Today we identify service articles published in Marketing, Management, Operations, Productions, Information Systems & Practioner-oriented Journals in the last months.
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Vargo, S. L., L. Peters, H. Kjellberg, K. Koskela-Huotari, S. Nenonen, F. Polese, D. Sarno and C. Vaughan (2023): Emergence in marketing: an institutional and ecosystem framework, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 51(3173), pp.2-22
Many core marketing concepts (e.g., markets, relationships, customer experience, brand meaning, value) concern phenomena that are difficult to understand using linear and dyadic approaches, because they are emergent. That is, they arise, often unpredictably, from interactions within complex and dynamic contexts. This paper contributes to the marketing discipline through an explication of the concept of emergence as it applies to marketing theory. We accomplish this by first drawing on the existing literature on emergence in philosophy, sociology, and the theory of complex adaptive systems, and then link and extend this understanding to marketing using the theoretical framework of service-dominant (S-D) logic, particularly as enhanced by its service-ecosystems and institutionalization perspectives. Our work recognizes both emergence and institutionalization as integral or interrelated processes in the creation, maintenance, and disruption of markets and marketing phenomena. We conclude by discussing implications for marketing research and practice.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11747-022-00849-8 [Google]
Sun, Y., X. Wang, J. Hoegg and D. W. Dahl (2023): How Consumers Respond to Embarrassing Service Encounters: A Dehumanization Perspective, Journal of Marketing Research (JMR), (3174), pp.1
The current research advances understanding of how consumers respond to embarrassing service encounters. Across a combination of field and online studies, the authors provide evidence that (1) consumers prefer self-service to human services when purchasing embarrassing products or services; (2) when self-service is not available, consumers respond more positively to a mechanistic service provider than to a personable service provider; and (3) if consumers must engage in embarrassing social interactions, they dehumanize service providers, perceiving them as more mechanistic and less capable of emotional reactions than when engaging in nonembarrassing service interactions. The authors also examine consumers’ familiarity with the service provider as a boundary condition for the effect. Collectively, the results provide converging evidence for the proposed framework and have substantive implications for service management.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/00222437221130721 [Google]
Dimitriu, R. and L. Warlop (2022): Is similarity a constraint for service-to-service brand extensions?, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 39(3175), pp.1019-1041
Are service brands constrained in launching new service offerings? Both research evidence and managerial wisdom suggest brands should extend to similar categories. However, in five studies using real-life brands – four experiments and one large-sample survey – we provide evidence that similarity is less of a constraint for service brands extending to other service categories (service-to-service extensions), compared to cases involving parent brands or extension categories of a product nature. Importantly, we demonstrate that such an effect occurs because service brands possess associations relevant across the spectrum of service categories. Our results suggest that service brand managers have the opportunity to stretch their brands to dissimilar service offerings; yet, they need to ensure the marketing execution does not make the brands’ service associations inaccessible to consumers. The findings suggest that even product brands can build service associations by adding service components to their offering, thus becoming “servitized” and better able to extend to dissimilar service categories. Overall, our work contributes to the academic debate documenting that the principles governing the management of product vs. service brands are not identical.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2021.12.001 [Google]
Krämer, M., C. Desernot, S. Alavi, C. Schmitz, F. Brüggemann and J. Wieseke (2022): The role of salespeople in industrial servitization: How to manage diminishing profit returns from salespeople’s increasing industrial service shares, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 39(3176), pp.1235-1252
• Barriers at the sales force level can impede successful servitization. • Rising service shares have a diminishing positive effect on salesperson profit. • Designing highly specified servitized offerings harms salespeople’s profitability. • Successfully managing offer specificity secures salespeople’s profitability. Business-to-business companies often differentiate themselves from competitors by complementing goods with services. While extant literature on servitization points to substantial benefits for companies and underscores the importance of the sales force for successful servitization, it has rarely empirically investigated the negative effects of and barriers to effective selling of servitized offerings at the salesperson level. Drawing on transaction cost theory, we propose that with rising service shares, the specificity of offers and transaction costs grow, partially offsetting the financial benefits. We derive four salesperson factors that moderate the effect of salespeople’s industrial service share on salespeople’s profit. These factors pertain to the extent to which salespeople individualize offers and effectively manage offers’ specificity (adaptiveness, customer valuation skills, experience). We test our conceptualization with data from 220 salespeople and company records. The results are robust to endogeneity and show that service share has a diminishing positive effect on salesperson profit. While salespersons’ offer individualization enforces this harmful effect, salesperson adaptiveness and customer valuation skills show beneficial moderating effects. This study provides valuable insights for researchers and managers into the role of the sales force in servitization and into salesperson factors conducive to realizing the full profit potential of servitized offerings.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2022.03.001 [Google]
Garbas, J., M. Blaurock, M. Büttgen and Z. Ates (2023): How can customers cope with cognitive demands of professional services? The role of employee coping support, Psychology & Marketing, (3177), pp.1
Even though researchers are increasingly acknowledging the dark side of customer participation (i.e., behavioral customer engagement), particularly in professional services with high cognitive demands that cause customer participation stress (i.e., negative psychological state resulting from the customer’s overextension by required customer participation efforts), insights on how firms can effectively mitigate customer participation stress remains limited. Building on transactional stress theory, we investigate whether customers can effectively cope with the expected cognitive demands of professional services. Moreover, by introducing an adapted coping construct (i.e., coping support), we examine whether employees can provide coping support to help decrease customer participation stress. The findings of a time_lagged field study with customers of a large German bank (N_=_117) suggest that customer coping before the encounter cannot mitigate the effect of anticipated cognitive demands on customer participation stress. Instead, the results of both the field study and a follow_up experimental study (N_=_218) show that a certain set of employee coping support during service encounters is crucial. While focusing on action coping support is not ideal in situations with high cognitive demands, firms should advise their professional service employees to offer emotional coping support to attenuate the unfavorable effect of cognitive demands on customer participation stress.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.21788 [Google]
Robertson, N., J. Rotman, L. McQuilken and A. Ringer (2023): The customer is often wrong: Investigating the influence of customer failures and apologies on frontline service employee well_being, Psychology & Marketing, (3178), pp.1
A well_established research area is service failure and recovery. Nevertheless, the considerable service failures generated by customers, or customer failures, surprisingly remain relatively underexplored. Specifically, customer failures have a detrimental effect on frontline service employee well_being, which has not been investigated. We advance that a customer apology can alleviate this by customers taking the blame for their failures. We present three studies that investigate this phenomenon. In Study 1, applying the critical incident technique, we develop a taxonomy of customer failures and find evidence of their negative influence on (frontline) service employee well_being, which can be offset by customer apologies and perceived supervisor support. In Studies 2 and 3, using a scenario_based experiment, we triangulate the Study 1 results by testing the relationship between customer apology (Study 2) and its interacting relationship with perceived supervisor support (Study 3) on service employee well_being following a customer failure. While customer apologies have a positive impact on well_being, interestingly, when perceived supervisor support is lacking, this washes out the positive effect of a customer apology and similarly, perceived supervisor support nullifies the negative effect of the customer not apologizing for their failure. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.21789 [Google]
