skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Service Alliance

developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

Studying at Cambridge

 

Through-Life Accountability

PhD Research by Chara Makri on Through-Life Accountability: Managing Complex Services

Through-Life Accountability: Managing Complex Services

Shift to Services

Manufacturers turning into service providers need to develop a whole new set of capabilities and adapt their organisational structures and processes so that they reflect the relationship-based nature of services. What is more, by taking over the customers’ operations, they have to deal with greater responsibilities than before, and for long periods of time. In particular, since they have to deliver ‘results’ rather than products they have to assume uncertainties that were previously the concern of the customer. 

Through-Life Accountability

As a result, manufacturers need to have a clear understanding of where accountability lies in the event of failure of a provided service through-life in order to reduce the risk of failures and hedge the organisation against liabilities. However, accountability has many forms and dimensions which are not independent. As a result, it is far from straightforward for organisations to understand and deal with their accountabilities, especially in the case of servitized manufacturers where the product may be provided by one organisation, and the support services by a large network of partners.

Safety Risks

Nonetheless, manufacturers still need to adapt within these complex environments and provide a fail-safe service for everyone involved. Yet, what gives rise to safety risks and, most important, how a manufacturer can best manage them, are issues that still have to be addressed and there is paucity of research on the guidance or tools that can be used by manufacturers for identifying and managing accountabilities and reduce the risk of failures. 

 Accident Causation 

The High Reliability Organisations –HROs–  literature examines organisations that cannot afford to fail and highlights the key characteristics that successful organisations should have in order to promote safety: 

  1. Commitment to standard procedures
  2. Culture of continuous learning
  3. Commitment to results and safety
  4. Flexible structures
  5. In-built system and human redundancy
  6. Outstanding technology
  7. Effective communication
  8. Reward systems for reporting failures and
  9. Establishment of minimum requirements
    (e.g. Roberts et al. 1994; Tranfield et al. 2003; Hopkins 2007; Sullivan & Beach 2009; Saleh et al. 2010; Lekka & Sugden 2011; Sutcliffe 2011; Makri & Neely 2015) 
But these studies focus only on single organisations

Research Proposal

We investigate how servitized manufacturers can sustain a high safety level in services given the large networks and long-term contracts involved in service provision, by examining the factors that can lead to accidents within a service environment. Furthermore, we aim to examine how incident reporting can impact safety in services and identify any barriers and facilitators and how these change through-life.

We expect that the results of this research will be of use to both the academic and practitioner community. This study will be an exploratory research with the analysis based on qualitative methods:

CM image3

Contact: Chara Makri

RSS Feed Latest news

EPSRC Grant: OMMS - Wireless Micro-Factor that will treat people with Cancer

Nov 14, 2017

OMMS: the wireless micro-factory that will treat people with cancer Building Service Business Model Innovation

November Webinar - A System Perspective on Business Model Evolution

Nov 13, 2017

Webinar by Chander Velu on 'A Systems Perspective on Business Model Evolution: The Case of an Agricultural Information Service Provider in India'

Video - What is the Shift to Services Executive Course all about?

Oct 29, 2017

In this video Florian Urmetzer explains the benefits of attending the Alliance's two-day executive programme - Shift to Services

October Paper - Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses

Oct 26, 2017

The October Monthly Paper from the Cambridge Service Alliance, on 'Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses, by Mert Onuralp Gökalp, Kerem Kayabay, Mohamed Zaki, Altan Koçyiğit, P. Erhan Eren, and Andy Neely

Article on Service Week 2017 in London Evening Standard

Oct 26, 2017

Anthony Hilton, of the London Evening Standard, attended our Service Week 2017 Industry Day event, and wrote about one of the keynote speakers, from Alibaba, in a recent article.

View all news

Upcoming events

Ecosystems Strategy One Day Course

Feb 27, 2018

IfM, Cambridge

Shift to Services Executive Education Programme

May 09, 2018

IfM, Cambridge, UK

Upcoming events