Responsible Service Processes: A Triadic View

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Purpose – A central concern for service triads is coordination and control, which has so far emphasized outcome-based approaches, in particular on behalf of service buyers. Such outcomes, however, can be very difficult to judge, not at least because they require varied input along tripartite relationships. We therefore argue that the processes with which such outcomes are inherently intertwined merit greater attention. Such processes, however, largely eschew external control. We therefore re-consider coordination and control in service triads by using the notion of responsibility in order to interrogate suppliers’ practices. The purpose of this paper is then to investigate how services are delivered responsibly in triadic relationships, where providers must liaise with and satisfy differing demands from buyers and receivers.

Design/methodology/approach – An in-depth, single case study approach is adopted to investigate responsible service processes in triads within the executive search industry. Executive search firms are hired by client organizations in order to find, qualify and help recruit candidates into high-level corporate positions, such as CEOs and board members. Data collection includes a total of 33 interviews with members of search firms, client organizations as well as candidates as well as observations and notes from industry meetings, networking events and publicly accessible material.

Findings – Findings show a different way to conceptualize and investigate coordination and control in service triads. Attending to service providers’ responsibility means uncovering in what way they express care and manage responses of those they interact with. We identify and classify a number of responsible practices and show how they aim both at achieving outcomes and influencing processes. Furthermore, findings highlight how these practices differ depending on the specific relationship within the triad as well as in terms of what time horizon is being considered. Altogether, this shows a different, more relational way to exercise coordination and control in service triads.

Relevance/contribution – This study contributes to the literature on service triads by reconceptualizing issues around coordination and control in terms of responsibility. So doing highlights service suppliers’ responsible practices in terms of their care and management of buyer’s and receiver’s responses, which is expressed both in service outcomes and processes.
TitelProceedings of the Eighty-third Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
RedaktørerSonia Taneja
Antal sider1
UdgivelsesstedBriarcliff Manor, NY
ForlagAcademy of Management
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023: Putting the Worker Front and Center - Boston, USA
Varighed: 4 aug. 20238 aug. 2023
Konferencens nummer: 83


KonferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023
NavnAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings