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  • 1.
    Dietrich, Timo
    et al.
    Griffith University, Australia.
    Trischler, Jakob
    Southern Cross University, Australia.
    Schuster, Lisa
    Queensland University of Technology, Australia.
    Rundle-Thiele, Sharyn
    Griffith University, Australia.
    Co-designing services with vulnerable consumers2017In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 27, no 3, p. 663-688Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to investigate how vulnerable consumers can be involved in transformative service design and how this approach may enhance the design of such services. The study also analyzes how co-design with vulnerable consumers differs from existing user involvement processes with the purpose of developing a co-design framework.

    Design/methodology/approach

    A case study approach was employed, with six high schools in Australia identified as sites to conduct co-design sessions for a school-based alcohol education program. Adolescents were invited to review and (re)design an existing alcohol education program.

    Findings

    The study indicates that co-design with vulnerable consumers cannot be approached in the same way as conventional user involvement processes. Based on the insights generated from six co-design sessions as well as the examination of user involvement and co-design literature, the authors propose a six-step co-design framework. The six steps comprise resourcing, planning, recruiting, sensitizing, facilitation and evaluation.

    Research limitations/implications

    The co-design framework illustrates important differences to conventional user involvement processes. However, the generalizability of the research findings is limited to a specific study setting and a narrowly defined sample. Future research in a different setting is needed to further validate the presented findings.

    Practical implications

    For service design practice, this study provides guidelines on how co-design activities with vulnerable consumers can be effectively resourced, planned, recruited, sensitized, facilitated and evaluated. The framework outlines how co-design may be applied so that vulnerable consumers can become empowered participants during the design process.

    Originality/value

    This research contributes to the knowledge in transformative service research – a priority in service research – and service design by extending the boundaries of our understanding of processes and tools for the involvement of vulnerable consumers in transformative service design.

  • 2.
    Echeverri, Per
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
    Åkesson, Maria
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).
    Professional identity in service work: why front-line employees do what they do2018In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 28, no 3, p. 315-335Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify the key elements of professional identity in service work in order to provide more in-depth theoretical explanations as to why service workers do as they do while co-creating service. Design/methodology/approach: This study takes a multi-perspective on professional identity, i.e. using both an employee and a customer perspective, arguing that the phenomenon mainly consists of what these interactants jointly do during the service interaction and of the meanings that are attributed to it. The authors draw on a detailed empirical study of professionals working at a customer centre. Methodologically, the study is based on practice theory, which helps us to illuminate and analyse both the micro practices and the meaning attributed to the professional identity of service workers. Findings: The key elements of professional identity in service work are outlined within a framework that describes and explains three different facets of the service workers’ professional identity, i.e. as a core (i.e. individual resources, cognitive understanding, interaction), as conditions (i.e. service prerequisites), and as contour (i.e. demeanour and functions). Research limitations/implications: The findings are based on an empirical data set from a public transport customer centre. As the results are limited to one context, they do not provide statistical generalizability. Although limited to one service industry, the findings may still be of high relevance to a wide range of service organisations. Practical implications: The study shows the significance of managers not just talking about the importance of being service-minded; more exactly, a wide range of service prerequisites, beyond cognitive understanding, needs to be in place. It is crucial that service workers are given the time to develop their contextual knowledge of their customers, and of other parts of the service organisation. Originality/value: This study offers original empirical contributions concerning the key elements of professional identity. An alternative conceptualization of professional identity is provided, through which the paper adds to service research, explaining more specifically what kinds of knowledge and skills are in use during the co-creation of services.

  • 3.
    Enquist, Bo
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
    Sebhatu, Samuel Petros
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center. Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, The Service and Market Oriented Transport Research Group.
    Johnson, Mikael
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
    Transcendence for Business Logics in Value Networks for Sustainable Service Business2015In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 25, no 2, p. 181-197Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 4.
    Koskela-Huotari, Kaisa
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Oulu, Finland,.
    Vargo, Stephen L.
    University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    Institutions as resource context2016In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 163-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of institutions and institutional complexity in the process through which resources-in-context get their “resourceness.”

