Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You and Your Team.

Learn More →

Articulating the service concept in professional service firms

Articulating the service concept in professional service firms PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to propose a solution to the challenges of professional service firms (PSF), which are referred to as cat herding, opaque quality and lack of process standardization. These result from misalignment in the mental pictures that managers, employees and customers have of the service. The study demonstrates how the process of articulating a shared service concept reduces these challenges.Design/methodology/approachA narrative methodology is used to analyze the perspectives of old management, new management and employees during organizational change in a PSF – a website design company growing to offer full-service branding. Group narratives are constructed using longitudinal data gathered through interviews and fieldwork, in order to compare the misaligned mental pictures and show the benefits of articulating the service concept.FindingsProfessional employees view growth and change as threats to their culture and practice, particularly when new management seeks to standardize processes. These threats are revealed to stem from misinterpretations caused by miscommunication of intentions and lack of participation in decision making. Articulating a shared service concept helps to align understanding and return the firm to equilibrium.Research limitations/implicationsThe narrative methodology helps unpack conflicting perspectives, but is open to claims of subjectivity and misrepresentation. To ensure fairness and trustworthiness, informants were invited to review and approve the narratives.Originality/valueThe study contributes propositions related to the value of articulating a shared service concept as a means of minimizing the challenges of PSFs. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Service Management Emerald Publishing

Articulating the service concept in professional service firms

Loading next page...
 
/lp/emerald-publishing/articulating-the-service-concept-in-professional-service-firms-fdhufsBEbn
Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1757-5818
DOI
10.1108/JOSM-10-2015-0299
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to propose a solution to the challenges of professional service firms (PSF), which are referred to as cat herding, opaque quality and lack of process standardization. These result from misalignment in the mental pictures that managers, employees and customers have of the service. The study demonstrates how the process of articulating a shared service concept reduces these challenges.Design/methodology/approachA narrative methodology is used to analyze the perspectives of old management, new management and employees during organizational change in a PSF – a website design company growing to offer full-service branding. Group narratives are constructed using longitudinal data gathered through interviews and fieldwork, in order to compare the misaligned mental pictures and show the benefits of articulating the service concept.FindingsProfessional employees view growth and change as threats to their culture and practice, particularly when new management seeks to standardize processes. These threats are revealed to stem from misinterpretations caused by miscommunication of intentions and lack of participation in decision making. Articulating a shared service concept helps to align understanding and return the firm to equilibrium.Research limitations/implicationsThe narrative methodology helps unpack conflicting perspectives, but is open to claims of subjectivity and misrepresentation. To ensure fairness and trustworthiness, informants were invited to review and approve the narratives.Originality/valueThe study contributes propositions related to the value of articulating a shared service concept as a means of minimizing the challenges of PSFs.

Journal

Journal of Service ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 19, 2017

References