مزیت رقابتی از طریق تمایز خدمات ارائه شده توسط شرکت های تولیدی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|543||2011||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 64, Issue 12, December 2011, Pages 1270–1280
This paper examines the relationship among the complexity of customer needs, customer centricity, innovativeness, service differentiation, and business performance within the context of companies that have made a service transition from pure goods providers to service providers. A survey of 332 manufacturing companies provides the basis for the empirical investigation. One key finding is that a strong emphasis on service differentiation can lead to a manufacturing firm's strategies for customer centricity being less sensitive to increasingly complex customer needs, which can increase a firm's payoff for customer centricity. In contrast, the payoff from innovativeness appears to be higher if the firm focuses its resources on either product or service innovation; that is, a dual focus does not work well. This paper discusses the implications of these findings for researchers and managers.
Markets have become highly competitive and turbulent and are constantly changing. Market conditions move from being simple to complex, from stable to dynamic, and from tame to hostile (Neu and Brown, 2005). In response to changing market conditions, manufacturing companies have traditionally become more customer-centric and innovative, in a way that customers receive products that better fit their needs (Deshpande et al., 1993, Drucker, 1954, Johnson and Selnes, 2004, Narver and Slater, 1990 and Treacy and Wiersema, 1993). In addition, manufacturing companies have started adding more services to their total offerings as part of a differentiation strategy (Gebauer et al., 2010, Neu and Brown, 2005 and Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003). Companies with greater reliance on the service part of their business reportedly achieve better return on sales and improve their value (Fang et al., 2008). Manufacturing companies are redirecting their efforts towards customer centricity and innovativeness, and also from goods to services. Instead of only innovating products, companies are investing in service differentiation. Consequently, instead of services being add-ons to the product, they become the center of the total offering, with products as add-ons to the services. Various terms describe this service differentiation in manufacturing firms, including service business development, servitization, service infusion, high-value solutions, and transition from products to services (Davies, 2004, Gustafsson et al., 2010, Oliva and Kallenberg, 2003 and Vandermerwe and Rada, 1988). A common rationale involves using service differentiation to take advantage of strategic, financial, and marketing opportunities. The fact that services are less visible and more labor-dependent makes them a strategic opportunity and a sustainable source of competitive advantage (Heskett et al., 1997). Services lead to co-creation of value based on the competencies of the company and the customer (Matthyssens et al., 2006 and Vargo and Lusch, 2008), which leads to resources that are unique and hard to imitate (Wernerfelt, 1984). Financial opportunities include additional service revenues throughout the product life cycle (Potts, 1988 and Wise and Baumgartner, 1999). Marketing opportunities involve using services to augment the product offering and increasing the quality of the customer interaction (Mathieu, 2001). However, most researchers study the phenomenon of service differentiation in isolation from other firm activities (Homburg et al., 2003 and Neu and Brown, 2005). In so doing, they neglect the interaction of service differentiation with other antecedents that may affect success, such as customer centricity and innovativeness. Combining service differentiation with factors such as innovativeness and customer centricity, versus service differentiation alone, can sustain above-industry average performance. Only the combination of service differentiation with other factors can translate into valuable resources that are neither perfectly imitable nor easily substitutable (Hoopes et al., 2003). With few exceptions, the general approach to studying the service differentiation phenomenon involves case studies. This approach allows in-depth exploration of mechanisms related to service differentiation, which makes the method appropriate for exploring emerging trends. The disadvantage of the method stems from the difficulty in judging the effect of service differentiation for manufacturing firms in general. A few studies have taken a large-scale study approach (Fang et al., 2008 and Gebauer, 2008), but none of them has investigated service differentiation in relation to other firm activities. In order to fill this research void, the present study examines the interaction of service differentiation with customer centricity and innovativeness through a cross-sectional study of manufacturing companies. To this end, the study builds on established relationships among complexity of customer needs, customer centricity, innovativeness, and business performance. The study integrates service differentiation as a moderator into these relationships, and the moderator analysis explores the weakening (negative) and strengthening (positive) effects that service differentiation has on those relationships. The study covers 332 European-based manufacturing companies from a variety of industries. This research makes several contributions to the literature. Firstly, the research expands the existing literature by studying service differentiation with an emphasis on the interaction of service differentiation with customer centricity and innovativeness, rather than in isolation from the strategic orientation of manufacturing companies. This perspective on service differentiation fits more closely with how manufacturing firms work with service. Secondly, the study provides some insights into the effects of service differentiation and how a company achieves them.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Academics continue to search for theories and empirical evidence regarding service differentiation in manufacturing firms (Davies, 2004, Fang et al., 2008 and Gebauer, 2008). This paper expands the existing literature by studying service differentiation, not in isolation from the strategic orientation of manufacturing companies, but rather by emphasizing the interaction of service differentiation with customer centricity and innovativeness. This perspective on service differentiation fits better with the way that manufacturing firms work with services. Companies investing in customer centricity and innovativeness can make greater profits out of the investments by emphasizing service differentiation. The results of the analysis of the basic model concur with previous research, which states that the complexity of customer needs drives customer centricity and innovativeness, which, in turn, improve business performance. The complexity of customer needs has similar impacts on customer centricity and on innovativeness, although the impact on business performance differs. Innovativeness has a greater impact on business performance than customer centricity does. In order to enhance business performance, innovation in processes, products, and services is relatively more important than focusing on customer centricity in the organizational processes and structures; doing both simultaneously achieves the best result, however. In the context of manufacturing firms, this study adds the construct of service differentiation and investigates how this construct moderates the four relationships in the basic model. Firstly, strong service differentiation reduces the sensitivity of a manufacturing firm's strategies for customer centricity to the complexity of customer needs. The premise is that a service differentiation is a valuable resource that makes a firm's offerings harder to imitate, which makes the firm less sensitive to more complex customer needs. Manufacturing firms utilizing service differentiation are in a better position to handle dramatic changes in customer needs than pure goods providers are. Secondly, strong service differentiation can improve a manufacturing firm's payoff for customer centricity and provide employees with a better understanding of customers' value creation processes. The organization can use such customer knowledge to design better goods and services, form better value propositions, and deliver better service. Service differentiation, therefore, not only strengthens the positive relationships between complexity of customer needs and customer centricity and those between customer centricity and business performance. Service differentiation is actually a prerequisite for these two relationships. Establishing customer centricity in order to cope with complex customer needs benefits from service differentiation, which is, in turn, a prerequisite for achieving higher business performance through customer centricity. Thirdly, emphasizing service differentiation has a complex moderation effect on the relationship among complexity of customer needs, innovativeness, and business performance. Service differentiation functions as a quasi moderator and not only weakens the association of complexity of customer needs and innovativeness, but is also an antecedent for innovativeness itself. Innovativeness has less impact on business performance of those companies that emphasize both goods and service differentiation than on the business performance of firms that concentrate on one or the other. Sharing available resources between goods and services in this way stabilizes the revenue stream and reduces the likelihood that a manufacturing firm will act on everything that happens in the market. However, such a strategy can cause the resource requirements of product and service innovation to become overly demanding, which may dilute a firm's resources for innovation to such an extent that neither business has sufficient resources (Fang et al., 2008). The empirical investigation in this study indicates that the payoff from innovativeness is higher if the firm focuses its resources on either product or service innovations.