Paper info: Interaction Patterns in Services Exchange - Some Thoughts on the Impact of Different Kinds of Services on Buyer- Supplier Interfaces and Interactions
Interaction Patterns in Services Exchange - Some Thoughts on the Impact of Different Kinds of Services on Buyer- Supplier Interfaces and Interactions
Stockholm School of Economics
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Place of Publication
The paper was published at the 16th IMP-conference in Bath, U.K in 2000.
In the light of the increasing (economic) importance of the service sector and the growing'servisation' of goods, this paper takes a closer look at the ? possible - unique characteristicsof the procurement (and marketing) of services. In doing so, we investigate the impact of howthe service is being used by the customer; as a component, a raw material, a piece ofequipment or a consumption service. We discuss the impact on interaction processes and thetype of interaction and dialogues that go on (or should go on) between buyer and seller.Some of the pioneering IMP-work on buyer-seller relations had a strong focus on dyadicinteraction processes and the possible systematic similarities and differences in differentcontexts. One contextual aspect that has been investigated is the impact of the type of productbeing exchanged (raw material, components, equipment, etc) on interaction patterns.At the same time, most literature in the area of purchasing and supply management hastraditionally focused at the procurement of goods. Literature on service marketing, on theother hand, often pinpoints the characteristics of services as opposed to goods, oftenemphasising that services are produced in interactive processes between the seller and thebuyer. That should, of course, have triggered interesting research into understanding thoseprocesses. However, so far we have not seen any large-scale efforts to investigate if there anyspecific patterns in the interaction processes around services, from a purchasing perspective.This paper is based on a broader review of theory and practice regarding service procurement(Axelsson and Wynstra, 2000a; Axelsson and Wynstra, 2000b). In this way, it aims toprovide some basic elements for future, original research into service procurement, an arearelatively ignored by academics.In section 1 of this paper, we take a closer a look at the specific nature of services and buyingservices. Interaction patterns and their general characteristics in the case of services are thetopic of section 2. The third section discusses a typology of different services in terms of theirapplication or usage and section 4 discusses the interaction between buyer and supplier forthese different service types. Finally, section 5 summarises our main conclusions andsuggestions for further research.