Examining end users’ ability to select business services: A conceptual framework and an empirical study

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Author Information : Padmal Vitharana (Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University)
Amiya Basu (Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University)

Year of Publication : Information & Management (2020)

Summary of Findings : End users’ sophistication and requirement complexity affect their ability to avoid duplication (i.e., select the most cost-effective set of services) and select a set of services that satisfy their requirements.

Research Questions : Does end users’ sophistication and requirement complexity affect their ability to avoid duplication (i.e., select the most cost-effective set of services) and select a set of services that satisfy their requirements?

What we know : The task of finding the services matching requirements requires specialized knowledge—knowledge of requirements and the functionality of available services—not just mere general competence.

Novel Findings : End users’ sophistication and requirement complexity affect their ability to avoid duplication (i.e., select the most cost-effective set of services) and select a set of services that satisfy their requirements.

Implications for Practice : For a profit-maximizing service vendor, knowledge of the end user's sophistication/naivety allows there to be different pricing strategies: (1) a pure component strategy, (2) a pure bundling strategy, or (3) a mixed bundling strategy.

Implications on Research: We demonstrate both conceptually and empirically that end users’ naivety has a significant impact on service duplication.

Full Citations : Vitharana, Padmal and Basu, Amiya (2020) Examining end users’ ability to select business services: A conceptual framework and an empirical study, Information & Management

Abstract : Software made from autonomous business services is gaining popularity. Now end users can build large applications by assembling a suite of services. Because some end users might have limited knowledge of their requirements and the functionality of available services, the key challenge is to find the services needed to build an application. The task of finding the services matching requirements requires specialized knowledge—knowledge of requirements and the functionality of available services—not just mere general competence. Moreover, the complexity of the requirements could also hinder the ability of end users to select services. However, there is little research into how the end users’ sophistication and requirement complexity affect their ability to avoid duplication (i.e., select the most cost-effective set of services) and select a set of services that satisfy their requirements. We provide a conceptual framework for the choice problem faced by the decision maker and develop a set of hypotheses on end user's sophistication and requirement complexity, and the impact of these factors on outcome performance—the ability to avoid duplication and select the appropriate services. Then we conduct an empirical study to test the hypotheses. Empirical results offer support for all hypotheses. Our work has several implications. We demonstrate both conceptually and empirically that end users’ naivety has a significant impact on service duplication. For a profit-maximizing service vendor, knowledge of the end user's sophistication/naivety allows there to be different pricing strategies: (1) a pure component strategy, (2) a pure bundling strategy, or (3) a mixed bundling strategy.

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End users’ sophistication and requirement complexity affect their ability to avoid duplication (i.e., select the most cost-effective set of services) and select a set of services that satisfy their requirements.

Padmal Vitharana
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