Temerak, M. S., R. W. Zhang and C. R. Lages (2023): Observing customer stress and engagement: An intercultural perspective, Psychology & Marketing, (3179), pp.1
Since observing customers outnumber focal customers in most service interactions, service managers aim to engage them despite triggers, such as service incivility. This research contributes to the understanding of the role of stress in observing customers’ engagement (CE). It answers two RQs: (1) What is the relationship between their stress and engagement?; (2) What are the triggers of stress? Since ethnically different people pay different levels of attention to contextual and social factors, two sequential scenario_based experiments are adopted to study two triggers of stress (i.e., availability of information about an incivility incident, and ethnic similarity between the observing customer and the mistreated employee), which impacts CE in an intercultural service encounter. Study 1 compares being exposed to full versus partial information and demonstrates that full information about the incivility incident increases observers’ psychological stress, which reduces their behavioral and emotional engagement. Study 2 compares how white and black observers react to ethnic similarity between the observing customer and the mistreated employee. Results show that incivility triggers outward psychological stress in white and black observers. In turn, black observers’ outward stress reduces their behavioral engagement, while white observers’ behavioral engagement is reduced by both their inward and outward stress.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mar.21791 [Google]
Manthiou, A., P. Klaus and V. H. Luong (2022): Slow tourism: Conceptualization and interpretation – A travel vloggers’ perspective, Tourism Management, 93(3180), pp.104570
This study aims to reduce the misinterpretation and conceptual ambiguity of slow tourism and find the gaps between theory and practice. Multiple videos on a famous video-sharing platform are analyzed to comprehend travel broadcasters’ perceptions and experiences. Textual mining with Leximancer is applied, and the findings are threefold. First, this research clarifies the definition of slow tourism and illustrates the gaps among slow tourism’s conceptions and practices. Second, based on empirical evidence, this work develops a six-pillar slow tourism framework along a continuum that reflects the degree to which a tourism offer is part of the slow tourism trend. Third, this work helps tourism scholars and practitioners keep pace with the decelerated tourism movement while helping shape its future. Finally, the study identifies critical opportunities, which could drive the slow tourism research forward.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2022.104570 [Google]
Manthiou, A., V. G. Kuppelwieser and P. Klaus (2022): Reevaluating tourism experience measurements: an alternative Bayesian approach, Current Issues in Tourism, (3181), pp.1-17
ABSTRACTTourism businesses pay significant attention to creating unique tourism experiences for their customers. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of how the tourism experience is developed. With a sample of 277 respondents, this study examines three well-established tourism experience scales and tests whether they hold separately as well as collectively. The study follows a Bayesian paradigm, where we extract the model from the quantitative data, the data drives our study and not a predefined model. We identify a composite tourism experience scale with five factors (reverie, tourismscape, contemplation, transformation, and amusement) and test its influence on perceived value and revisit intention toward the destination. The results show that instead of measuring the tourism experience comprehensively, the three tested scales only do so partially. The calculations propose a diverging item assignment to the dimensions. The results suggest that when researchers and practitioners apply these scales, their instability might mislead them. The study recommends a combined five-dimensional scale that measures the entire tourism experience better. We discuss the results? theoretical and managerial implications, as well as further research directions arising from this study.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13683500.2022.2106193 [Google]
Klaus, P. P. and A. Tarquini-Poli (2022): Come fly with me: exploring the private aviation customer experience (PAX), European Journal of Marketing, 56(3182), pp.1126-1152
Purpose This study aims to address the need to empirically investigate the luxury customer service experiences of the ultra-high-net-worth individual (UHNWI) segment by conducting and analyzing interviews with 20 clients flying private jets. The results lead to a conceptualization of the UHNW private aviation customer experience. Design/methodology/approach This study applied a three-step method to explore the meaning and domain of the UHNWI luxury service experience. First, the perception and corresponding attributes of customers’ experiences using private aviation services were examined through 20 in-depth interviews and by using the soft laddering technique. Second, this study coded and, subsequently, purified the data by means of a systematic comparison approach and hierarchical coding. Third, a panel of judges, using the emerging consensus technique, scrutinized and validated the emerging dimensions. Findings The analysis reveals the customer experience (CX) and motivations differ significantly between business and leisure use, moving from a functional toward an experiential value focus. The findings emphasize the lack of social value for the UHNWI CX and introduce time as a new value dimension. Research limitations/implications This study provides multiple contributions to the customer experience, luxury and luxury services literature. This study enhances scholarly understandings of the holistic UHNWI CX in the context of an absolute luxury offering, thus providing a needed conceptualization of an underresearched customer segment, namely, the UHNWI. It delivers insights on the different motivations and experience UHNWI are seeking for according to the context. This study proposes a new luxury value dimension: time. Practical implications This study highlights multiple opportunities for UHNWI customer experience improvement. The findings reveal that different clients are looking for different experiences in terms of business versus leisure use. The key drivers and expectations shift from functional (price/availability/flexibility) to experiential factors (comfort/onboard experience/relationship with crew and pilot). Communication, marketing and CX management strategies and tactics need to emphasize this important distinction regarding what drives client behavior in the private aviation setting. Originality/value The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, it defines UHNWI characteristics and overall experiences using the unique über-service of private aviation, thus advancing scholarly understanding of both the luxury customer and the luxury customer service experience beyond the proposed traditional drivers of luxury consumption. Second, this study expands the conceptual foundation for the UHNWI “über-luxury” service experience, which, given the importance of the UHNWI segment, is important. Third, this study contributes to theoretical knowledge by extending customer value perception in the luxury context by introducing the luxury value dimension of time. This study concludes with a discussion of its findings’ implications for luxury research and practice, providing a future research agenda with regard to UHNW.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/EJM-01-2021-0048 [Google]
Golgeci, I., E. Lacka, O. Kuivalainen and V. Story (2022): Intra and inter-organizational paradoxes in product-service systems: Current insights and future research directions, Industrial Marketing Management, 107(3183), pp.A25-A31
Despite a strong imperative for servitization in a contemporary global marketplace characterized by increased dynamism, complexity, and hypercompetitiveness, firms implementing servitization and product-service systems are challenged by a variety of paradoxes that have been largely overlooked. This editorial introduces the Special Issue on “Intra and interorganizational paradoxes and actionable solutions in product-service networks”, summarizes and synthesizes insightful contributions to the Special Issue, and sets an agenda for future research at the interface of the paradox perspective and servitization/product-service systems literature. We address the need for theory-driven research in servitization and build an argument for a greater infusion of the paradox perspective into the servitization research. We also provide the groundwork for further exploration and examination of the servitization phenomenon and contemporary product-service systems applying the paradox perspective, especially across different levels of analysis and temporal aspects, through the development of future research agenda.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.10.018 [Google]
Minerbo, C., A. L. S. Samartini and L. A. L. Brito (2023): Sharing the benefits: How different dimensions contribute to value creation and capture, Industrial Marketing Management, 108(3184), pp.251-262
