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Type: Theses
Title: PRO-RIS and customer engagement in complex services
Author: Ng, Sylvia Chee Yeng
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: Business School
Abstract: The role of the customer has evolved with increasing transparency of consumption processes, as well as easy sharing of and access to information. While previous research has acknowledged the activity of customers in integrating resources, the dynamic role of service providers in engaging customers and facilitating their resource integration processes has received less attention. To date, literature on dyadic relationships between customers and service providers is primarily focused on the cultivation and building of relationships. As such, this research explores the complementary role of service providers in supporting customer value creation, through customer engagement and resource integration. This research comprises three papers that investigate the customers’ and employees’ activities and interactions in an extended and complex service setting. In line with the overall research objectives, we address two distinct yet related themes - the first paper examines customer engagement with a service offering (CESO), while the second paper focuses on the provider side of resource integration, identifying five professional service providers’ resource integration styles (PRO-RIS). These two papers are exploratory and qualitative in nature, as we seek to generate rich and thick insights for theory building. The third paper extends the second paper by validating PRO-RIS quantitatively, as well as exploring customer traits that differ across styles, through a variety of approaches including multiple discriminant analysis. This paper suggests how service providers in complex services, may support customer resource integration meaningfully in practice. We thus contribute to the existing literature by investigating the complexities and nuances surrounding dynamic interactions between the customer and service provider, in the process of resource integration to create value. The first paper is novel in that it explores customer engagement from two perspectives: that of the planner and that of the customer. By conceptualising CESO, the first paper addresses a fundamental gap in the customer engagement literature by going beyond the current focus on brands and organisations. In particular, CESO is holistic in that it captures customer engagement with a service offering, which includes the service provider, their advice and the service process. In addition, we advance present knowledge by providing rich insights on the drivers and outcomes from such engagement. The identified engagement activities are ‘openings’ or windows of opportunities for service providers to connect with their customers appropriately in practice. Building on our improved understanding of such opportunities, the second paper investigates professional service providers’ resource integration styles. In contrast to previous studies exploring how customers may integrate resources to create value, this paper focuses on the role of the service provider by offering significant insights on how service providers can facilitate customer resource integration processes. That is, the research focuses on the process and configurations of resource integration, rather than the benefits realised through the resource integration process [i.e. value cocreation]. Researchers have acknowledged that the function of the institution in value cocreation is a missing concept and that value cocreation roles also need to be investigated from the service provider’s perspective. Yet, little is known about the configuration of resource integration processes in practice, with research recently pointing to this as a service research priority. Hence, the development of the PRO-RIS typology responds to these calls for research, improving our knowledge through detailed explanations of the variations in styles and associated constellations of resource integration activities that service providers offer, in support of customer resource integration. Further to this, the construction of the PRO-RIS index as discussed in the third paper is crucial in assisting the measurement of these five styles for empirical testing. Indeed, by using this index, we are able to link the resource integration styles with demographical, situational and personal factors of customers commonly associated with each style as well as related service outcomes, supporting service strategy development, through managers identifying customers associated with each style. The PRO-RIS index will enable the replication of this research in a variety of contexts, leading to more findings that are generalizable, bringing our understanding on actor-to-actor resource integration to the next level.
Advisor: Plewa, Carolin
Sweeney, Jillian C.
Zurbruegg, Ralf
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) (Research by Publication) -- University of Adelaide, Business School, 2016.
Keywords: value creation
complex services
resource integration styles
customer engagement
Research by Publication
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
DOI: 10.25909/5ba1c4ad145f4
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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