Titel: Multilevel Design for Service Systems
Sprache: Englisch
Autor*in: Grotherr, Christian
Schlagwörter: Service Systems Engineering; Actor Engagement; Internal Crowdsourcing; Multilevel Design Framework; Design Principles; Action Design Research; Naturalistic Environment
Erscheinungsdatum: 2020-06
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 2020-11-25
Zusammenfassung: 
Die digitale Transformation verändert Organisationen, die Arbeit, das Miteinander. Geschäftsmodelle werden durch digitale Dienstleistungen erweitert und erfordern ein Umdenken von Zusammenarbeit und Wertschöpfung. Gleichzeitig ermöglichen digitale Dienstleistungssysteme die Schaffung marktgerichteter Wertschöpfungsinnovationen, die durch (1) sozio-technische Informationssysteme eine Wertschöpfung zwischen verschiedenen Akteuren ermöglichen, (2) durch Offenheit und von der Mitwirkung der Akteure geprägt sind und (3) von den Werten, Normen und dem Verhalten der Akteure in dem Netzwerk beeinflusst werden.
Die einhergehende Dynamik von sozio-technischen Systemen und Dienstleistungssystemen setzt traditionelle und planorientierte Gestaltungsmethoden zunehmend unter Druck. Aktuelle Gestaltungsansätze adressieren die Dynamik durch iterative Vorgehensweisen, jedoch mit einem Fokus auf einzelne Dienstleistungen und die Gestaltung von interaktionsbezogenen Elementen zwischen einem Akteur und einem technischen System. Zudem ist wenig darüber bekannt, wie systematisch eine gemeinsame Wertschöpfung in Dienstleistungssystemen realisiert werden kann.
Es sind neue Ansätze notwendig, die den Blick von der Gestaltung technischer Systeme auf die Gestaltung des Umfelds und der Rahmenbedingungen von offenen Dienstleistungssystemen erweitern und anstelle eines planorientierten Vorgehens eine Entscheidungsunterstützung zu den verschiedenen Gestaltungselementen bereithalten. Dieses erfordert Forschungsaktivitäten für eine methodische Unterstützung und evidenz-basiertes Gestaltungswissen.
Das Ziel der Forschungsarbeit ist es, durch ein Action-Design-Research Forschungsvorgehen im realen Umfeld einer Organisation einen methodischen Beitrag für die Gestaltung von Dienstleistungssystemen sowie evidenzbasiertes Gestaltungswissen zu generieren. Crowdsourcing stellt durch den offenen Ansatz zur Mitwirkung einer Vielzahl von Akteuren einen vielsprechenden Ansatz dar, Dienstleistungssysteme umzusetzen. Über einen Zeitraum von drei Jahren werden deshalb Crowdsourcing-Mechanismen mithilfe einer IT-gestützten Plattform innerhalb einer Organisation gestaltet und pilotiert. Aus den Beobachtungen, Interviews und Nutzungsdaten der Plattform wurden in einem iterativen Prozess Erkenntnisse für die Gestaltung und Einführung von durch sozio-technische Artefakte gestützten Dienstleistungssystemen für eine gemeinsame Wertschöpfung gezogen.
Die Ergebnisse aus der Pilotierung wurden in fünf Publikationen veröffentlicht. Die zentralen Erkenntnisse werden in einem Mehrebenen-Rahmenwerk zur Gestaltung von Dienstleistungssystemen zusammengefasst. Das Mehrebenen-Rahmenwerk unterstützt in der systematischen Analyse und Entscheidung im Gestaltungsprozess durch (1) eine Mehrebenen-Perspektive mit Makro-Meso-Mikro-Ebenen, die durch (2) zwei iterative, sich gegenseitig validierende Gestaltungszyklen miteinander verbunden sind. Diese Unterteilung legt eine Zuordnung von Gestaltungselementen fest und zeigt deren Zusammenhänge auf. Die Mehrebenen-Perspektive verbindet das übergeordnete Ziel der gemeinsamen Wertschöpfung in Dienstleistungssystemen durch die Verknüpfung des Werteversprechens auf der Makro-Ebene mit empirisch beobachtbarem Verhalten von Akteuren auf der Mikro-Ebene mithilfe von sozio-technischen Systemen auf der Meso-Ebene.