Research on value creation and capture in business-to-business (B2B) relationships has not compared the effects or trade-offs among different benefit dimensions perceived by the buyer. Using an Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint analysis conducted with 152 purchasing managers, we investigated the relative value created by seven dimensions, and how they affect value capture. Our findings confirm that benefit dimensions have potential to create value, as indicated in the extant literature. Additionally, the experimental method allowed to identify the non-linear nature of value creation as the attribute level of each benefit dimension changes. Four dimensions showed a convex shape, with decreasing utility levels to higher attribute levels, and one dimension showed a concave shape with increasing utility levels to higher attribute levels. We also found that benefits value potential depends on decision makers priorities, the extend by which it is operationally close, and if it can be objectively measured. Finally, we suggest that benefit dimensions may be interchangeable because they may be inter-related. The study brings strong implications for managers, as it shows that their value propositions may be more effective by positioning some benefits at intermediate, and not above market levels. • Measuring relative trade-offs among different benefit dimensions and price has focused on specific attributes. • An Adaptive Choice-Based Conjoint analysis investigated the relative value created and captured by seven benefit dimensions. • The relationship between value creation and capture tends to show a convex or concave shape, depending on the benefit. • A benefit value potential depends on how close it is to operational aspects of the service being contracted. • Some dimensions may be interchangeable when perceived as a sub-set of operational performance.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.11.015 [Google]
Teixeira, R., J. B. Suzin, D. A. de Jesus Pacheco and J. B. Santos (2023): An empirical taxonomy of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services buyers: An Absorptive Capacity approach, Industrial Marketing Management, 108(3185), pp.149-164
The extant literature on the purchase of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) has dedicated limited attention to how the knowledge of buyers influences the acquisition of these services. This study proposes an empirical taxonomy to classify KIBS buying companies based on their capacity to absorb knowledge. It also assesses how their knowledge absorption profile influences the importance they attribute to KIBS purchases. Six constructs (knowledge base, research and development (R&D) activities, interaction with other organizations, attitude toward knowledge transfer, organizational structure for knowledge absorption, organizational culture for knowledge absorption) were used to collect empirically grounded information through a comprehensive survey conducted with 304 buying companies of KIBS. Our results suggest that KIBS buyers have four different knowledge absorption profiles – Low Absorptive Capacity, R&D-based Absorptive Capacity, Acquisition-based Absorptive Capacity, and Fully Developed Absorptive Capacity – which shape the importance attributed to the KIBS purchased. This study contributes to understanding the profiles of KIBS buyers using an absorptive capacity perspective and the implications for providers’ selection decisions. By examining underdeveloped research themes that still require attention, this study assists practitioners, scholars, and policy-makers in addressing the challenges and mechanisms of knowledge transfer and innovation in companies buying KIBS. • KIBS buyers have four distinct profiles based on their knowledge absorption capacity. • These profiles influence the importance buyers attribute to the type of KIBS acquired. • These profiles foster a more systemic understanding of the knowledge of KIBS buyers. • KIBS providers must adapt the design of their offerings depending on buyer’s profiles.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.11.003 [Google]
Liang, C., Y. Hong, P.-Y. Chen and B. B. M. Shao (2022): The Screening Role of Design Parameters for Service Procurement Auctions in Online Service Outsourcing Platforms, Information Systems Research, 33(3186), pp.1324-1343
This paper provides a novel theoretical angle and robust empirical evidence demonstrating that the auction duration and the item description length are two essential auction design parameters that can function as screening mechanisms for bidder quality on online service outsourcing platforms. These outsourcing platforms use buyer-determined reverse auctions to find service providers. Using data from a major online outsourcing platform, we examine the effects of the auction duration and the item description length on both bidder entry (i.e., the number of bids and bidder quality) and contract outcomes (i.e., whether a project is contracted and the buyer’s expected utility from the winning bid) based upon the project- and bidder-level analyses. We find that auctions with longer durations and item descriptions attract more bids, but they also attract disproportionately more low-quality bidders, creating a double whammy of higher evaluation costs and adverse selection for buyers. This, in turn, leads to less successful contracting as well as lower buyer utility. Our research highlights the screening role of the auction duration and item description length for buyers on online service outsourcing platforms: by shortening auction durations and item descriptions, buyers can expect higher quality bidders, increase contracting probability, and enhance utility. This paper provides a novel theoretical angle and robust empirical evidence demonstrating that the auction duration and item description length are two essential auction design parameters that can function as a screening mechanism for bidder quality on online service outsourcing platforms. These outsourcing platforms use buyer-determined reverse auctions to find providers of services (primarily IT services). Using data from a major online outsourcing platform that connects buyers with bidders, we examine the effects of the auction duration and the item description length on both bidder entry (i.e., the number of bids and bidder quality) and contract outcomes (i.e., whether a project is contracted and the buyer’s expected utility from the winning bid) based upon not only project-level, but also bidder-level analyses. Our results show that auctions with longer durations and item descriptions attract more bids (i.e., higher quantity of bidders), and they also attract disproportionately more bidders with lower completion rates (i.e., lower quality of bidders), creating a double whammy of higher evaluation costs and adverse selection for buyers. This, in turn, leads to contracting inefficiency in terms of less successful contracting as well as lower buyer utility. Our research shows strong support for the screening role of the auction duration and the item description length for buyers on online outsourcing platforms for service procurement: by shortening auction durations and item descriptions, buyers can expect higher quality bidders, increase contracting probability, and enhance utility. History: Ravi Bapna, Martin Bichler, Bob Day, and Wolfgang Ketter, Senior Editors; Benjamin Lubin, Associate Editor. This paper has been accepted for the Information Systems Research Special Section on Market Design and Analytics. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2022.1168.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/isre.2022.1168 [Google]
Brozovi_, D. and M. Tregua (2022): The evolution of service systems to service ecosystems: A literature review, International Journal of Management Reviews, 24(3187), pp.459-479
Abstract High academic interest and numerous theoretical and practical studies on service systems and service ecosystems, paired with the accelerated evolution of the service (eco) system concept, have resulted in complex research in this field. Multiple perspectives from which service systems were studied added to this complexity and inadvertently produced conceptual confusion regarding service (eco) systems. This literature review addresses this confusion by focusing on the evolution of service systems to service ecosystems to consolidate and clarify the field. Therefore, this article’s purpose is to systematise the extant research on service (eco) systems and indicate future research directions based on the analysis. Specifically, the article systematically reviews 770 publications on service (eco) systems from 2020 and earlier and identifies the main research topics (focusing on service [eco] systems? constituent elements, inherent processes, and outcomes), theoretical perspectives, and bridging elements, and suggests future research based on the review results. The article concludes by providing a foundation for continued research emerging from the analysis, with emphasis on five aspects that may stimulate new avenues of research: service ecospheres, service ecosystem simplicity, failures of service ecosystems, paradox in service ecosystems, and panarchy and service ecosystems.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1111/ijmr.12287 [Google]
Gremyr, I., A. Birch-Jensen, M. Kumar and N. Löfberg (2022): Quality functions’ use of customer feedback as activation triggers for absorptive capacity and value co-creation, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 42(3188), pp.218-242
