Service System Decoupling for Mass Customization: A Case Study in Catering Services
Jue CHEN, Yunhong HAO
DOI: 10.4236/jssm.2009.24030   PDF    HTML     8,106 Downloads   13,990 Views   Citations


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.

Share and Cite:

CHEN, J. and HAO, Y. (2009) Service System Decoupling for Mass Customization: A Case Study in Catering Services. Journal of Service Science and Management, 2, 255-264. doi: 10.4236/jssm.2009.24030.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] R. B. Chase, “The Customer Contact approach to services: Theoretical based and practical extensions,” Operation Research 29, pp. 698–705, 1981.
[2] W. Nie and D. L. Kellogg, “How professors of operations management view service operations?” Production and Operations Management 8, pp. 339–355, 1999.
[3] M. H. Safizadeh, J. M. Field, and L. P. Ritzman, “An empirical analysis of financial services processes with a front-office or back-office orientation,” Journal of Operations Management 21, pp. 557–576, 2003.
[4] R. B. Chase and R. H. Hayes, “Beefing up operations in service firms,” Sloan Management Review 33, pp. 15–26, 1991.
[5] K. D. Hoffman and J. E. G. Bateson, “Essentials of service marketing,” The Dryden Press, Orlando, 1997.
[6] R. B. Chase, “Where does the customer fit in a service operation?” Harvard Business Review 56, pp. 137–142, 1978.
[7] R. B. Chase and D. A. Tansik, “The customer contact model for organization design,” Management Science 29, pp. 1037–1050, 1983.
[8] P. Breathnach, “Globalization, information technology and the emergence of Nich transnational cities: The growth of the call centre sector in Dublin,” Geoforum 324, pp. 477–485, 2000.
[9] J. L. Heskett, “Lessons in the service sector,” Harvard Business Review 65, pp. 118–126, 1987.
[10] J. L. Heskett, W. E. Sasser, and L. A. Schlesinger, “The service profit chain,” The Free Press, New York, 1997.
[11] R. B. Chase and N. J. Aquilano, “A matrix for linking marketing and production variables in service system design,” In: Richard, D. (eds), Production and Operations Management, 6th edition Irwin, Homewood, 1992.
[12] R. D. Metters and V. Vargas, “A typology of decoupling strategies in mixed services,” Journal of Operations Man-agement 18, pp. 663–682, 2000.
[13] S. M. Davis, “Future perfect,” Addison-Wesley, New York, 1987.
[14] B. J. Pine II, B. Victor, and A. C. Boynton, “Making mass customization work,” Harvard Business Review 71, pp. 108–119, 1993.
[15] M. M. Tseng and J. Jiao, “Design for mass customization,” CIRP Annals 45, pp. 153–156, 1996.
[16] R. Duray, P. Ward, G. Milligan, and W. Berry, “Approaches to mass customization: configurations and em-pirical validation,” Journal of Operation Management 18, pp. 605–625, 2000.
[17] G. D. Silveira, D. Borenstein, and F. S. Fogliatto, “Mass customization: Literature review and research directions,” International Journal of Production Economics 72, pp. 1–13, 2001.
[18] K. Turowski, “A virtual electronic call centre solution for mass customization,” Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Hawaii International Conference on Systems Sciences, Vol. 8, pp. 8027–8036, 1999.
[19] L. G. Zomerdijk and J. D. Vries, “Structuring front office and back office work in service delivery systems,” Inter-national Journal of Operations & Production Management 27, pp. 108–131, 2007.
[20] E. D. Arnheiter and H. Harren, “A typology to unleash the potential of modularity,” Journal of Manufacturing Tech-nology Management 16, pp. 699–711, 2005.
[21] C. A. Voss, “Rethinking paradigms of service: Service in a virtual environment,” International Journal of Opera-tions & Production Management 23, pp. 88–104, 2003.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.