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Hanken School of Economics Working Papers, Hanken School of Economics

No 530:
Interpretation of Services Marketing Concepts

Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen (), Christian Grönroos () and Johanna Gummerus ()

Abstract: Scholarly research has produced conceptual knowledge that is based on real-life marketing phenomena. An initial aim of past research has been to produce marketing knowledge as a base for efficient business operation and for the improvement of productivity. Thus, an assumption has been that the knowledge would be applied by organisations. This study focuses on understanding the use of marketing knowledge within the field of service marketing. Hence, even if marketing knowledge about service-oriented principles and marketing of services is based on empirical research, there is a lack of knowledge on how this marketing knowledge is in fact applied by businesses. The study focuses on four essential concepts of services marketing knowledge, namely service quality, servicescape, internal marketing, and augmented service offering. The research involves four case companies. Data is based on in depth interviews and questionnaire-based surveys conducted with managers, employees, and customers of these companies. All organisations were currently developing in a service-oriented and customer-oriented direction. However, we found limitations, gaps, and barriers for the implementation of service-oriented and customer-oriented principles. Hence, we argue that the organisations involved in the study exploited conceptual knowledge symbolically and conceptually, but the instrumental use of knowledge was limited. Due to the shortcomings found, we also argue that the implementation of the various practices and processes that are related to becoming service-oriented and customer-oriented has not been fully successful. Further, we have come to the conclusion that the shortcomings detected were at least in some respect related to the fact that the understanding and utilisation of conceptual knowledge of service-oriented principles and marketing of services were somewhat limited.

Keywords: conceptual marketing knowledge; service quality; servicescape; internal marketing; augmented service offering; (follow links to similar papers)

34 pages, September 20, 2007

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