Purpose: The purpose is to understand how the role of quality functions might evolve amidst digitalisation and an increased focus on services. This study focuses on customer feedback and how it can function as activation triggers for developing absorptive capacity, as well as how it relates to the value creation processes. Design/methodology/approach: Following a qualitative research design, the authors gathered primary data from interviews with quality managers at 17 UK and Swedish firms and triangulated it with secondary information from the firms’ web pages. Findings: The findings show that customer feedback-based activation triggers can support development of absorptive capacity in the quality function if there are established processes for acting on customer feedback. This is often the case for codified feedback, which normally concerns products. However, digitalisation offers new opportunities of engaging in value co-creation, and firms need to develop digital capabilities to manage new technologies and data analytic tools. For personalised feedback (the main category of service-related feedback), established processes are missing. Originality/value: This study work contributes to knowledge about how quality functions respond to customer feedback on both products and services. It clarifies why the quality function sometimes struggles to contribute to service quality as much as to product quality. From a theory development perspective, the authors contribute to understanding customer feedback-based activation triggers, how they lead to development of absorptive capacity and their relation to value co-creation on a functional level.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-11-2021-0692 [Google]
Lin, Y., A. Chen, S. Zhong, V. Giannikas, C. Lomas and T. Worth (2023): Service supply chain resilience: a social-ecological perspective on last-mile delivery operations, International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 43(3189), pp.140-165
Purpose: Considering the last-mile delivery service supply chain as a social-ecological system rather than just a firm-based service system, this research exploit the COVID-19 pandemic disruption to investigate how the supply chain develops resilience from a viewpoint that integrates a social-ecological perspective with the traditional engineering one. Design/methodology/approach: This research adopt a multi-case study approach using qualitative data collected via semi-structured interviews with executive-level managers from nine leading UK last-mile delivery companies. Data analysis is guided by a research framework which is developed by combining the social-ecological perspective with the structure–conduct–performance paradigm. This framework aids the investigation of the impacts of external challenges on companies’ resilience strategies and practices, as well as performance, in response to disruptions. Findings: The research identifies three distinct pathways to resilience development: stabilization, focussing on bouncing back to the original normal; adaptation, involving evolutionary changes to a new normal; transformation, involving revolutionary changes in pursuit of a new normal-plus. Three strategic orientations are identified as operating across these pathways: people orientation, digital orientation, and learning orientation. Originality/value: In contrast to the manufacturing supply chain focus of most current research, this research concentrates on the service supply chain, investigating its resilience with a social-ecological perspective alongside the traditional engineering one.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-03-2022-0180 [Google]
Fahimnia, B., M. Arvan, T. Tan and E. Siemsen (2022): A hidden anchor: The influence of service levels on demand forecasts, Journal of Operations Management, (3190), pp.1
Demand planning is informed by demand forecasts, service level requirements, replenishment constraints, and revenue projections. “Demand forecasts” differ from “demand plans” in that forecasts only represent the distribution (or the most likely value) of product demand. Motivated by common forecasting practices in industry, our research examines whether forecasters recognize this difference between demand forecasts and demand plans. Based on a lab experiment informed by data from two large FMCG companies, we found that forecasters factor service levels into their demand forecasts, even when they are clearly instructed to predict the most likely demand and incentivized to minimize the forecast error. We establish that this result holds for students and practitioners alike, and show that this behavior is driven by the service level information, and not some other anchor. We use data from a recent industry survey to support the external validity of our key findings.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/joom.1229 [Google]
Fukawa, N. and A. Rindfleisch (2023): Enhancing innovation via the digital twin, Journal of Product Innovation Management, (3191), pp.1
A growing number of firms are seeking to leverage emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing, to enhance their innovation efforts. These seemingly distinct technologies are currently coalescing into an encompassing new technology called the digital twin. This technology allows innovative firms to create a digital replica of a physical entity that evolves over its life cycle. This article explores the implications of the digital twin for innovation theory and practice. First, we examine the connection between the digital twin and three related technologies (i.e., 3D printing, big data, and AI). Second, we create a typology of four categories of digital twins (i.e., monitoring, making, enhancing, and replicating) and illustrate their relevance for innovation management. Third, we offer a set of four case studies that exemplify this typology and illustrate how digital twins have been put into practice. Fourth, we craft a set of digital twin_related future research directions that encompasses a broad range of innovation_related topics, including service innovation, co_creation, and product design. We hope that our examination of the digital twin serves as a catalyst to help advance innovation thought and practice in this intriguing new domain.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jpim.12655 [Google]
Klaus, P. P. (2022): How luxury retail will change forever – The role of atmospherics in the digital era, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 68(3192), pp.103057
This article expands the seminal works of Jean-Charles Chebat on retail atmospherics to propose an alternative perspective on consumer behavior in a multi-channel luxury retail context. Building upon Klaus’s (2020) work exploring the drivers for online luxury consumption, the research highlights which aspects of retail atmospherics are influencing the overall luxury retail customer experience. We discuss the implications this has for luxury retail management in detail and propose a complementary view on how the luxury CX will drive a distinct luxury retail design.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2022.103057 [Google]
Klaus, P. P. and V. Kuppelwieser (2022): A glimpse of the future retail customer experience – Guidelines for research and practice, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, (3193), pp.103205
Retailing has undergone significant changes over the years, tremendously impacting how the retail customer experience is managed. We use this opportunity to present the key findings of the contributors to our Special Issue, along with our observations, to introduce new approaches to retail customer experience management. Buoyed by the research presented in this Special Issue, we highlight the key trends and shifts in retail customer experience management in terms of consumer behavior and what drives the decision-making process of retail customers today and in the future.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretconser.2022.103205 [Google]
Bae, J., L. Chen and S. Yao (2022): Service Capacity and Price Promotion Wars, Management Science, 68(3194), pp.8757-8772
Firms often engage in price promotion wars to gain market share from their competitors. However, poor customer satisfaction as a result of limited service capacity may significantly impact such a pricing strategy. In this paper, we consider a two-firm price competition model in which customers’ purchase decisions are affected by their anticipation of a poor service encounter. Our equilibrium analysis reveals that firms would be less aggressive in engaging in price cutting when customers care more about service quality and when service capacity is relatively low. Interestingly, when service capacity is close (but not exact) to covering one half of the total market demand, firms would adopt a mixed strategy with randomized pricing, driven by unilateral motives to either capture more market share (by lowering prices) or increase profit margin (by raising prices). We further show that having a superior service capacity presents a competitive advantage for a firm and such advantage can be preemptive. In an extended two-period model that allows for customer switching after a poor service encounter, we find that when service capacity is relatively low, firms may offer deeper price discounts in the first period if customers are forward looking than if they are myopic. Our numerical study confirms that the main qualitative insights obtained in our base model continue to hold when the customer switching behavior is considered. This paper was accepted by Jay Swaminathan, operations management. Supplemental Material: Data and the online appendix are available at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2022.4325.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2022.4325 [Google]
