Tangibility & intangibility scale - service delivery system, Operation Management

Tangibility & Intangibility Scale - Service Delivery System

Products are things, services are ideas and concepts. From the figure you can see that there is no such thing as a 'pure' service. Is it sale of tyres, a product or a tyre fitting service? Is it shopping for pizza (a product) or eating a pizza in a restaurant which is a service. In the case of legal service, what is being purchased is advice or in insurance service, a promise. There is a spectrum where the product (tangible) or service (intangible - meaning subjective) component varies in contribution.

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Products are sold as part of a product/service bundle just as services are sold as a service/product bundle. Voss et al (1985) refers to a service package which consists of both physical items as well as subjective and intangible elements such as services. In most cases Voss argues that there is more than one service provided and cites hotels services as an example. Voss goes on to suggest that in evaluation a service encounter, the consumer assesses three elements:

  • The tangible service product (the food)
  • The intangible service (subjective appraisal of the waiter service provided)
  • The tangible environment in which it is provided (car parking, restaurant comfort seating etc). This does create a dilemma for business. Product innovation is patentable but service innovation is not. A summary of differences with service products which have no parallel with the manufacturing sector follows.
Posted Date: 3/18/2013 3:14:27 AM | Location : United States







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