Service productivity:what stops service firms from measuring it?


Productivity measurement poses a challenge for service organizations. Conventional management wisdom holds that this challenge is rooted in the difficulty of accurately quantifying service inputs and outputs. Few service firms have adequate service productivity measurement (SPM) systems in place and implementing such systems may involve organizational transformation. Combining field interviews and literature-based insights, the authors develop a conceptual model of antecedents of SPM in service firms and test it using data from 276 service firms. Results indicate that one out of five antecedents affects the choice to use SPM, namely, the degree of service standardization. In addition, all five hypothesized antecedents and one additional antecedent (perceived appropriateness of the current SPM) predict the degree of SPM usage. In particular, the degree of SPM is positively influenced by the degree of service standardization, service customization, investments in service productivity gains, and the appropriateness of current service productivity measures. In turn, customer integration and the perceived difficulty of measuring service productivity negatively affect SPM. The fact that customer integration impedes actual measurement of service productivity is a surprising finding, given that customer integration is widely seen as a means to increase service productivity. The authors conclude with implications for service organizations and directions for research.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Marketing & Strategy
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change on 19/4/16, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: behavioural theory of the firm,measurement,new institutional theory,resources and capabilities,service productivity,Social Sciences (miscellaneous),Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
Publication ISSN: 2040-056X
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 08:09
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2016 12:20
Full Text Link: http://www.tand ... 33.2016.1148890
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Special issue
Published Date: 2016-04-19
Accepted Date: 2015-08-03
Authors: Walsh, Gianfranco
Walgenbach, Peter
Evanschitzky, Heiner (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-1013-7679)
Schaarschmidt, Mario



Version: Accepted Version

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