Donna, J. D., P. Pereira, T. Pires and A. Trindade (2022): Measuring the Welfare of Intermediaries, Management Science, 68(3195), pp.8083-8115
We investigate the welfare of intermediaries in oligopolistic markets where intermediaries offer additional services. We exploit the unique circumstance that in the empirical setting studied, outdoor advertising, consumers can purchase from manufacturers or intermediaries. Intermediaries provide additional services to the consumers and charge a margin for them. Intermediaries provide the following additional services: search services (information about products), purchase-aggregation services (access to quantity discounts), and consulting services. We specify an equilibrium model and structurally estimate it using market-level data. The demand includes consumers with costly search and channel-specific preferences. The supply includes two distribution channels. One features bargaining about wholesale prices between manufacturers and intermediaries and downstream price competition. The other is vertically integrated. We show how Google search data can be used to identify the search-cost parameters. We use the estimated model to simulate counterfactual scenarios where intermediaries do not offer additional services. We find that the three services considered provide value to consumers, with search playing a prominent role. Our analysis helps explain why intermediaries are ubiquitous in modern economies despite the double marginalization. This paper was accepted by Matthew Shum, marketing. Funding: The authors acknowledge the allocation of computing time from the Ohio Supercomputer Center [Grant PAS1350-2]. This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001. This work was also supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia [Grant UIDB/00315/2020]. Supplemental Material: The data files and online appendix are available at https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2021.4266.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2021.4266 [Google]
Canyakmaz, C. and T. Boyacı (2023): Queueing Systems with Rationally Inattentive Customers, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 25(3196), pp.266-287
Problem definition: Classical models of queueing systems with rational and strategic customers assume queues to be either fully visible or invisible, while service parameters are known with certainty. In practice, however, people only have “partial information” on the service environment, in the sense that they are not able to fully discern prevalent uncertainties. This is because assessing possible delays and rewards is costly, as it requires time, attention, and cognitive capacity, which are all limited. On the other hand, people are also adaptive and endogenously respond to information frictions. Methodology: We develop an equilibrium model for a single-server queueing system with customers having limited attention. Following the theory of rational inattention, we assume that customers optimize their learning strategies by deciding the type and amount of information to acquire and act accordingly while internalizing the associated costs. Results: We establish the existence and uniqueness of a customer equilibrium when customers allocate their attention to learn uncertain queue lengths and delineate the impact of service characteristics. We provide a complete spectrum of the impact of information costs on throughput and show numerically that throughput might be nonmonotone. This is also reflected in social welfare if the firm’s profit margin is high enough, although customer welfare always suffers from information costs. Managerial implications: We identify service settings where service firms and social planners should be most cautious for customers’ limited attention and translate our results to advisable strategies for information provision and service design. For example, we recommend firms to avoid partial hindrance of queue-length information when a low-demand service is not highly valued by customers. For a popular service that customers value reasonably highly, however, partial hindrance of information is particularly advisable. Academic/practical relevance: We propose a microfounded framework for strategic customer behavior in queues that links beliefs, rewards, and information costs. It offers a holistic perspective on the impact of information prevalence (and information frictions) on operational performance and can be extended to analyze richer customer behavior and complex queue structures, rendering it a valuable tool for service design. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/msom.2021.1032.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.2021.1032 [Google]
Figueira, G., W. van Jaarsveld, P. Amorim and J. C. Fransoo (2023): The Impact of Committing to Customer Orders in Online Retail, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 25(3197), pp.307-322
Problem definition: Online retailers are on a consistent drive to increase on-time delivery and reduce customer lead time. However, in reality, an increasing share of consumers places orders early. Academic/practical relevance: Such advance demand information can be deployed strategically to reduce costs and improve the customer service experience. This requires inventory and allocation policies that make optimal use of this information and that induce consumers to place their orders early. An increasing number of online retailers not only offer customers a choice of lead time but also, actively back-order missing items from a consumer basket. Methodology: We develop new allocation policies that commit to a customer order upon arrival of the order rather than at the moment the order is due. We provide analytical results for the performance of these allocation policies and evaluate their behavior with real data from a large food retailer. Results: Our policy leads to a higher fill rate at the expense of a slight increase in average delay. The analysis based on real-life data suggests a sizeable impact that should impact current best practices in online retail. Managerial implications: With the changing landscape in online retail, customers increasingly place baskets of orders that they would like to receive at a planned and confirmed moment in time. Especially in grocery, this has grown fast. This fundamentally changes the strategic management of inventory. We demonstrate that online retailers should commit early to customer orders to enhance the customer service experience and eventually, to also create opportunities for reducing the cost of operations. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1124.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1124 [Google]
Liu, Y., X. Wang, S. Gilbert and G. Lai (2023): On the Participation, Competition and Welfare at Customer-Intensive Discretionary Service Platforms, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 25(3198), pp.218-234
Problem definition: We investigate the participation, competition, and welfare at platforms that focus on customer-intensive discretionary services, such as healthcare, legal, and business consulting. Academic/practical relevance: Such platforms have recently emerged in practice to provide a venue for independent professionals and service seekers to match online. Methodology: We develop a strategic queueing model, where the platform sets the commission rate, upon which service providers decide participation, service quality, and price, and consumers make service acquisition. Results: First, our study reveals that with heterogeneous consumers, the participating service providers may engage in both price and service competitions if the number of them is either small or large. They compete for attractive consumers in the former and for market share in the latter. In these regions, more service providers joining the platform can result in a lower service price and a higher service quality. Whereas, if the number of participating service providers is intermediate, only service competition arises, so that a higher service quality is associated with a higher service price. Second, we find that in our main model, the platform may set the commission rate sufficiently high to limit the number of participating service providers, so as to prevent intense price competition. In contrast, if the platform also controls the service price, it may set a higher service price and a lower commission rate, which boosts the participation of service providers and improves their service quality. As a result, platform price intervention may not only benefit the platform and the service providers, but also the consumers. Managerial implications: These insights not only complement prior literature, but are also useful for understanding and the design of such service platforms in practice. Funding: X. Wang received financial support from the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grant 72071204]. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1152.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1152 [Google]
Yang, L., W. Shang and L. Liu (2023): Follow the Crowd with Uncertain Service Capacity, Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, 25(3199), pp.341-352
