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Johansson, Elisabeth
Publications (10 of 12) Show all publications
Johansson, E. (2016). Understanding Solution Quality. (Doctoral dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding Solution Quality
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The integration of services and products into solutions can open up new business opportunities for firms. This thesis concerns how firms can provide solutions that are perceived as high quality. Solutions are often provided over several years, which implies a changed customer relationship compared to product provisions. Since the solution aims to support the customer’s activities, firms face new challenges when introducing solutions. One challenge is to integrate all components and activities of the solution, and simultaneously support the customer’s activities. In addition, the firm must ensure that the solution and all of its parts are of high quality.

Most of the existing research on quality is related to the management of a firm’s internal activities and the interaction during exchange. Within the research on quality, customer orientation means that a firm should manage the relevant product or service to meet customer requirements. When this is achieved, the product or service is of high quality. Since solutions are seen as services and products that are integrated as an outcome, as well as a customer relational process that aims to support the customer’s activities, firms have little to learn from previous research about the quality of solutions.

The aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge about how to manage solution quality. The thesis combines insights from research on quality with research on solutions and servitization. Three research questions are answered. The first question concerns the content of solution quality; the second deals with how firms can, with support from interventions, meet the new challenges that arise from solution provision; and the third question concerns how customers can be involved to achieve solution quality. The research questions are answered through five papers based on literature studies and empirical data. The papers contribute to an increased knowledge of solution quality and how firms can work to achieve it.

The results of the thesis suggest that solution quality is built on seven quality dimensions: reliability, communicability, internal consistency, empathy, approachability, tangibility, and adaptability. In addition, knowledge of processes and customer relationships are two prerequisites for the concept. These dimensions and prerequisites are supported by interventions that can provide a change. However, it has become evident that whatever intervention is used must be related to the dimensions that are supposed to be improved. Furthermore, customer involvement is argued to be an intervention to support the prerequisites for solution quality, especially during the solution  development. The results of this thesis extend the research on quality by increasing the knowledge of the solution quality concept and by changing the view of customers and their involvement during solution development.

Abstract [sv]

Den här avhandlingen berör hur företag kan möjliggöra så att produkter och  tjänster, integrerade i så kallade helhetslösningar, kan levereras med hög kvalitet. Helhetslösningar levereras ofta över en längre tid vilket medför en förändrad kundrelation till skillnad mot när endast en produkt levereras. Helhetslösningar syftar till att stödja kunden i dess aktiviteter. Det medför att företagen möter nya utmaningar. En utmaning är att få den komplexa helhetslösningen, bestående av olika komponenter och aktiviteter, att passa ihop och samtidigt bidra till att stötta kundens aktiviteter. Dessutom behöver företagen säkerställa att helhetslösningen och alla dess delar har hög kvalitet.

Tidigare forskning inom kvalitetsutveckling berör företags interna processer och aktiviteter. När man inom kvalitetsutveckling talar om kundorientering innebär det att företaget med interna medel ska arbeta för att möjliggöra så produkten eller tjänsten möter kundens specifikationer. När detta är uppnått har produkten eller tjänsten hög kvalitet. Företagen har här inga riktlinjer att följa när de ska leverera helhetslösningar som ska anpassas efter kundens aktiviteter och när en så tydlig kundrelation ska utvecklas. Det finns med andra ord ingen vägledning för vad som är kvalitet eller hur man möjliggör hög kvalitet på helhetslösningar.

Den här avhandlingen visar vad som ingår i begreppet kvalitet när det gäller helhetslösningar (lösningskvalitet) samt hur företag kan möjliggöra det. Tre olika frågor har huvudsakligen behandlats. Den första frågan besvarar vad lösningskvalitet innehåller. Den andra berör hur företag med hjälp av åtgärder kan bidra till en förändring inom företaget för att möta de nya utmaningar som uppstår med att leverera helhetslösningar. Den tredje frågan berör på vilket sätt kunden kan involveras för att uppnå lösningskvalitet. För att besvara frågorna har ett antal studier baserade på empiriskt material genomförts, och fem artiklar har författats under forskningsprocessen. Artiklarna bidrar till att öka förståelsen för lösningskvalitet och hur företag kan arbeta för att uppnå det.

