Service

15 Results

 

Has the Post-Capitalist Economy Finally Arrived?

Summing Up Capitalism is far from dead--but how it works is changing for good, say James Heskett's readers this month. What will it require from us? Closed for comment; 23 Comments posted.

A Smarter Way to Reduce Customer Defections

Companies can't afford to lose hard-won customers, but in truth some are more important to keep than others. Recent research by Sunil Gupta and Aurélie Lemmens explains how to find them. Open for comment; 4 Comments posted.

How to Demotivate Your Best Employees

Many companies hand out awards such as "employee of the month," but do they work to motivate performance? Not really, says professor Ian Larkin. In fact, they may turn off your best employees altogether. Closed for comment; 62 Comments posted.

The Dirty Laundry of Employee Award Programs: Evidence from the Field

Many scholars and practitioners in human resource management have recently argued that awards and other forms of on-the-job recognition provide a "free" way to motivate employees. But are there unintended, negative effects of such awards? In this paper, the authors simultaneously examine the costs and benefits of an attendance award program that was implemented in an industrial laundry plant. The award used in the study was effective in that it reduced the average rate of tardiness among employees. However, it also led to a host of potential spillover effects that the plant manager readily admits were not considered when designing the program, and that reduced overall plant productivity. Overall, findings demonstrate that an award program that appears to be effective may also induce unintended consequences severely reducing the net value of the program. These results highlight the impact such a program can have on the overall performance of the firm and suggest caution when designing and implementing such programs. Read More

Altruistic Capital: Harnessing Your Employees’ Intrinsic Goodwill

Everyone comes to the table with some amount of "altruistic capital," a stock of intrinsic desire to serve, says professor Nava Ashraf. Her research includes a study of what best motivates hairdressers in Zambia to provide HIV/AIDS education in their salons. Closed for comment; 20 Comments posted.

Break Your Addiction to Service Heroes

In their new book, Uncommon Service, coauthors Frances Frei and Anne Morriss show it is possible for organizations to reduce costs while dramatically enhancing customer service. The key? Don't try to be good at everything. Interview and book excerpt from HBS Alumni Bulletin. Open for comment; 10 Comments posted.

Charitable Giving When Altruism and Similarity Are Linked

Harvard Business School professor Julio J. Rotemberg looks at what makes people decide to contribute to a charity. He focuses on two psychological factors: that people feel better about themselves when other people agree with them, and that people tend to be more charitable to other like-minded people. Read More

Clay Christensen’s Milkshake Marketing

About 95 percent of new products fail. The problem often is that their creators are using an ineffective market segmentation mechanism, according to HBS professor Clayton Christensen. It's time for companies to look at products the way customers do: as a way to get a job done. Closed for comment; 114 Comments posted.

New Challenges in Leading Professional Services

Professional service firms are being challenged as never before—by clients, associates, and the competition, just for starters. But old-style PSF leaders are not equipped to respond, says Harvard Business School professor Thomas J. DeLong. He discusses his new book When Professionals Have to Lead. Plus: Book excerpt. Read More

The Dark Side of Trust

It has been well documented that strong trust between a buyer and supplier provides many advantages, such as increased productivity. But according to new research coauthored by HBS professor Felix Oberholzer-Gee, trusting relationships can also have a negative side that managers must take into account. Read More

Racial Diversity Initiatives in Professional Service Firms: What Factors Differentiate Successful from Unsuccessful Initiatives?

What organizational factors are needed for racial diversity initiatives to succeed? While diversity continues to grow in importance in organizations, very little research has focused on the processes that underlie diversity management. Modupe Akinola and David A. Thomas propose a study intended to explore management initiatives that focus on racial diversity in professional service firms. Given that such firms rely on the high level of skills, expertise, and diverse perspectives offered by their professional staff, these firms may be ideal laboratories for examining diversity initiatives. Read More

How Important Is the “Service Sector Effect” on Productivity?

In the cost-driven U.S. service economy, are worker benefits being sacrificed in the name of lower-cost services to customers? Are these social costs more than offset by the benefits of job creation, the consumption stimulus that spurs job creation, and lower unemployment? Closed for comment; 16 Comments posted.

When Benchmarks Don’t Work

Benchmarks have their virtues, but professor Robert S. Kaplan argues they should be saved for surveys of commoditized processes or services. From Balanced Scorecard Report. Read More

Rethinking Marketing’s Conventional Wisdom

Making advertising hard to find is just one way companies are rewriting conventional marketing strategies, says Harvard Business School professor Youngme Moon. Read More

Web Services

Web services are being touted as the latest, greatest technologies. So late, in fact, they aren't even on most of the general public's radar yet. And so great that they just may jumpstart the sluggish tech market. Read More