Konkret werden in dem Mehr-Ebenen-Rahmenwerk Gestaltungsaktivitäten, die unmittelbaren Einfluss auf das sozio-technische Artefakt und das Nutzungsverhalten der Akteure haben, in dem Engagement Design zusammengefasst. In diesem Gestaltungszyklus werden (1) die Gestaltungsoptionen, die die Interaktion zwischen einem Akteur und einem sozio-technischen Artefakt beeinflussen sowie (2) Interventionen in dem Umfeld der Akteure zur Unterstützung der Mitwirkung gebündelt. Beispielsweise hat eine leichte Bedienbarkeit eines technischen Artefakts einen Einfluss auf den Zugang für die Akteure und Gamification-Elemente können die Mitwirkung stimulieren. Jedoch weisen diese Gestaltungsoptionen unterschiedliche Effekte auf, die vom Umfeld des Akteurs abhängig sind. Beispielsweise ermöglicht die Option für anonyme Beiträge Mitarbeitern innerhalb einer Organisation, kritische und strategische Verbesserungsvorschläge auf einer Plattform vorzuschlagen und diese offen zu diskutieren. Darüber hinaus sind Interventionen notwendig, um bspw. durch Schulungen und Community-Management die Akteure und dessen Ressourcen zu mobilisieren und zu integrieren. Zusammenhänge zwischen den Gestaltungsoptionen und den Effekten auf das Verhalten der Akteure können mithilfe einer sozio-technischen Perspektive analysiert werden.
Die Ergebnisse aus der Pilotierung zeigen, dass diese beteiligungsbefördernden Maßnahmen nicht ausreichen, um eine kontinuierliche Mitwirkung der Akteure zu erzielen. Nutzerzentrierte Methoden unterstützen die Gestaltung von Benutzeroberflächen, berücksichtigen jedoch das Umfeld, die Rahmenbedingungen und die resultierende Wirkung auf die Akteure unzureichend. Das Umfeld wird u.a. durch Werte und Normen repräsentiert, manifestiert sich durch das Verhalten der Akteure und ist geprägt durch Regularien, Strukturen und Prozesse. Wenngleich Akteure motiviert zur Mitwirkung sind, können diese Rahmenbedingungen und das Werteversprechen des Dienstleistungssystems die Beteiligung einschränken. Am Beispiel des internen Crowdsourcings in der öffentlichen Verwaltung wird deutlich, dass die Vorgabe einer effizienten Ressourcennutzung als staatliche Institution, repräsentiert durch die Zielvorgaben der Funktionsbereiche, dem offenen und experimentierfreudigen Vorgehen beim internen Crowdsourcing entgegensteht. Deshalb müssen das Umfeld und die Rahmenbedingungen, in dem sich die Akteure bewegen, einem aktiven Gestaltungsprozess unterzogen werden. Die Aktivitäten werden in dem Institutional Design Zyklus gebündelt und umfassen Gestaltungselemente rund um das Wertversprechen des Dienstleistungssystems, der Konfiguration von mitwirkenden Akteuren und Ressourcen sowie den Rahmenbedingungen.
Während das Rahmenwerk einen methodischen Beitrag zur systematischen Gestaltung von Dienstleistungssystemen leistet, werden basierend auf den Erkenntnissen aus der naturalistischen Evaluation Gestaltungsprinzipien für internes Crowdsourcing abgeleitet. Diese Prinzipien fassen Empfehlungen zur Wahl von Gestaltungsoptionen und den korrespondierenden Effekten auf die Mitarbeitenden und Strukturen in Organisationen zusammen und leisten einen Beitrag zur Erweiterung des evidenzbasierten Gestaltungswissens für internes Crowdsourcing.
Zusammengefasst unterstützen die Forschungsergebnisse die Forschung und Praxis in der systematischen Analyse, Entscheidung und Umsetzung von Gestaltungsoptionen in der Entwicklung von Dienstleistungssystemen. Durch die integrierte Sichtweise auf sozio-technische Artefakte und den Kontext der Akteure wird die Perspektive von technologisch fokussierten Entwicklungen um die Gestaltung von strukturgegebenen Rahmenbedingungen erweitert. Die Gestaltung von sozio-technischen Artefakten und der Rahmenbedingungen als nicht trennbare Einheit verändert die Wertschöpfung zwischen verschiedenen Akteuren, dessen Wirkung auf die Organisationen und Märkte weiter zu explorieren sind. Hierfür sind weiterführende Forschungsaktivitäten notwendig, die durch die Anwendung des Mehrebenen-Rahmenwerks in unterschiedlichen Kontexten das Wissen über das Zusammenwirken der Gestaltungszyklen erweitern.