Avhandlingens resultat visar att lösningskvalitet består av sju olika dimensioner: tillförlitlighet, kommunicerbarhet, intern överensstämmelse, empati, nåbarhet, påtaglighet, och anpassningsbarhet. Dessutom är kunskap om processer och kundrelationer två förutsättningar för att uppnå lösningskvalitet. Dimensionerna betraktas som riktmärken för lösningskvalitet som företag kan arbeta mot. Dimensionerna och förutsättningarna stöttas i sin tur av åtgärder som används för att bidra till den interna förändringen inom företaget. Resultaten visar dock att använda åtgärder inte alltid leder till en förändring. Endast noga utvalda åtgärder som relaterar till en specifik dimension möjliggör en förändring. Exempel på en möjlig åtgärd är kundinvolvering. Speciellt vid utveckling av helhetslösningar, betraktas kundinvolvering som en möjlig åtgärd för att stötta förutsättningarna till lösningskvalitet. Resultaten i den här avhandlingen bidrar huvudsakligen till en ökad kunskap om vad kvalitet är när det gäller helhetslösningar. Ytterligare ett bidrag är att föreslå kundens förändrade roll under utveckling och vid leverans av helhetslösningar för att uppnå lösningskvalitet.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2016. p. 89
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1769
Keywords
Solution quality, solutions, quality dimensions, servitization, customer involvement
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Transport Systems and Logistics Reliability and Maintenance Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-128274 (URN)10.3384/diss.diva-128274 (DOI)978-91-7685-752-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-10, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-24 Created: 2016-05-24 Last updated: 2019-10-29Bibliographically approved
Johansson, E., Raddats, C. & Witell, L. (2015). Radical and incremental service innovation in manufacturers: The impact of customer involvement. In: 13 th international Research Symphosium on Service Excellence in Management, Shanghai, June 19-21, 2015: . Paper presented at QUIS.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Radical and incremental service innovation in manufacturers: The impact of customer involvement
2015 (English)In: 13 th international Research Symphosium on Service Excellence in Management, Shanghai, June 19-21, 2015, 2015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122027 (URN)
Conference
QUIS
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-22
Aichigui, V., Johansson, E., Löfberg, N. & Witell, L. (2015). Servitization in SME manufacturing firms: A one-way road. In: 13th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Shanghai, June 19-21, 2015: . Paper presented at QUIS (pp. 965-968).
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Servitization in SME manufacturing firms: A one-way road
2015 (English)In: 13th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Shanghai, June 19-21, 2015, 2015, p. 965-968Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The importance for manufacturing firms to add services to their offerings has been asserted over and over again (Neu and Brown 2005). Adding services to product sales require manufacturing firms to develop other types of offerings such as maintenance services, hybrid offerings or integrated solutions. This implies using new and often unknown practices to be able to provide services. Previous research has focused on the benefits of servitization (Gebauer, Gustafsson, and Witell 2011), albeit in larger firms. Hence, similar research on Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SME) has been scarce. Furthermore, servitization as a unidirectional transition process can be questioned as researchers argue that manufacturing firms might offer different types of services simultaneously and might not have the intention to take the next step that a transition process suggests (Kowalkowski et al. 2015). Moreover, previous research shows that the step from offering after-sales services and repair to offering more advanced services, e.g. process-related services, is rather big. For those services different mindsets are required within the organization; more advanced services would require a service oriented mindset, whereas after-sales services only requires the firm to have a product oriented mindset (Löfberg 2014).

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122031 (URN)978-0-692-46156-3 (ISBN)
Conference
QUIS
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-22
Johansson, E., Witell, L., Gremyr, I. & Elg, M. (2014). Quality of solutions, products and services in manufacturing firms. In: Thessaloniki, June 13-15, 2014: . Paper presented at AMA SERVSIG 2014.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality of solutions, products and services in manufacturing firms
2014 (English)In: Thessaloniki, June 13-15, 2014, 2014Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122026 (URN)
Conference
AMA SERVSIG 2014
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-22
Johansson, E., Witell, L. & Elg, M. (2013). Changing quality initiative - does the quality profile really change?. Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, 24(1), 79-90
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Changing quality initiative - does the quality profile really change?
2013 (English)In: Total Quality Management and Business Excellence, ISSN 1478-3363, E-ISSN 1478-3371, Vol. 24, no 1, p. 79-90Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A firm working with quality management over time may change from total quality management to Six Sigma to lean production, but does this actually change the firm's quality profile? This paper seeks to identify specific quality profiles in service firms and how these profiles change over time. The empirical investigation is based on self-assessment studies conducted in 138 Swedish service firms. The results show that service firms often build up a specific quality profile, which they retain over time. The paper develops theoretical and managerial implications based on the research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2013
Keywords
quality management; quality profile; quality principles; change management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-89629 (URN)10.1080/14783363.2012.707868 (DOI)000327929600006 ()
Available from: 2013-02-28 Created: 2013-02-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06
Johansson, E. (2013). Managing Quality in a Service Context. (Licentiate dissertation). Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Quality in a Service Context
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In recent years, service organizations have had to increase the number of offerings they provide. These organizations face difficulties in changing their internal processes to provide high-quality offerings. With the increase in demand for delivered services and competitive organizations from low-cost countries, service organizations currently face several issues. Today’s service organizations combine products and services into a solution to improve their competitiveness. These organizations experience changes in customer expectations depending on what they offer. That is, expectations, demands,  and wishes change depending on the offering that a customer uses. Thus,  service organizations need to know how expectations for quality change based on offerings and how they can work to change certain emphasized quality aspects. Hence, the aim of this licentiate thesis is to contribute to the knowledge of how to manage quality in a service context.