Problem definition: Customer joining behavior is of major concern for service systems where the service capacity is uncertain. Academic/practical relevance: It remains unclear whether customer inference of uncertain service capacity can lead to follow the crowd (FTC) behavior. Management can release capacity information, but how it affects system performance needs to be understood. Methodology: We use a single-server queue to analyze the joining behavior of customers who infer the actual service capacity based on the queue length upon arrival. We also characterize the impact of capacity information disclosure both analytically and numerically. Results: We find that when other customers’ tendency to join the service increases, a tagged customer can make more accurate inferences of service capacity based on queue length. This inference effect arises together with the congestion effect and can lead to FTC when it outweighs the latter. When multiple equilibria exist, we characterize the conditions under which the inference effect is significant at the aggregate customer level so that the joining equilibrium with a larger joining threshold is Pareto-optimal. Managerial implications: Management needs to be careful in setting the information disclosure policy, as the key problem parameters may affect its impact on system throughput and social welfare in opposite directions. Funding: L. Yang was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [Grants 71991461 and 71532006]. W. Shang was supported by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council [GRF Project LU 13502219]. Supplemental Material: The online appendix is available at https://doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1139.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/msom.2022.1139 [Google]
Kyunghee, L., J. Qianran, A. Animes and J. Ramaprasad (2022): IMPACT OF RIDE-HAILING SERVICES ON TRANSPORTATION MODE CHOICES: EVIDENCE FROM TRAFFIC AND TRANSIT RIDERSHIP, MIS Quarterly, 46(3200), pp.1875-1900
The rise of technology-enabled ride-hailing services has affected individuals’ transportation-related decisions. The impact of these ride-hailing services likely varies across traveler segments that differ in their usage of various modes of transportation. In this paper, we develop and leverage a framework that allows us to examine the impact of ride-hailing services on the transportation mode choice for three traveler segments: drivers (who primarily use a personal automobile to travel), riders (who primarily use public transit to travel), and walkers (who primarily use non-motorized modes of transport). We first develop a framework outlining how the behavior of different traveler segments would be impacted by the introduction of ride-hailing services and show how this affects traffic congestion and public transportation ridership. To test the framework, we compiled a rich dataset, combining data on public transportation ridership, traffic congestion, and individual transportation mode choice. Employing a difference-in-differences methodology, we show that the Uber entry in a market enabled those who were walkers and riders prior to the entry of Uber to travel more conveniently, leading to an increase in traffic congestion, and induced those who were drivers to substitute their use of private automobiles with a combination of Uber and public transit. We introduced urban compactness to assess the heterogeneous impact of ride-hailing services for cities that differ in their distribution of traveler segments. We found that Uber entry increases traffic congestion and reduces public transit demand more in cities with higher levels of urban compactness, i.e., where the proportion of riders and walkers is higher than that of drivers. This work provides a holistic framework to understand the mechanism underlying the impact of ride-hailing services on public transit and traffic congestion. Urban planners and policy makers can leverage our framework, methodology, and empirical results to guide city planning decisions that have implications for sustainability.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.25300/MISQ/2022/15707 [Google]
Bolton, G. E., S. Bonzelet, T. Stangl and U. W. Thonemann (2022): Decision making under service_level contracts: The role of cost saliency, Production & Operations Management, (3201), pp.1
This study examines human ordering behavior in service_level inventory contracts, a class of contracts important in practice. Studies of wholesale price contracts find that people tend to place orders that are suboptimal and biased toward mean demand. Unlike wholesale price contracts, service_level contracts can be parameterized such that they have steep expected profit functions, making the expected profit_maximizing order more salient, in the sense that deviations from optimal ordering are more costly. Utilizing an analytical model and results from existing literature, we hypothesize that people will order closer to optimality under service_level contracts with steeper expected profit functions. In a laboratory experiment, we find that subjects achieve up to 97.2% supply chain efficiency under a steep service_level contract, compared with 92.2% under a flat service_level contract, and steep service contract ordering also exhibits lower variability. Our results suggest that managers can benefit by designing service_level contracts with higher penalty costs and lower fill rates.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/poms.13925 [Google]
Dai, T. and S. Tayur (2022): Designing AI_augmented healthcare delivery systems for physician buy_in and patient acceptance, Production & Operations Management, 31(3202), pp.4443-4451
The role of artificial intelligence (AI) in augmenting healthcare is expected to grow substantially in future decades. Current research in medical AI focuses on developing, validating, and implementing point_level AI applications in an ad hoc manner. To harness the full power of AI to improve the patient experience and outcomes at a societal scale, however, requires a gestalt shift—with a systematic understanding of AI in the context of healthcare—and so results in its widespread adoption. This translates to four pillars of incorporating AI into healthcare workflow, including physician buy_in, patient acceptance, provider investment, and payer support (the “4Ps”). To achieve these 4Ps, it is imperative to design AI_augmented healthcare delivery systems in view of (1) how physicians integrate AI into their clinical practice and (2) how patients perceive the role of AI in healthcare delivery. This will in turn boost provider investment and payer support. In this paper, we draw from the literature to discuss a series of research questions, including barriers to physician buy_in and patient acceptance, transparency and disclosure, service design, and strategies for increasing AI uptake. We shed light on the principles of purposeful design for AI_augmented healthcare delivery systems and propose a research agenda for operations management scholars to consider as they continue to strengthen their engagement with both healthcare professionals and AI developers.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/poms.13850 [Google]
Wang, L., N. Huang, Y. Hong, L. Liu, X. Guo and G. Chen (2023): Voice_based AI in call center customer service: A natural field experiment, Production & Operations Management, (3203), pp.1
Voice_based artificial intelligence (AI) systems have been recently deployed to replace traditional interactive voice response (IVR) systems in call center customer service. However, there is little evidence that sheds light on how the implementation of AI systems impacts customer behavior, as well as AI systems’ effects on call center customer service performance. By leveraging the proprietary data obtained from a natural field experiment in a large telecommunication company, we examine how the introduction of a voice_based AI system affects call length, customers’ demand for human service, and customer complaints in call center customer service. We find that the implementation of the AI system temporarily increases the duration of machine service and customers’ demand for human service; however, it persistently reduces customer complaints. Furthermore, our results reveal interesting heterogeneity in the effectiveness of the voice_based AI system. For relatively simple service requests, the AI system reduces customer complaints for both experienced and inexperienced customers. However, for complex requests, customers appear to learn from the prior experience of interacting with the AI system, which leads to fewer complaints. Moreover, the AI_based system has a significantly larger effect on reducing customer complaints for older and female customers as well as for customers who have had extensive experience using the IVR system. Finally, we find that speech_recognition failures in customer_AI interactions lead to increases in customers’ demand for human service and customer complaints. The results from this study provide implications for the implementation of an AI system in call center operations.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/poms.13953 [Google]
Zhang, R., X. Han, R. Wang, J. Zhang and Y. Zhang (2022): Please don’t make me wait! Influence of customers’ waiting preference and no_show behavior on appointment systems, Production & Operations Management, (3204), pp.1
