Mind the perception gap: An integrative performance management framework for service supply chains
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Purpose – A perception gap refers to the differences in perception among the stakeholders regarding any aspect of the supply chain relationship. This paper investigates the perception gap among service supply chain partners relating to the relative importance of key performance indicators (KPIs) and the association of this gap with service performance. Design/methodology/approach – This paper presents an integrative framework that combines statistical methods and data envelopment analysis (DEA) for computing perception and performance gaps, and for identifying the association between the gaps. The study follows a Middle-range theorizing (MRT) research approach where general inferences are induced from instances, and a theory can be developed from the observation of empirical reality. Findings – Analysis of data from a leading global insurance service supply chain suggests that perception gap exists and can be recognized as a factor associated with performance gaps. The results suggest that the perception gap not only affects performance but can also be tracked as a meta-KPI to improve performance throughout the service supply chain. Implications – The key implication of the presented research is that service companies can identify and resolve the differences in perceptions regarding the importance of the KPIs, by methodologically computing the gaps and tracking them as meta-KPIs. Originality/value – The study extends the theoretical boundary of supply chain performance management by introducing the perception and performance gaps as novel meta-KPIs. These meta-KPIs can be computed through the integrative framework developed in the study.