This licentiate thesis is based on three different studies. One study is based on a number of self-assessment studies conducted at 138 Swedish service organizations using a total of more than 5,000 respondents. In the second study, data was collected over a five-year period through a literature review, interviews, a document study, and observations to capture the quality profile and associated interventions. The second study was conducted in a service organization in the public transportation industry. In the third study, a literature review was performed to provide theoretical propositions for developing a conceptual model. The conceptual model was built on theories from product quality, service quality, service logic, and solutions.

The findings revealed that a service organization could change the performance level of a quality principle if the correct interventions are used. Furthermore, a service organization immature in quality management emphasizes one or two quality principles and, after the initial phase focuses on other principles as well. Therefore, if a service organization wants to change its quality profile pattern, it must change its emphasis on certain norms and principles. A further finding is the proposed solution’s quality concept and its six quality dimensions: (i) reliability, (ii) flexibility, (iii) consistency, (iv) empathy, (v) approachability, and (vi) tangibility. Furthermore, a model connecting the empirical findings in a quality concepts model is proposed. This model shows that the need exists to change work activities if the service  organization changes strategic direction, that is, changes the number of offerings offered.

Abstract [sv]

Under senare år har svenska tjänsteorganisationer ökat bredden av erbjudanden till sina kunder. En del av dessa organisationer har svårigheter med att ändra sina interna processer för att kunna leverera hög kvalitet på hela bredden av erbjudanden, som produkter, tjänst och helhetslösning. Med ökade krav på tjänster och konkurrens från lågkostnadsländer, står tjänsteorganisationer för närvarande inför flera utmaningar. Många av dagens tjänsteorganisationer, exempelvis tillverkningsföretag, kombinerar produkter och tjänster i så kallade lösningar för att förbättra sin konkurrenskraft. Dessa organisationer upplever förändringar i kundernas förväntningar beroende på vad de erbjuder. Det vill säga förväntningar, krav och önskemål förändras beroende på vilket erbjudande som kunden använder. Således behöver tjänsteorganisationerna veta hur förväntningar på kvalitet förändras utifrån erbjudande och hur de kan arbeta med att förbättra de dimensioner av kvalitet som är viktiga för kunden. Därmed är syftet med denna licentiatavhandling att bidra till kunskapen om hur organisationer kan styra sitt kvalitetsarbete på strategisk nivå i en tjänstekontext.

Denna licentiatavhandling bygger på tre olika studier. En av studierna är baserad på ett antal självutvärderingsstudier genomförda vid 138 svenska tjänsteorganisationer. Den andra studiens material samlades in under en femårsperiod genom en litteraturstudie, intervjuer, dokumentstudier och observationer för att fånga organisationens kvalitetsprofil. Denna studie genomfördes i en tjänsteorganisation inom kollektivtrafiken. Under den tredje studien genomfördes en litteraturstudie för att ta fram en konceptuell modell för vad kvalitet är på en lösning. Den konceptuella modellen byggdes på teorier från produktkvalitet, tjänstekvalitet, tjänstelogik och helhetslösningar.