Appointment systems are widely adopted in many service organizations. The simplest and most common format is the equally_spaced (ES) system, in which the inter_appointment times between consecutive arrivals are equal. One major drawback of such a system is the long expected waiting time for later arrivals, which makes later appointment positions unappealing to customers. As a result, customers who take these positions are more likely to abandon their appointments, leading to a higher no_show rate. To address this issue, we examine a novel equal_waiting (EW) scheduling system under which the expected waiting times are equal across appointments. Through a series of controlled lab experiments, we establish that the EW system increases the attractiveness of later appointments and that customers who are willing to take these appointments are more likely to show up. We then incorporate this individual_level preference and no_show behavior into models to evaluate its impact on the system_level performance. We find that, compared with the traditional ES system, the EW system can significantly increase customers’ show_up rate and improve system utilization.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/poms.13928 [Google]
Béal, M., A. Suri, N. Nguyen, Y. Grégoire and S. Sénécal (2022): Is service recovery of equal importance for private vs public complainers?, Journal of Business Research, 153(3205), pp.392-400
The current research questions if service recovery has differential effects on complainers depending on the way that they initially complain, being privately (e.g., emails, phone call) or publicly (e.g., social media, blogs). Using four studies, the current research offers several core contributions. First, building on justice theory, our findings show that a recovery is especially effective at appeasing private complainers’ negative affect, while this same recovery has less impact for public complainers. Second, we show that for public complainers, the role of a recovery will be different depending on the level of public exposure. When public complaints are viewed by just a few observers on social media (i.e., low exposure), such complainers assess their own actions of justice restoration as being ineffective. Third, we find that our previous findings are robust no matter if the customer is a complainer or an observer.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.049 [Google]
Brock, J. K.-U. and A. K. Kohli (2023): The emerging world of digital exploration services, Journal of Business Research, 155(3206), pp.N.PAG-N.PAG
This research draws on two global surveys of customers of IT services to identify an emerging IT space we call “Digital Exploration” services. In contrast with Traditional IT services and cloud-based Digital Exploitation services, Digital Exploration services involve conceiving and implementing new business strategies and processes using new digital technologies (e.g., blockchain, augmented reality, deep learning, IoT). In a follow-on study involving depth interviews with IT customers, the research identifies several factors critical to successful Digital Exploration. These include customer selectivity, close collaboration between IT providers and customers, strategic and systemic thinking, an open innovation approach, and use of performance directionality (versus precise KPIs). In addition, the depth interviews help identify specific changes needed in the mindsets and behaviors of business unit leaders and various functions in IT providers and customers for the promise of Digital Exploration services to be realized.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.113434 [Google]
Christou, P., E. Hadjielias, A. Simillidou and O. Kvasova (2023): The use of intelligent automation as a form of digital transformation in tourism: Towards a hybrid experiential offering, Journal of Business Research, 155(3207), pp.N.PAG-N.PAG
The purpose of this study is to explore the extent to which intelligent automation (IA) should be used to provide the best possible service quality and experience to customers, an area that needs further exploration. The study draws on an inductive qualitative inquiry from the supply side which has been rather overlooked despite its significant role in designing and shaping experiences. The data were gathered by conducting a total of 39 semi-structured interviews with tourism service providers in Cyprus. The findings revealed insightful information regarding human-IA tasks and interaction from a tourism provider perspective while stressing the cooperation between humans and IA within a service context. The importance of the human element, individual characteristics and key human capabilities are particularly stressed within a continuous digitally transformative industry. The paper concludes with theoretical contributions in regard to the experiential theoretical milieu, practical implications, and future research directions.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.113415 [Google]
Fu, X., J. Pang and D. Gursoy (2022): Effects of online commercial friendships on customer revenge following a service failure, Journal of Business Research, 153(3208), pp.102-114
• Two online commercial friendship types are identified based on their relationship formation processes. • The online commercial friendship type and strength have an interaction effect on customer revenge. • Perceived fairness and/or betrayal mediate the above interaction effects. • The mediation effects are completely different in relational versus transactional service industries. Online commercial friendship (OCF) is a type of social platform-mediated relational exchange that combines business relationships with friendships. We identify-two OCF types based on their unique relationship formation processes and examine the interaction effects of OCF type and strength on customer perceptions and behavioral intentions following a service failure in industries that provide relational or transactional services. Findings from three studies show that OCF type and strength affect customers’ tendency for revenge. Perceptions of fairness or betrayal mediate the interaction effects of OCF type and strength on customers’ subsequent behavioral intentions. However, the influence mechanisms are completely different in the relational and transactional service industries. In relational services, perceived betrayal mediates the effect between OCFs and behavioral intentions; whereas in transactional services, perceived fairness plays an intermediary role.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.014 [Google]
Piepponen, A., P. Ritala, J. Keränen and P. Maijanen (2022): Digital transformation of the value proposition: A single case study in the media industry, Journal of Business Research, 150(3209), pp.311-325
Digital transformation is among the most pervasive forces disrupting business models across every industrial sector. While prior research has explored the digital transformation of business models, the effect on the value proposition as a key element of the business model has received only limited attention. Drawing on an extensive single case study in the regional media industry involving 59 interviews with one service provider and its customers, this study explores the digital transformation of the provider’s value proposition and how this process was collectively enacted by the provider and its customers. This study develops an empirically grounded framework illustrating the key value proposition transformation drivers, provider and customer sense-making practices, and value element reshaping implications. Overall, this study advances contemporary digital transformation and value proposition research by demonstrating how the process of digital transformation changes the nature and content of the value proposition and how managers can facilitate this process.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.05.017 [Google]
Rizomyliotis, I., M. N. Kastanakis, A. Giovanis, K. Konstantoulaki and I. Kostopoulos (2022): “How mAy I help you today?” The use of AI chatbots in small family businesses and the moderating role of customer affective commitment, Journal of Business Research, 153(3210), pp.329-340
• AI Chatbots need to be sophisticated enough to envisage customers’ individual needs. • Customized interaction with AI Chatbots can improve positive customer experience. • Enjoyment in AI chatbot interaction is not required for positive customer experience. • The use of anthropomorphic AI chatbots positively influences customer experience. • High customer affective commitment is a plus for family firms that use AI chatbots. In a digitally empowered business world, a growing number of family businesses are leveraging the use of chatbots in an attempt to improve customer experience. This research investigates the antecedents of chatbots’ successful use in small family businesses. Subsequently, we determine the effect of two distinctive sets of human–machine communication factors—functional and humanoid—on customer experience. We assess the latter with respect to its effect on customer satisfaction. While a form of intimate attachment can occur between customers and small businesses, affective commitment is prevalent in customers’ attitudes and could be conflicting with the distant and impersonal nature of chatbot services. Therefore, we also test the moderating role of customers’ affective commitment in the relationship between customer experience and customer satisfaction. Data come from 408 respondents, and the results offer an explicit course of action for family businesses to effectively embed chatbot services in their customer communication. The study provides practical and theoretical insights that stipulate the dimensions of chatbots’ effective use in the context of small family businesses.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.035 [Google]
Sergi, B. S., A. Klju_nikov, E. G. Popkova, A. V. Bogoviz and S. V. Lobova (2022): Creative abilities and digital competencies to transitioning to Business 4.0, Journal of Business Research, 153(3211), pp.401-411
