Investigating the on-demand service characteristics: an empirical study

van der Burg, R-J., Ahaus, K., Wortmann, H. & Huitema, G. B., 2-Dec-2019, In : Journal of Service Management. 30, 6, p. 739-765 27 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Purpose Technological developments and new customer expectations of immediacy have driven businesses to adopt on-demand service models. The purpose of this paper is to study the characteristics of a range of on-demand services in order to better understand the meaning of "on-demand" and its implications for service management. This enables the on-demand service logic to be applied to other service contexts, where it may add value for customers. Design/methodology/approach The study starts with a focused literature review and continues with a multiple case study methodology, as the on-demand service concept is in the early stages of theory development. Seven cases were studied, based on a maximum variation sampling strategy. Findings The results show that on-demand services are characterized by three interrelated characteristics: being highly available, responsive and scalable. Analysis further reveals that on-demand services display differences within the conceptual boundaries of these characteristics, i.e. they vary in terms of their availability, responsiveness and scalability. Originality/value Drawing on these findings, the study contributes to the service literature by being the first to specifically conceptualize and define the on-demand services concept and reveal three key characteristics that clarify the distinctive nature of this service type. Accordingly, on-demand services are clearly differentiated from other services. Additionally, the paper discusses the variety within on-demand services and develops an on-demand service continuum that gives detailed insights into the conceptual variations within such services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)739-765
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number6
Early online date8-Oct-2019
Publication statusPublished - 2-Dec-2019



Download statistics

No data available

ID: 98793524