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Contagious Effects of Customer Misbehavior in Access-Based Services

February 1, 2016

Customer misbehavior in service settings is problematic for two reasons: (1) because of the direct damage it causes and (2) because of additional negative effects that arise from the contagion of such misbehavior. The authors extend existing theory of customer misbehavior by studying its contagious effect. The investigation focuses on access-based services, defined as transactions in which multiple consumers successively gain temporal, short-term access to a good, while legal ownership remains with the service provider (e.g., car sharing and fashion rentals). Due to the nature of these services, they are especially prone to indirect customer misbehavior, which is directed at the accessed product and occurs in the absence of others. Two online experiments provide the first empirical evidence for a contagiousness of misbehavior and reveal that this effect is driven by customers' perceptions of the social norms among the customer group. Moreover, they indicate that greater strength of the accessed product's brand as well as lower anonymity of the accessed product's owner attenuate contagion. A field experiment shows that an increase in the communal identification among access-based service customers reverses the contagious effect, with customers more likely to remove signs of previous users' misbehavior. The results suggest that access-based service providers should address customer misbehavior by (a) investing in the products they offer access to, (b) establishing more personal relationships with customers, and, foremost, (c) increasing communal identification among customers.

United States Building Energy Efficiency Retrofits: Market Sizing and Financing Models

March 1, 2012

Examines the market potential of energy efficiency retrofits in buildings, including market size, energy savings, impact on climate change mitigation, and job creation, as well as financing structures. Suggests policies to support market development.

The Adoption of Servitization Strategies by UK-based Manufacturers

November 18, 2009

Almost all manufacturers offer services, but some use these as the basis for their competitive strategy. This is a growing area of interest among practitioners, policy makers, and academics, yet little is known about the adoption of servitization by UK manufacturers. In this paper a survey is presented that has been used to explore the extent, motivations, challenges, and successes of servitization within the business-to-business sector. The findings indicate, for example, that many manufacturers are succeeding with their service strategies, that they are attracted to these as a source of customer focus and revenue growth, and that such strategies require less organizational change than might be expected. Although the findings from the survey should be treated as preliminary, and further work is needed to confirm their reliability and insight, they indicate that servitization is proving to be a powerful competitive weapon for many companies.

Generative Dialogue as a Transformative Learning Practice in Adult and Higher Education Settings

May 1, 2006

This article explores Scharmer's account of generative dialogue, which followed from Bohmian dialogue in the 1980s and Isaacs' research with the MIT Dialogue Project in the early 1990s. It presents the author's view that generative dialogue offers a useful theoretical framework and effective means for facilitating transformative learning processes within adult and higher education group settings. Specifically, this article examines four distinctions between generative dialogue and conventional perspectives of dialogue, and how generative dialogue can support transformative learning processes within collaborative learning contexts such as cohorts and classrooms.