Seven new articles in Service Science – check ’em out!

Service Science, Fall 2012: 4(3)

1. Ching-I Teng, Shao-Kang Lo, and Yi-Jhen Li
How Can Achievement Induce Loyalty? A Combination of the Goal-Setting Theory and Flow Theory Perspectives

Abstract: The motivation theory has identified achievement as a critical factor for online game play. However, how achievement induces gamer loyalty (the intention to play a certain game continuously) has not been explored. This study thus used the goal-setting theory to identify two achievement-related motivators: achievement striving (desire for achievements) and competence (confidence at obtaining achievements). Moreover, flow theory was used to develop hypotheses on how achievement striving and competence induce gamer loyalty. Based on the responses from 994 online gamers, our results indicate that achievement striving and competence among gamers are positively related to skill and perceived challenge. Additionally, skill and perceived challenge are positively related to flow, and flow is positively related to gamer loyalty. We recommend that game providers target individuals who are high in achievement striving and competence, or increase gamer desire for those motivators at obtaining achievements, in order to construct a loyal gamer base.

2. Robert M. Saltzman
Planning for an Aging Fleet of Shuttle Vehicles with Simulation

Abstract: San Francisco State University operates a small but aging fleet of shuttle vehicles that facilitate travel by its affiliates to, from, and around campus. Its shuttle system is primarily intended to supplement municipal bus service in connecting the university to the nearest Bay Area Rapid Transit train station in Daly City, California, approximately a mile and a half south of campus. This article presents an animated discrete-event simulation model of the system that can be used by campus planners to make capital improvement decisions about the fleet. In particular, the model can help identify the best type of shuttle (in terms of capacity and number of doors) to replace the older existing vehicles. Furthermore, experimentation with the model can predict how different fleet configurations would accommodate various increases in ridership; e.g., if ridership increases 40% over the next few years, a satisfactory level of service can be maintained by replacing just two of the fleet’s six existing shuttles with new 39-passenger, two-door, low-floor vehicles.

3. Stephen L. Vargo and Melissa Archpru Akaka
Value Cocreation and Service Systems (Re)Formation: A Service Ecosystems View

Abstract: This article explores a service-dominant (S-D) logic, service-ecosystems approach to studying value cocreation and the (re)formation of service systems. We outline the central premises of S-D logic and elaborate the concept of a service ecosystem to propose a framework that focuses on resource integration as a central means for connecting people and technology within and among service systems. This ecosystems view emphasizes the social factors that influence, and are influenced by, service-for-service exchange. We draw on systems theory and a structurational model of technology to underscore the importance of networks of actors, as well as institutions—e.g., rules, social norms—as critical components of service systems. We argue that this service-ecosystems framework provides a robust and dynamic approach for studying resource integration, value cocreation, and the (re)formation of service systems, and provides important insights for systematically innovating service.

4. Steven Alter
Metamodel for Service Analysis and Design Based on an Operational View of Service and Service Systems

Abstract: This paper presents a metamodel that addresses service system analysis and design based on an operational view of service that traverses and integrates three essential layers: service activities, service systems, and value constellations. The metamodel’s service-in-operation perspective and underlying premises diverge from a view of service systems as systems of economic exchange that has appeared a number of times in the journal Service Science.

In addition to the metamodel itself, this paper’s contributions include an explanation of eight premises on which it is based plus clarifications concerning concepts such as service, service system, customer, product/service, coproduction and cocreation of value, actor role, resources, symmetrical treatment of automated and nonautomated service systems, and the relationship between service-dominant logic and service systems. Many articles have discussed these topics individually; few, if any, have tied them together using an integrated metamodel.

5. Tiaojun Xiao, Tsan Ming Choi, Danqin Yang, and T. C. E. Cheng
Service Commitment Strategy and Pricing Decisions in Retail Supply Chains with Risk-Averse Players

Abstract: We study the service commitment strategy and pricing decisions in a single-supplier single-retailer supply chain where all the players (and consumers) are risk averse. Motivated by various industrial practices, we explore the case where the retailer determines whether to provide a service guarantee (SG) or to provide no service guarantee (NSG). The main incentive for using SG is to reduce the service-level risk to consumers. We derive the range of the supplier’s degree of risk aversion and the range of the consumer’s sensitivity (or attitude) to service reliability over which the retailer chooses SG. We find that (i) the retailer’s motivation to use SG increases with the consumer’s product quality perception, (ii) the retailer’s motivation to use SG decreases with the retailer’s degree of risk aversion but increases with both the consumer’s degree of risk aversion and the retailer’s service investment efficiency, and (iii) the unit wholesale price under NSG is lower than that under SG if and only if the consumer’s service-level sensitivity is sufficiently small. In addition, we illustrate that the endogenization of unit wholesale price raises the retailer’s motivation to use SG if the consumer is sufficiently risk averse; otherwise, it may decrease this motivation. In the make-to-stock mode, we also find that a higher unit-holding cost weakens the retailer’s motivation to use an availability guarantee.

6. Hyunwoo Park, Trustin Clear, William B. Rouse, Rahul C. Basole, Mark L. Braunstein, Kenneth L. Brigham, and Lynn Cunningham
Multilevel Simulations of Health Delivery Systems: A Prospective Tool for Policy, Strategy, Planning, and Management

Abstract: Computer simulations are effective tools for addressing enterprise transformation in terms of alternative organizational policies, operating procedures, and allocations of resources. We present a multilevel approach to computationally model health delivery enterprises. This approach is illustrated by its application to an employer-based prevention and wellness program. The decision of interest in this application concerns the design of prevention and wellness programs that are self-sustaining and provide a positive return on investment for the overall enterprise. The nature of this decision is shown to have enormous implications for how delivery services are organized.

7. M Ramkumar and Mamata Jenamani
E-procurement Service Provider Selection—An Analytic Network Process-Based Group Decision-Making Approach

Abstract: E-procurement is used by companies as a tool to reduce procurement costs, bring transparency into the purchasing process, and reduce the procurement cycle time. The specialized expertise involved in building such systems and its associated costs have compelled some companies to hire third-party e-procurement service providers. Selecting the right service provider is a tricky task for two reasons: First, the company must be aware of the factors that need to be considered when comparing alternative providers. Second, the executives of the company must have a tool in place to compare the alternative providers in the most unbiased manner possible. In this paper we identify a set of selection criteria and subcriteria based on an extensive literature survey and discussions with procurement executives in an organization. From these criteria, we then propose a two-stage selection process that consists of an initial screening of the providers and a final analytic network process-based selection with group decision making. Finally, the proposed framework is applied to a real-life case to study the individual bias involved in the selection process and to study the sensitivity of the final selection process.

Manuscript Submission

INFORMS PubsOnLine      (  Fall 2012)

Stanford Highwire (Searchable Database used for all the INFORMS publications)

Robin G. Qiu, Ph.D.
Division of Engineering and Information Science
The Pennsylvania State University
30 E. Swedesford Road, Malvern, PA 19355, USA

Fellow, Center for Service Enterprise Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA  16802

Phone: 1-610-725-5313 (Office), Fax; 1-610-648-3377 (Office)
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