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Title: A new lean service model : the value of customer integration into service operations
Author: Arfmann, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 5373 0373
Awarding Body: University of Gloucestershire
Current Institution: University of Gloucestershire
Date of Award: 2015
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Purpose – The purpose of this thesis is to explore the implications of value co-creation on lean service operations. Given that only customers are able to create value, the integration of customers becomes more and more important. This thesis investigates customer integration through applying and enhancing lean principles. The overall goal of this study is to develop and test a model to integrate customers into service operations in a lean way, considering value co-creation theory. Design/methodology/approach – The overall research strategy of enquiry consists of action research and mixed methods approaches. A systematic literature review is conducted on customer integration methods considering 27 relevant studies. Afterwards, a meta-synthesis of these studies is provided to develop a model for lean customer integration. Seven propositions are formulated to test the model. Therefore, the model is implemented in two independent pole case companies (SMEs) within pure service businesses. Six different mixed methods are applied to investigate effects of model implementation. Beside interviews, process observations and customer workshops, document analysis, Monte Carlo Simulation, regular debriefing sessions are conducted. To clarify arising anomalies, an experiment is conducted with 46 participants in 4 different groups. Finally, a revised model is presented. Findings – The findings show that through synthesizing selected studies, a model is developed that should facilitate customer integration into firm’s service operations in a lean way. Application of the model in the case companies reveals that it enables a company to enhance operational performance, as well as value creation. Findings further show that a significant portion of unavoidable waste can be turned into either functional or emotional value. This emphasizes the relevance of developing and applying service specific lean tools in order to cope with service specific challenges. Research limitations and practical implications – As the findings are based on a systematic literature review and tested within a pure service environment (SMEs), the proposed model should be tested in other circumstances to further improve the results. The findings may be of interest to scholars in the field of lean or service operations, as well as practitioners seeking to enhance their operational performance through lean customer integration. Originality/value – This thesis contributes to knowledge in the field of lean service operations, as it provides the first validated model to integrate customers in operations in a lean way. It also provides a new approach to practitioners seeking not only to ‘streamline’, but also to ‘valueline’ their value creation processes. In particular, the role of customers as value (co-) creators is considered from an operational perspective and provides important insights on how customer value can be enhanced in pure services.
Supervisor: Topolansky Barbe, Federico ; Carter, Adele Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD28 Management. Industrial Management