Service Operations Management

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sush900
Words 5284
Pages 22
J. Service Science & Management, 2009, 2: 255-264 doi:10.4236/jssm.2009.24030 Published Online December 2009 (


Service System Decoupling for Mass Customization: A Case Study in Catering Services
Jue CHEN1, Yunhong HAO2
1 The tourism school, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China; 2School of Business Administration, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, China. Email:

Received April 17, 2009; revised June 19, 2009; accepted July 28, 2009.

The paper examines the key issues on system decoupling in service operations of mass customization by conducting a case study in catering services. It firstly justifies the effectiveness of applying concept of mass customization into service system decoupling to deal with the operation dilemma and then reveals the nature of decoupling decisions for mass customization purpose after discussions on the importance of modularization and the role of technologies including IT in the decoupling process. Based on these analyses, a Judgment-Matrix-based model on how to make the decoupling decisions in balancing the multiple operation objectives is then proposed and further research directions are finally suggested. Keywords: Mass Customization, System Decoupling, Customer Contact, Modularization

1. Introduction
System decoupling is an effective approach to cope with the influences caused by customer contact by dividing the service system into two components: back-stage and front-stage. However the relevant researches often take a dichotomous perspective, assuming that the objectives of service operations focus on either efficiency (costs and related issues) or services (customization and responsiveness). Mass customization (MC) has been regarded as an innovative way of doing business by putting together these seemly contradictory operation objectives and…...

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