Exploring the underlying reasons for a lack of New Service Development of e-services within the management consultancy sector. A study of barriers and challenges.
Täuber, Nicolas (2014) Exploring the underlying reasons for a lack of New Service Development of e-services within the management consultancy sector. A study of barriers and challenges. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)] (Unpublished)
For over a decade, writers on management consulting have awaited the introduction of e-services into the portfolio of consulting firms. However, a large-scale, new service development for online provided services has not yet taken place. The dissertation, therefore, aims to explore the barriers and challenges that have stood in the way of new e-service development in the management consulting industry. To study the question of development barriers, the inherent challenges for online mediation resulting from the service nature of consulting were examined as a first step. Secondly, the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the novel Process Virtualization Theory (PVT) were used as analytical lenses to uncover barriers. Due to the lack of literature on current developments in e-services, this dissertation consulted the empirical findings of the Normalization Process Model (NPM). While utilized in the field of e-healthcare, this model was useful in identifying barriers to developing e-services. To empirically test the effect of the discovered barriers, an international sample of 33 management consultancies participated in a survey. As a result of the exploratory nature of the research, additional semi-structured interviews were conducted. Both methods assessed consultants’ awareness, experiences, attitudes and expectations towards e-services. The findings validate the barriers suggested by the literature. In particular, the need for sensory, relationship and control requirements, as portrayed by PVT, were found to be virtualization challenges. International differences were found regarding data security. The research also confirmed the effect of experience and norms predicted by the TAM model. The findings suggest that the development of new e-services for management consulting may only create limited value for firms. Despite the identified barriers, the paper concludes by making recommendations for the development of new e-services to show where e-services can add value creation.
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