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Quality functions' use of customer feedback as activation triggers for absorptive capacity and value co-creation

Gremyr, Ida, Birch-Jensen, Andrea, Kumar, Maneesh ORCID: and Löfberg, Nina 2022. Quality functions' use of customer feedback as activation triggers for absorptive capacity and value co-creation. International Journal of Operations & Production Management 42 (13) , pp. 218-242. 10.1108/IJOPM-11-2021-0692

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Purpose The purpose is to understand how the role of quality functions might evolve amidst digitalisation and an increased focus on services. This study focuses on customer feedback and how it can function as activation triggers for developing absorptive capacity, as well as how it relates to the value creation processes. Design/methodology/approach Following a qualitative research design, the authors gathered primary data from interviews with quality managers at 17 UK and Swedish firms and triangulated it with secondary information from the firms' web pages. Findings The findings show that customer feedback-based activation triggers can support development of absorptive capacity in the quality function if there are established processes for acting on customer feedback. This is often the case for codified feedback, which normally concerns products. However, digitalisation offers new opportunities of engaging in value co-creation, and firms need to develop digital capabilities to manage new technologies and data analytic tools. For personalised feedback (the main category of service-related feedback), established processes are missing. Originality/value This study work contributes to knowledge about how quality functions respond to customer feedback on both products and services. It clarifies why the quality function sometimes struggles to contribute to service quality as much as to product quality. From a theory development perspective, the authors contribute to understanding customer feedback-based activation triggers, how they lead to development of absorptive capacity and their relation to value co-creation on a functional level.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Additional Information: This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence
Publisher: Emerald
ISSN: 0144-3577
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 August 2022
Date of Acceptance: 1 July 2022
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 15:34

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