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Paper info: Evaluating the performance of business service providers: Developing a model from multiple case studies

Title


Evaluating the performance of business service providers: Developing a model from multiple case studies

Authors


Arjanvan Weele, Kibbeling Mirjam and
Wendy van der Valk
Technical University Eindhoven and Delft
Netherlands
Wendy van der Valk

Place of Publication


The paper was published at the 24th IMP-conference in Uppsala, Sweden in 2008.

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Abstract


Services have become an increasingly important part of many organizations' expenditures. At the same time, organizational buyers view the purchase of business services to be highly complex. The specific characteristics of services influence the purchasing process in the sense that certain steps in the purchasing process become more important, more difficult, or just different in comparison with purchasing the process for goods.This paper investigates the phase of ex post evaluation of suppliers of business services. Based on a literature review on supplier evaluation models, we identify three types of quality that are important in evaluating the performance of service suppliers. We then conduct an embedded case study to identify which of these quality types are most important for services for which the buying company pursues are more transactional approach, versus services for which a more relational view is adopted. The results of this embedded case study indicate that functional service quality (i.e. quality of the service process) and relationship quality are less important for services that are bought via a transaction-oriented purchasing strategy than for services bought by a relation-oriented purchasing strategy.