Strategic Productivity Management in Small and Medium-Sized Service Enterprises Using the Service Navigator
AbstractService productivity has become a widely accepted issue in science and practice. But so far there are no holistic and widely accepted methods for systematic productivity management for services, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Not only quantitative measures play an important role (e.g., financial measures) but also qualitative measures such as service quality or customer satisfaction have to be considered. Furthermore, the incorporation of service and SME specific characteristics has not been effective. In addition, a relationship between performance and productivity management has not been established. Closing this gap requires redefining the concept of service productivity and positioning it in relation to performance measurement. Against this background, the present article aims at presenting the conception and development of a holistic service productivity instrument, the Service Navigator. This instrument is based on a revised definition of strategic productivity that takes the dynamic character of the cause-and-effect relationships between strategic and operative measures into account. The Service Navigator is intended to enable SMEs to measure, assess and control the cause-and-effect relationships among inputs, sub-processes and outputs that are relevant for productivity. Subsequently the results of an explorative qualitative-empirical study on the development of the Service Navigator are presented and finally an outlook on further needs for research is given.
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