    Design/methodology/approach – To shed light on the process of potential resources gaining their “resourceness,” the authors draw from two streams of literature: the service ecosystems perspective and institutional theory.

    Findings – The authors combine the process of resources “becoming” with the concept of institutions and conceptualize institutional arrangements, and the unique sets of practices, symbols and organizing principles they carry, as the sense-making frames of the “resourceness” of potential resources. In service ecosystems, numerous partially conflicting institutional arrangements co-exit and provide actors with alternative frames of sense-making and action, enabling the emergence of new instances of “resourceness”.

    Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that “resourceness” is inseparable from the complex institutional context in which it arises. This conceptualization reveals the need for more holistic, systemic and multidisciplinary perspectives on understanding the implications of the process of resources “becoming” on value co creation, innovation and market formation.

    Practical implications – As the “resourceness” of potential resources arises due to the influence of institutions, managers need a more profound understanding of the complimentary and inhibiting institutional arrangements and the related practices, symbols and organizing principles that comprise the multidimensional context in which they operate.

    Originality/value – This paper is one of the first to focus specifically on the process of resources “becoming,” using a systemic and institutional perspective to grasp the complexity of the phenomenon.

    Paper type Conceptual paper 

  • 5.
    Polese, Francesco
    et al.
    Univ Salerno, Italy.
    Pels, Jaqueline
    Univ Torcuato Tella, Argentina.
    Tronvoll, Bård
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Hedmark Univ Appl Sci, Norway.
    Bruni, Roberto
    Univ Cassino & Southern Lazio, Italy.
    Carrubbo, Luca
    Univ Salerno, Italy.
    A4A relationships2017In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 27, no 5, p. 1040-1056Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of actors that allow them to relate to others actors in the system through shared intentionality (orientation) and the nature of the A4A relationship and the results that such interactions bring to the emergent system based on this shared purpose (finality). Design/methodology/approach - The topic is approached by theoretical analysis and conceptual development of three integrative frameworks: the sociological perspective, service-dominant logic and a particular perspective of system thinking: the viable system approach (vSa). Findings - The A4A relationships involve value co-creation based on actors integrating their resources and acting with intentionality to obtain value by providing benefits to other parties and by belonging to the emergent viable system; actor acts for other actors directly involved in the relationship generating positive effects for the whole system in which it is contextualized. Research limitations/implications - Future empirical research might better support findings. Social implications - Many social implications deriving from an augmented role of actors engaged within social relationships in co-creation exchanges. From the title of the paper A4A over on the manuscript describes numerous social inferences of actors in co-creation. Originality/value - A4A is a relationship formed by actors that interact for the benefit of the whole system in which are involved. They find own benefit from the benefit created for the system in which they live and act. In A4A relationships the value of the single actor comes from the participation to the viability of the whole system.

  • 6.
    Åkesson, Maria
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
    Skålén, Per
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
    Edvardsson, Bo
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Service Research Center.
    Stålhammar, Anna
    Value proposition test-driving for service innovation: How frontline employees innovate value propositions2016In: Journal of service theory and practice, ISSN 2055-6225, E-ISSN 2055-6233, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 338-362Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of frontline employees in service innovation from a service-dominant logic (SDL) perspective. Frontline employees lack a formal innovation obligation. Service innovation is a resource integration process resulting in the creation of new value propositions.

    Design/methodology/approach – A case study of service innovation projects that includes three different businesses in the IT sector and personal interviews with 25 frontline employees.

    Findings – The findings suggest that frontline employees contribute to service innovation by test-driving potential value propositions. Three types of value proposition test-driving have been identified: cognitive, practical, and discursive. The findings suggest interdependencies between the different modes of value proposition test-driving, as well as specific phases of the service innovation process dominated by one form or another.

    Research limitations/implications – Value proposition test-driving offers a fruitful context for managers to involve frontline employees and use their creativity and expertise. The case study approach, however, limits the statistical generalizability of the findings.

    Originality/value – The study is novel in that it introduces the notion of value proposition test-drivingfor service innovation; provides a systematic empirical analysis of how frontline employees contribute toservice innovation by test-driving value propositions; offers a service innovation model informed by the SDL; and contributes to the SDL by detailing how service innovation occurs in practice.

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