Exploring Modularity in Services: Cases from Tourism

Viktor Avlonitis, Juliana Hsuan

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to examine how modularity manifests in the design of services. The study brings new insights on the organization of service firms by empirically exploring and theoretically advancing the intersection of modularity and service design.
Design/methodology/approach
The paper compares two companies that offer similar services in the same geographical region but represent polar case types. A framework grounded on extant literature is constructed and applied to the two cases to assess its practicality and provide theoretical insights.
Findings
The paper demonstrates the effects of modularity and integrality on a range of different analytical levels in service architectures. Taking a holistic approach, the authors synthesize and empirically deploy a framework comprised of the three most prevalent themes in modularity and service design literature: Offering (service concept), intra-firm organization (service delivery system), and inter-firm relationships (service network). They posit that service architectures require the examination of different analytical levels due to the complex and dynamic nature of service business. Additionally, the analysis provides new insights on the mirroring hypothesis of modularity theory to services.
Originality/value
The paper provides a conceptualization of service architectures drawing on service design, modularity, and market relationships. The study enriches service design literature with elements from modularity theory and elaborates on the theoretical implications of service modularity in general.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Volume37
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)771-790
ISSN0144-3577
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Tourism
  • Service design
  • Modularity
  • Case study
  • Conceptual framework
  • Service architecture

Cite this

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abstract = "PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine how modularity manifests in the design of services. The study brings new insights on the organization of service firms by empirically exploring and theoretically advancing the intersection of modularity and service design.Design/methodology/approachThe paper compares two companies that offer similar services in the same geographical region but represent polar case types. A framework grounded on extant literature is constructed and applied to the two cases to assess its practicality and provide theoretical insights.FindingsThe paper demonstrates the effects of modularity and integrality on a range of different analytical levels in service architectures. Taking a holistic approach, the authors synthesize and empirically deploy a framework comprised of the three most prevalent themes in modularity and service design literature: Offering (service concept), intra-firm organization (service delivery system), and inter-firm relationships (service network). They posit that service architectures require the examination of different analytical levels due to the complex and dynamic nature of service business. Additionally, the analysis provides new insights on the mirroring hypothesis of modularity theory to services.Originality/valueThe paper provides a conceptualization of service architectures drawing on service design, modularity, and market relationships. The study enriches service design literature with elements from modularity theory and elaborates on the theoretical implications of service modularity in general.",
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Exploring Modularity in Services : Cases from Tourism. / Avlonitis, Viktor; Hsuan, Juliana.

In: International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 37, No. 6, 2017, p. 771-790.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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