Resultaten visar att en tjänsteorganisation kan ändra prestation på en kvalitetsprincip om rätt åtgärder används. En tjänsteorganisation som är omogen inom kvalitetsstyrning fokuserar på en eller två kvalitetsprinciper. Först efter den inledande fasen fokuserar organisationen på ytterligare principer. För att tjänsteorganisationen ska kunna ändra utseende på sin kvalitetsprofil måste den aktivt arbeta med att ändra kvalitetsprincip i fokus. Ett ytterligare resultat är den konceptuella modellen över helhetslösningskvalitet och dess sex dimensioner: (i) tillförlitlighet, (ii) flexibilitet, (iii) överensstämmande, (iv) empati (v) tillgänglighet, och (vi) påtaglighet. Dessutom presenteras en modell som visar att behovet finns att byta arbetsuppgifter och åtgärder om tjänsteorganisationen ändrar strategisk inriktning, det vill säga ändrar antalet erbjudanden.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. p. 58
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1579
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88731 (URN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (Local ID)978-91-7519-686-2 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-Lic 2013:13 (OAI)
Presentation
2013-02-25, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2014-01-10Bibliographically approved
Johansson, E., Witell, L. & Rönnbäck, Å. (2013). Using interventions to change the quality profile of an organisation. International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, 5(1), 32-45
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Using interventions to change the quality profile of an organisation
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, E-ISSN 1756-6703, Vol. 5, no 1, p. 32-45Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose − The purpose of the present study is to investigate how a quality profile can evolve over time and, in particular, how different kinds of interventions can further develop or change an existing quality profile.

Methodology/approach − Data was collected over a five-year period, including a literature review, interviews, a document study and observations to capture the quality profile and associated interventions. The study was carried out in a service organisation in the public sector.

Findings − This study shows that the quality profile can change over time due to the use of specific interventions. If a company wants to emphasise a specific quality principle, it must target the quality principle with one or moreinterventions. However, even if a quality principle is targeted, there is no guarantee that the quality principle will show improvement in the quality profile. Also, One main finding is that the quality profile becomes more even over time due to the internal consistency of the quality principles.

Research limitations/implications − This paper sheds light on the need to study the adoption of individual quality principles and the evolution of the quality profile of an organisation.

Practical implications − The results can provide insights for organisations aiming to embark on a quality programme, specifically how to design and develop a quality profile.

Originality/value − This research implies that the quality profile is a recurring, general phenomenon in all quality management improvement programmes. In other words, successful implementation of quality management requires a cohesive quality profile.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013
Keywords
Quality management, Quality principles, Quality profile, Service organisations
National Category
Business Administration Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-88729 (URN)10.1108/17566691311316239 (DOI)
Available from: 2013-02-15 Created: 2013-02-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
Johansson, E., Witell, L. & Rönnbäck, Å. (2012). Quality management evolution in service companies. Paper presented at QMOD, Poznan, Poland.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality management evolution in service companies
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Purpose: This study investigates how a quality profile can evolve over time and how different interventions can develop and change an existing quality profile.

Methodology/approach: Data was collected over a five-year period, including a literature review, interviews, a document study and observations to capture the quality profile and associated interventions. The study was carried out in a service organisation in the public transportation industry.

Findings: This study shows that the quality profile can change over time due to the use of specific interventions. If a company wants to emphasise a specific quality principle, it must target the quality principle with one or more interventions. However, even if a quality principle is supported by several interventions, there is no guarantee that the quality principle will show improvement in the quality profile. Also, the quality profile becomes more even over time. This can be explained by the internal consistency of the quality principles.

Research limitations/implications: This paper sheds light on the need to study the adoption of individual quality principles and the design and evolution of a quality profile.

Practical implications: The results can provide insights for organisations aiming to embark on a quality programme, specifically how to design and develop a quality profile.

Originality/value: This research implies that the quality profile is a recurring, general phenomenon in all quality management improvement programmes. In other words, successful implementation of quality management requires a cohesive quality profile. 

Keywords
Quality management, Quality principles, Quality profile, Service organisations
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-84521 (URN)
Conference
QMOD, Poznan, Poland
Available from: 2012-10-15 Created: 2012-10-11 Last updated: 2012-10-15Bibliographically approved
Johansson, E., Witell, L. & Elg, M. (2011). Quality Profiles of Service Firms. In: 12th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Ithaca, June 2-5, 2011: . Paper presented at QUIS.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Quality Profiles of Service Firms
2011 (English)In: 12th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Ithaca, June 2-5, 2011, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122036 (URN)
Conference
QUIS
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-22
Johansson, E., Witell, L. & Rönnbäck, Å. (2011). Why changing a quality profile is easier said than done. In: 12th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Ithaca, June 2-5, 2011: . Paper presented at QUIS.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Why changing a quality profile is easier said than done
2011 (English)In: 12th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, Ithaca, June 2-5, 2011, 2011Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122035 (URN)
Conference
QUIS
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2015-10-22
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