Problem Statement and Objective of Thesis
Digitalization has changed the perception of service innovation significantly, as services are increasingly technology-enabled, interconnected, co-created, and experience-focused (Barrett et al. 2015; Lusch and Nambisan 2015). Simultaneously, service systems have evolved as a concept of research in information systems (IS) research and broaden the perspective of technology-enabled innovations toward a network of interconnected services (Fielt et al. 2013; Rai and Sambamurthy 2006). Recent research emphasizes that service innovation evolves around loosely coupled service ecosystems that depend on the engagement of multiple actors. Technologies, institutions, and value co-creation connect these actors (Vargo and Lusch 2017), emphasizing the role of socio-technical artifacts (Böhmann et al. 2014). A growth in dynamisms and uncertainties accompanies these developments because of continuously evolving, learning, and open service systems (Böhmann et al. 2018; Frow et al. 2014).
Such a dynamic context challenges the assumptions of plan-driven service design approaches (Benkenstein et al. 2017; Ostrom et al. 2015; Payne et al. 2008). In the absence of environmental stability, these approaches are unlikely to succeed (Böhmann et al. 2014). Recent work emphasizes iterative methods for service design (e.g., Patrício et al. 2018b; Teixeira et al. 2016); however, a strong focus is placed on the user-centric design for actor engagement and engagement platforms. Nevertheless, these methods have not yet accounted for the contextual role of service systems with its environmental conditions and the institutions of service systems (Barrett et al. 2015; Koskela-Huotari et al. 2016; Koskela-Huotari et al. 2020; Vargo and Lusch 2016). Service systems engineering (SSE) calls for research to contribute to the methodological and evidence-based design knowledge in order to design digital opportunities for service systems systematically (Böhmann et al. 2014).
Given that service systems depend on the engagement of actors (Storbacka et al. 2016), internal crowdsourcing represents a promising mechanism for mobilizing and integrating actors for value co-creation. This mechanism emphasizes how multiple actors mobilize their resources, such as skills and knowledge, and integrates them into interactions using socio-technical artifacts (Zuchowski et al. 2016). Consequently, the overall aim of this research work is to improve understanding of the systematic design of service systems and to derive evidence-based design knowledge by applying internal crowdsourcing.

Research Design and Methodology
Rooted in cumulative research design, this thesis applies action design research (ADR) (Sein et al. 2011). Based on a piloting approach (Briggs et al. 2019; Schwabe and Krcmar 2000), several build, intervene and evaluation activities were carried out. In the first step, Semmann and Grotherr (2017) developed an IT-enabled engagement platform within a public organization. Engagement platforms are socio-technical artifacts that enable actors to exchange resources (Breidbach and Brodie 2017) collaboratively. Within this naturalistic environment, the developed IT-enabled engagement platform was open to all interested employees, where they could propose, discuss, and realize change initiatives for newly introduced software. The platform lays down the empirical baseline for subsequent research activities. Based on interviews, workshops, and engagement platform usage data, evaluation results were gathered. As part of the reflection and learning stage, these results were evaluated by applying the socio-technical perspective (Orlikowski and Iacono 2001). The insights gained from naturalistic evaluation led to socio-technical design principles for engagement (Grotherr et al. 2018a). Following the formalization and learning stage, Grotherr et al. (2019) further elaborated on the design knowledge obtained by comparing the results with those of a second design science research project that was conducted within another public organization. The social cognitive theory was applied to reflect on engaged and empowered employees, their motives, social norms, and cultural properties (Bandura 1989). These reflections subsequently led to design principles for internal crowdsourcing. Reflecting on the design process and the evaluation, Grotherr et al. (2018b) conceptualized a multilevel design framework for service systems that represents the core theoretical contribution of this thesis. This framework builds on microfoundations for macro-level phenomena. When applied to service systems, this approach seeks to bridge the macro-level value co-creation with empirically observable actor engagement at the micro level (Storbacka et al. 2016). The thesis leverages this theoretical foundation to propose a multilevel framework for service systems design, thereby contributing to the methodological knowledge base of service systems engineering. The generalizability of the framework was demonstrated by applying it within a smart community research project (Grotherr et al. 2020).
