Service Elimination Decision-Making: Analysis of Candidates for Elimination and Remedial Actions
Despite the importance of service organisations' ability to rationalise their service ranges and despite the recent calls from academics for more research on service elimination (Avlonitis et al. 2000), the empirically-based knowledge on the elimination decision-making process in service settings in general and in financial service settings in particular remains alarmingly sparse. Responding to this lacuna of knowledge the present paper presents qualitative and quantitative empirical evidence on a) the way in which British financial institutions analyse the deviant performance of financial services, which have been identified as candidates for elimination and b) the remedial actions that they consider in order to restore a deviant performance, when possible and feasible. The evidence showed that the studied British financial institutions follow a largely informal and haphazard analysis procedure for candidates for elimination, even when a definite identification of the real problem behind the symptom of a deviant performance necessitates further and more well thought-out analysis. Moreover, the evidence pointed at the dynamism of the remedial attempts. As such, there is no golden rule that could assign weights to the importance of the remedial actions fitting all financial services and all organisational and environmental circumstances. Instead the relative importance of the identified remedial actions proved to depend upon the method of delivery process of candidates for elimination, the service diversity of financial institutions, the degree of customer orientation, competitor orientation and interfunctional coordination, the legislative requirements, the intensity of market competition and the rhythm of technological change.