Negotiating meaning of shared information in service system encounters
Summary One of the key components of service systems is access to "shared information" among service providers and clients. Information transparency has been offered as a mediating response to the breakdown in trust and accountability that sometimes accompanies service system encounters. It is argued that by providing access to the operational details of business, public and governmental institutions participants in service relationships - whether citizens, customers, investors, or business partners - are better able to gain the necessary assurances that their interests are being protected. Based on an ethnographic study of the interactions between IT outsourcing executives of a large enterprise service provider and their client counterparts, this paper critically examines the underlying assumptions of the claim that access to information is at the heart of the accountability and trust problem in service systems. This ethnographic study was undertaken to help inform the design and development of a web-enabled portal and dashboard technology that promised to provide transparent views of the performance of IT outsourcing services. The analysis suggests that greater attention should be focused on the role of organization members in negotiating the meaning of service performance information and creating the organizational context for establishing "shared" views of information.
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Volume (Year): 26 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
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