Why We Need a Service Logic: A Comparative Review

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Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship





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This paper considers perspectives of service that define what has been called service logic. We review two contemporary service logics and compare them in terms of strategic and managerial insights. The first is the Service-Dominant Logic of Marketing, which provides a prescriptively interesting 'theory of the firm,' but not a descriptively pragmatic or informative 'theory of strategy.' In other words, it suggests why organizations exist without meaningfully directing managerial decisions and actions pertaining to the provision of service outcomes. It also absorbs all economic activity into the realm of 'service,' thus reducing or eliminating the ability to distinguish managerial insights along a service/non-service dimension. The second is the Unified Service Theory, which explicitly discriminates between service and non-service activities, and prescribes managerial approaches that are unique to each. We introduce a strategic application that we call Process DNA, which posits that firms' value realization efforts are composed of sequences of processes. Some processes (service processes) involve interaction between firms and customers, and other processes (non-service processes) are decoupled. Firms can gain strategic advantage by altering the arrangement of interactive and decoupled processes within a process sequence.

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