Service Culture as a Source of Renewal and Differentiation

Inka Lappalainen, Maaria Nuutinen, Merja Airola

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference articleScientific


    Objectives: To study and provide support to companies attempting to boost their service culture as a source of renewal and differentiation. Prior Work: In previous studies the role of the organisational culture in promoting on-brand service behaviours of employees and a lack of holistic approach based on organisational culture have been highlighted. Thus, there is a need to further explore and develop approaches which combine organisational culture and social construction of brand images from the perspectives of the company and customers. Companies as practitioners lack knowledge of how to facilitate those dynamic processes. Approach: In order to develop our conceptual and methodological approach, we construct links between service research, organisational culture and brand building approaches. A multimethod case study approach was adopted in order to investigate empirically the transformation dynamics of retail business and service culture as a source of renewal and differentiation. Results: Based on the empirical study the management, staff and customers shared the same insights into the service culture of the company, from both differentiating and brand image perspectives. Aligned with the recent studies, relationships as the basis of brand value were highlighted and the brand value was understood as being continuously co-created in interaction between company representatives, customers and other stakeholders in the eco-system. Implications and Value: The study and this paper narrow both academic and practical needs by constructing a holistic framework to understand and support organisational service culture as a source of differentiation. The perspectives of management, staff and customers were combined by stressing the co-creative nature of value and brand meanings over time. The methodological approach seems applicable in retail sector, in addition to previous application areas, though suggestions for further studies are also made.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    EventRENT XXXI Conference: Research in Entrepreneurship and Small Business - Lund, Sweden
    Duration: 15 Nov 201717 Nov 2017


    ConferenceRENT XXXI Conference


    • multimethod case study
    • value creation
    • organisational culture
    • brand
    • retail


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