skip to primary navigationskip to content

Cambridge Service Alliance

developing new understanding and approaches to complex service systems

Studying at Cambridge

 

Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts

last modified Oct 03, 2016 10:50 AM
July paper on 'Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts: Safety Challenges and Means of Prevention' by Chara Makri and Andy Neely

'Critical Incidents in Complex Service Contracts: safety challenges and means of prevention

Chara Makri and Andy Neely

Increased competition, extended product life-cycles and the large number of suppliers and partners involved in services are only some of the challenges that product manufacturers moving into service provision are facing. The increased complexity of service networks can impact safety and increase risks, especially for manufacturers operating in safety-critical environments. In this paper we explore how complex service networks can affect safety by using data from 23 exploratory interviews with experts within the field. We find that even ‘expert’ service providers feel that the complexity of service networks can lead to confusion over accountabilities and impact safety. Even in cases where accountabilities are clearly defined in contracts, a general lack of control, due to the large number of partners involved, can prevent manufacturers from taking the proper actions with devastating consequences.

“Rules and prescriptions simply do not work. It is judgement, knowledge and competence, that is required to decide what is reasonable and what is practicable, you cannot manage health and safety through rules and ticking boxes”, Dame Judith, Health and Safety Executive 

We propose that manufacturers turning into service providers will need to have a clear understanding of three main issues within their service network. These are: a) Duty Holder & Governance – the structures and hierarchies, the legislation under which the partners operate and the procedures that dictate how things are done within the service network; b) Attitudes – individual people and attitudes, organizational incentives and a constant battle between commercial and operations; and c) Competencies – the competency of employees, the training and assessment procedures in place and the technology and systems available. Furthermore, they need to consider that these characteristics can change depending on the wider context in which each partner operates. This depends, not only on the size of the firm, but also on the sector and country in which the partners operate. Managers should therefore have a clear understanding of these characteristics and how these may change, in order to be able to drive the right behaviours within their network and sustain a high level of safety.

[paper]

RSS Feed Latest news

High-Quality Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning: A Distribution-Free, Ensembled Approach

Feb 20, 2018

February Paper on High-Quality Prediction Intervals for Deep Learning: A Distribution-Free, Ensembled Approach by Tim Pearce, Mohamed Zaki, Alexandra Brintrup, Andy Neely

Webinar - Digital Business Transformation and Strategy

Feb 12, 2018

Webinar on 'Digital Business Transformation and Strategy: What do we know so far?' by Mariam Helmy Ismail Abdelaal

Wearable Sensor Technology and Business

Jan 25, 2018

Contextually Defined Postural Markers Reveal Who’s in Charge: Evidence from Small Teams Collected with Wearable Sensors by Julius Dietzel, R. Elena Francu, Benjamin Lucas, and Mohamed Zaki

Webinar - Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses

Jan 16, 2018

15 January 2018 - Big Data Analytics Architecture for Businesses - Open Source Perspective - Kerem Kayabay, Mert Golkalp, Mohamed Zaki

December Paper - Buyers Dependence and Financial Performance

Dec 14, 2017

December 2017 Paper by Ornella Benedettini and Andy Neely on 'Does buyers’ dependen­­ce translate into financial performance? An empirical analysis of manufacturer-service provider relationships­­'

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