The operational implications of service customisation level

Shuter, Melanie (2005) The operational implications of service customisation level. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.



Customisation offers the opportunity for organisations to capitalise on the many potential benefits to both themselves and to clients, afforded by offering a greater choice of goods and services for customers. Many organisations have implemented increased customisation with the expectation of increased demand and profitability. However a critical analysis of the operational aspects involved in customising services reveals that different levels of customisation have distinct operational needs which render the adoption of different levels of customisation more difficult than is indicated in existing literature.

Three distinct degrees of customisation are examined in this study. These are standardisation, medium customisation and high customisation. The study puts forward a comprehensive model which provides an insight into the organisational factors which potentially enable or impede an organisation in introducing different levels of customisation. This model builds on previous studies of factors which impact on the ability of an organisation to deliver customised services. Factors which are included in this model are: (a) the level and type of knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) held by employees involved in designing and delivering services (b) the degree of information distribution and exchange between employees and (c) goal clarity for staff involved in delivering the service.

Initial case studies conducted in six organisations and a subsequent quantitative study which elicited 101 responses from 21 organisations, revealed that each level of customisation held a distinct configuration of these operational factors. Organisations offering high customisation were characterised by a low degree of information distribution and exchange between employees, a high level of KSA's about the service being provided and low goal clarity for service staff. Organisations offering medium customisation were characterised by a high degree of information distribution and exchange between employees, a moderate level of KSA's about the service being provided and relatively high goal clarity for staff. Organisations offering standardised services were characterised by a low degree of information distribution and exchange between employees, a low level of KSA's required about the service being provided and high goal clarity for staff.

By examining the relationship between customisation and the identified operational implications, the study allows us to piece together a multi-faceted viewpoint of the same broad issue, which is answered by the overarching question 'how are organisations enabled to provide different levels of customisation'? This study therefore provides us with a well-rounded insight as to how and why organisations can effectively implement different levels of service customisation.

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ID Code: 16137
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Kabanoff, Boris & Waldersee, Robert
Keywords: Customisation, information distribution, collaboration, services, professional services, job design
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Management
Department: Faculty of Business
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Melanie Shuter
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 03:57
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:43

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