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  • 1.
    Carlborg, Per
    et al.
    Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Kindström, Daniel
    Department of Management and Engineering, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Kowalkowski, Christian
    Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland.
    A lean approach for service productivity improvements: synergy or oxymoron?2013In: Managing Service Quality, ISSN 0960-4529, E-ISSN 1758-8030, Vol. 23, no 4, p. 291-304Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: Service productivity continues to receive ever-greater amounts of attention as service covers a greater portion of the economy. As competition increases, service productivity becomes increasingly important. This study aims to explore the applicability of lean principles in a service context and to conceptualize how these principles impact service productivity.

    Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents a conceptual analysis of the six most commonly used lean principles in manufacturing and their applicability to a service context for different types of services. Using this analysis, six propositions are developed to examine the influence of lean on service productivity.

    Findings: This study suggests promising synergies, as well as important obstacles, for applying lean principles in services. Standardizing services and increasing reliability in service processes through lean principles can increase efficiency. However, the customer's active role in certain services and, simultaneously, high diversity make the application of lean principles increasingly difficult. Also, customer satisfaction must be considered when improving service productivity, otherwise the positive long-term effects of a lean approach in service will be absent.

    Practical implications: These findings are useful for organizations aiming to improve their service productivity Particularly, lean principles are invaluable to increase efficiency and customer satisfaction for services with low diversity and low customer participation. This paper suggests a direction for the proper use of lean principles for different service types, and how efficiency and customer satisfaction are affected through a lean approach.

    Originality/value: This study contributes to the research on service productivity and continues the discussion on prototypic characteristics of service and manufacturing orientations.

  • 2.
    Walter, Ute
    et al.
    Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.
    Edvardsson, Bo
    CTF Serv Res Ctr, Karlstad Univ, Karlstad, Sweden.
    Öström, Åsa
    Örebro University, School of Hospitality, Culinary Arts & Meal Science.
    Drivers of customers’ service experiences: a study in the restaurant industry2010In: Managing Service Quality, ISSN 0960-4529, E-ISSN 1758-8030, Vol. 20, no 3, p. 236-258Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify, portray and analyse the frequent drivers of customer service experiences as described by customers in their own words – the voice of the customer.

    Design/methodology/approach: A critical incident technique study was conducted, based on 122 interviews, including 195 favourable and unfavourable narratives, about customer experiences. The data were analysed in an inductive manner and the results are presented by means of extracts from the narratives.

    Findings: The findings describe the dimensions of drivers of customers' favourable and unfavourable experiences and the frequent drivers, the social interaction, the core service and the physical context.

    Research limitations/implications: Customer experiences are processes and include dynamic interactions and the customer as a co-producer. The study context is limited to the restaurant setting and Swedish customers.

    Practical implications: For managers the results suggest that great effort needs to be put into understanding the process of customer experiences and the various interactions involved, especially social interactions and the crucial roles of contact employees and customers involved in these interactions.

    Originality/value: The paper provides a detailed description and analysis of the frequent and less frequent drivers of favourable, and unfavourable customer experiences – the constellation of drivers. The findings are illustrated by extracts from customer narratives and show how experiences occur and that experiences are processes occurring in a social and physical environment when people do things together. Furthermore, the paper introduces customer experience to service dominant logic by describing the dynamics of resource interactions in customer experience formation.

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