The article aims to define the role of human resources in the transition to Business 4.0 and identify the requirements for HRM (Human Resources Management) for this role’s performance. This paper determines the targeted set of characteristics of human resources (distinct traits, skills, and competencies) necessary for the transition to Business 4.0. The critical role of human resources in the changes to Business 4.0 and the conditions and requirements for HRM for this role’s performance are substantiated. As a result, it is demonstrated that the value of human resources in the transition to Business 4.0 is high. This allowed us to reconsider their role from the service-like process to active participation in the creative process using digital competencies. These results necessitate an innovative approach to HRM during the transition to Business 4.0, which presupposes the preservation (retention) of human resources as carriers of unique and valuable abilities, competencies, and skills.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.026 [Google]
Wang, I. A., P.-C. Chen and N.-W. Chi (2023): Mitigating immediate and lagged effects of customer mistreatment on service failure and sabotage: Critical roles of service recovery behaviors, Journal of Business Research, 154(3212), pp.N.PAG-N.PAG
Drawing on the justice- and resource-based perspectives, we designed two complementary studies to predict the detrimental effects of customer mistreatment on service failure and sabotage and to prescribe solutions (i.e., service recovery behaviors) to mitigate these effects. In Study 1, we employed a room reservation simulation to demonstrate the causal effects of customer mistreatment on hotel interns’ immediate and subsequent service failures/sabotage. In Study 2, the experience sampling method was used to collect 232 employee-customer paired encounter data from 70 hotel/restaurant frontline employees. The results of the two studies indicate that customer mistreatment produces positive immediate and lagged effects on customer-rated service failure and service sabotage. Importantly, the positive immediate and lagged effects of customer mistreatment on customer-rated service failure and service sabotage are mitigated when frontline employees employ a courteous and prompt problem-handling strategy.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.037 [Google]
Wei, X., S. Jung and T.-M. Choi (2022): Share it or buy it? Exploring the effects of product brand attachment on commercial sharing services, Journal of Business Research, 153(3213), pp.115-127
• Consumers’ attachment to a product brand decreased their participation in a CSS to rent products of this brand. • Psychological ownership could mitigate the negative effect of brand attachment on CSS participation, especially when consumers feel like they “own” the shared products. • Self-contamination concerns, rather than hygienic concerns, conditionally mediated the negative effect of brand attachment on CSS participation. These results still hold in the post-pandemic era. Commercial sharing services (CSSs) provide consumers with temporary access to products or services. Consumers can use CSSs to communicate an identity by renting products from specific brands. Applying the theory of the extended self, we proposed an attachment-based account of CSS usage. Across four studies, we found consistent evidence that consumers were less likely to rent the products of their strongly attached brands via CSSs because these brands were regarded as part of their extended selves, and thus sharing these products with others would contaminate the self. However, this effect was mitigated when consumers’ psychological ownership of the shared product was augmented. Our findings reveal that psychological ownership can replace the role of actual ownership in the sharing context, rendering profound implications for understanding the relationships among self, brand, and product in sharing services.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.029 [Google]
Whang, J.-B., J. H. Song, J.-H. Lee and B. Choi (2022): Interacting with Chatbots: Message type and consumers’ control, Journal of Business Research, 153(3214), pp.309-318
With advances in technology, personalized services provided by offline salespeople are replaced by new sales assistant methods, such as personalized chatbots in online and mobile environments. However, providing conversation-based recommendations may be insufficient to support consumers in online or mobile stores because they cannot experience the product in real-time. A salesperson often provides one-to-one customer support in an offline store, including verbal and visual recommendations. In this context, chatbots, the sales assistants, may better support consumers in the online and mobile environments by providing additional real-time visual information. This study aims to determine the condition of chatbots as online and mobile sales assistants, and the mechanisms by which consumers accept chatbots. The results indicate that a higher level of personalized chatbot messages enhances purchase intention through a sense of ease and understanding of the product. Moreover, additional real-time visual information (i.e., AR) supports chatbots in acting as successful sales assistants.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.012 [Google]
Yang, X., J. Yang, Y. Hou, S. Li and S. Sun (2023): Gamification of mobile wallet as an unconventional innovation for promoting Fintech: An fsQCA approach, Journal of Business Research, 155(3215), pp.N.PAG-N.PAG
Although digitalisation brings important possibilities to banking & finance service, implementing digital technologies in practices can be challenging. Indeed, the adoption of new innovative technology in the banking & finance sector lags behind other business sectors. Many of the valuable banking & finance-related technologies have not been adopted in relation to the strategic implications of decisions in domains such as the development of service innovation and personalization, value co-creation, and marketing strategies. In particular, there is a paucity of research in using gamification to explore ways of customising banking & finance fintech offerings, improving customers’ experience, and developing efficient banking & finance marketing tactics. Drawing on the UTAUT2 and Otcalysis gamification framework, this study develops a research model investigating what configurations of motivations, expectations and conditions can shape consumers’ behavioral intention to adopt a gamified mobile wallet system. Findings suggest that combining effort expectancy, facilitating conditions and perceived value leads to higher intention to use gamified mobile wallet. Accordingly, firms need to consider the three core conditions when design relevant gamifications.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.113406 [Google]
Ziegler, A. H., A. M. Allen, J. Peloza and J. Ian Norris (2022): The nature of vicarious embarrassment, Journal of Business Research, 153(3216), pp.355-364
Extant literature suggests that a consumer who purchases a sensitive product will experience embarrassment if others, real or imagined, witness the purchase. However, the parallel embarrassment experienced by observers is largely absent in retailing and service literature. Across four studies, we validate the presence of vicarious embarrassment, as well as the underlying perspective-taking mechanism. The results show that observers experience embarrassment when imagining themselves as the actor. Furthermore, vicarious embarrassment leads to avoidance tendencies and negatively influences word of mouth toward retailers and service providers. Retailers can use interventions to restore both interactional and distributive justice to mitigate these consequences.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.08.038 [Google]
Zogaj, A., P. M. Mähner, L. Yang and D. K. Tscheulin (2023): It’s a Match! The effects of chatbot anthropomorphization and chatbot gender on consumer behavior, Journal of Business Research, 155(3217), pp.N.PAG-N.PAG
• Chatbots are increasingly used as substitutes for human service agents in online shops. • Anthropomorphizing chatbots increases perceived consumer-chatbot similarity. • Matching chatbot gender with consumer gender positively impacts consumer behavior. • First insights indicate that non-binary consumers prefer neutral chatbots. Chatbots are increasingly used as substitutes for human service agents in online shops. This has led researchers to analyze how chatbot characteristics influence consumer responses. However, while the relevance of chatbot characteristics has been examined, to date, consumers’ personalities have remained unattended in the research on this innovative mode of online support. Therefore, this study aims to understand how the interaction of consumer characteristics and chatbot characteristics influences consumer behavior. In doing so, we focus on how chatbots’ visual cues (i.e., anthropomorphization, gender) influence consumer behavior while also considering consumers’ self-concept. To answer the research question, we first conceptually discuss why consumer behavior depends on perceived self-congruence between consumers and a chatbot, which can be reached by anthropomorphizing chatbots and giving them the “right” gender. Subsequently, based on multiple studies, we empirically test the hypotheses considering male, female, and non-binary consumers. Our results demonstrate the relevance of both chatbot anthropomorphization and chatbot gender.
Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.113412 [Google]