these capabilities. An in-depth exploratory study of two global market leaders in their respective industries includes interviews with 66 respondents from the firms, as well as 12 interviews with customer and supplier informants, which reveal important capabilities for VBP and VBS. Higher-level learning supports value discovery, through dialogue with customers over time; this value in turn forms the basis for VBP and VBS. Higher-level learning capabilities also facilitate the adaptation and replication of the developed pricing and selling capabilities in various contexts.
Lee, N. Y., S. M. Noble and A. R. Zablah (2020): So distant, yet useful: The impact of distal stories on customers’ service expectations, Journal of Business Research, 113(), pp.230-242
Due to the uncertainty and unpredictability of service experiences, customers often read other customers’ stories in online reviews before choosing a service provider. These stories include details about the storyteller, such as where she or he lives and when she or he experienced the service encounter. These details can make the reader feel near to or far from the service experience described in the story. In this study, we investigate how this near or far feeling — psychological distance — influences service expectations. Drawing from construal level theory (CLT), we propose that psychologically distant (vs. proximal) stories enhance customers’ service expectations by promoting a high- (vs. low-) level construal of the information presented and find broad support for this expectation using Yelp.com review data and lab experiments. This research contributes to the services marketing literature by revealing how seemingly innocuous aspects of stories embedded in online reviews influence service expectations.
Kokkoris, M. D., E. Hoelzl and B. Kamleitner (2020): Self-found, spellbound: The sense of own discovery shapes customer bonds with service venues, Journal of Business Research, 113(), pp.303-316
Conventional wisdom as well as marketing practice suggest that companies benefit from helping customers find them. Yet, sometimes customers find service venues on their own. We suggest that a sense of own discovery can benefit businesses because customers tend to bond more with what they have discovered for themselves. Situated in the hospitality industry, a field study with customers of a café, a survey with a representative sample of café-goers, an online experiment with a discovery of a bar, and a lab experiment with a discovery of a restaurant confirmed that a sense of own discovery strengthens customer bonds (self-connection, emotional attachment, psychological ownership) with service venues, and in turn predicts actual behavior and behavioral intentions that benefit the venue (i.e., actual consumption, patronage intentions). These findings advance insights into customer relationships and highlight the importance of boosting perceptions of own discovery as a way to build stronger customer bonds.
Akhmedova, A., F. Marimon and M. Mas-Machuca (2020): Winning strategies for customer loyalty in the sharing economy: A mixed-methods study, Journal of Business Research, 112(), pp.33-44
• The article proposes strategies that enable sharing platforms to increase repurchase intention. • Recommendations distinguish segments of customers (generational cohort, gender). • The model builds on the relationship among transaction costs and purchasing phases. • Loyalty antecedents are related to: website (app); platform; and, peer. Loyalty is key for sharing economy (SE) platforms, as their success depends on gaining and retaining a critical mass of users. Using a sequential design of quantitative (exploratory factor analysis) and mixed methods (qualitative comparative analysis), a sample of 208 users of SE platforms was analysed. The results indicate that loyalty is achieved at the intersection of website (app) organisation, platform responsiveness and reliability, and customer interaction with the peer service provider. Three strategies are proposed to achieve loyalty, each comprising two out of the three mentioned antecedents. Sensitivity analysis of the loyalty antecedents suggests specific customer segments (millennials versus baby boomers and males versus females).
von Schéele, F., D. M. Haftor and N. Pashkevich (2020): Cognitive time as a service price determinant: Hidden dynamics and price collapse, Journal of Business Research, 112(), pp.248-253
A novel service price equation is advanced to explain how prices in the services market depend on service workers’ cognitive time in relation to the actual clock time (physical time) that is contracted for a service. Cognitive time affects service revenues, costs, the targeted service profit, and budgeted service time. The equation shows how the cognitive time of service workers produces a hidden price-lever effect, in which the service price behavior becomes non-linear. A minor difference between the cognitive time and the physical time of a given service generates a significant change in the price level required to realize a targeted service profit. If the workload of a service worker is increased to a certain level, there is a potential service price collapse, implying that the service provider cannot reach the budgeted profit. This collapse condition further advances the emerging literature on behavioral pricing of services.
Bonomi, S., D. Sarti and T. Torre (2020): Creating a collaborative network for welfare services in public sector. A knowledge-based perspective, Journal of Business Research, 112(), pp.440-449
This study analyses the creation of a collaborative network among a group of small Italian Municipalities finalized to share their welfare services, the provision of which represents one of the most relevant challenges for Public Administrations, both for the growth of needs of people and the decrease of resources available. This study starts from the literature analysis on collaborative networks, and then examines the network creation as a process of organizational change based on a knowledge perspective, identifying the main organizational variables. These variables emerge from a content analysis run on materials from interviews conducted with informants involved in the process. Based on the results of the content analysis, a fsQCA was run, suggesting a specific combination of variables. ‘Openness to change’ appears as a necessary condition in both the phases in which the process can be organised, while in the second also ‘knowledge sharing’ emerges as necessary.
Sjödin, D., V. Parida, M. Kohtamäki and J. Wincent (2020): An agile co-creation process for digital servitization: A micro-service innovation approach, Journal of Business Research, 112(), pp.478-491
• The digitalization paradox risks undercutting profits from digital services. • The solution is an agile co-creation process and a micro-service innovation approach. • Key principles are incremental investments, sprint-based development, and learning by doing. • Agile co-creation processes require joint multi-level teams. In this paper, we explore how manufacturing firms and their customers co-create digital service innovations in an attempt to address the digitalization paradox. We present empirical insights from a case study of four manufacturers and their customer relationships. The results suggest that value co-creation in digital servitization is best managed through an agile micro-service innovation approach. Such an approach requires incremental micro-service investments, sprint-based micro-service development, and micro-service learning by doing to ensure customized and scalable digital service offerings. The proposed agile co-creation model provides insight into the phases, activities, and organizational principles of a micro-service innovation approach. Relational teams that pool knowledge from providers’ and customers’ strategic, technological, and operational areas are crucial to ensure successful cooperation and governance for agile co-creation. This paper offers insight into how companies engage in agile co-creation processes, with important recommendations for innovation in manufacturing firms in the era of digitalization.