Results
This thesis comprises two main results: (1) A multilevel design framework for service systems and (2) design principles for internal crowdsourcing. The findings provide methodological support on how to design service systems and design decision support on what is required to operationalize value co-creation and to establish internal crowdsourcing in an actor’s natural environment.
Drawing on microfoundations for value co-creation (Storbacka et al. 2016), Grotherr et al. (2018b) develop a multilevel design framework for the systematic design of service systems. The framework builds on (1) a multilevel perspective and (2) two iterative, validating design cycles. First, applying a multilevel perspective bridges the macro-level phenomena of value co-creation, engagement platforms as intermediaries for resource mobilization and integration on meso-level, and the micro-level observations of actor engagement. It enables scholars and practitioners to design service systems across these levels, as such a view of design elements and their interrelation help increase understanding of resource exchanges between actors and the relation to value co-creation. Second, the two iterative, validating design cycles propose an incremental approach. With small improvements during its design and usage, the service system continuously evolves. This approach is appropriate for interventions in an actor’s environment because the effects of altering design decisions can be observed.
The two intertwined design cycles refer to different design activities. The engagement design focuses on the design of socio-technical artifacts, which effects can be observed by utilizing a piloting approach in actors’ natural environments. However, transferring an artifact into an actor’s environment requires designing prerequisites that shape an actor’s willingness to engage. While highlighting the importance of institutions for service systems (Barrett et al. 2015; Koskela-Huotari et al. 2020), the framework points toward the need for the institutional design. This design cycle refers to the design of environmental conditions, configurations of actors and resources, and value propositions, summarized as the institutional set-up. Therefore, supporting structures such as processes and roles must be developed, required actors and resources mobilized and integrated, and guiding value propositions adapted. Both design cycles facilitate the reconfiguration of service systems and socio-technical artifacts to an actor’s environment in order to enable actor engagement and facilitate value-in-context.
Beyond providing a framework for designing service systems, this thesis develops design principles that help researchers and practitioners to decide on design options for internal crowdsourcing (Grotherr et al. 2019). By evaluating the design made on engagement platforms situated in two public organizations, Grotherr et al. (2019) discuss the effects of design decisions at individual and organizational level and contribute to the call for evidence-based design knowledge (Böhmann et al. 2014; Nunamaker et al. 2015; Zuchowski et al. 2016). This thesis concludes that design should not only focus on the process of artifact design but should also consider the entire environment. These environmental conditions include the design of governance mechanisms, such as contracts, rules, incentive structures, and regulations, which direct toward the institutional design cycle of the multilevel framework.
The results of the cumulative research approach presented within this dissertation were continually published between 2017 and 2020 in five papers. The first paper, “How to Empower Users for Co-Creation—Conceptualizing an Engagement Platform for Benefits Realization,” develops an IT-enabled engagement platform by building on internal crowdsourcing in order to stimulate actor engagement. This platform is developed and evaluated during several build, intervene, and evaluate cycles within a public organization (Semmann and Grotherr 2017).
The second paper, “Engaging Users to Co-Create—Implications for Service Systems Design by Evaluating an Engagement Platform,” provides socio-technical design principles for engagement that are based on the naturalistic evaluation of the previously developed engagement platform with a socio-technical perspective (Grotherr et al. 2018a). The engagement platform and design principles reflect on the socio-technical design and adaptation for engaging employees in value co-creation.
The third paper, “Using Microfoundations of Value Co-Creation to Guide Service Systems Design—A Multilevel Design Framework,” conceptualizes a multilevel design framework for service systems. This framework builds on a multilevel perspective and two intertwined design cycles, thereby contributing to the methodological knowledge base of service systems engineering, which enhances the theoretical relevance of this thesis (Grotherr et al. 2018b).
In the fourth paper, “Multilevel Design for Smart Communities—The Case of Building a Local Online Neighborhood Social Community,” the multilevel design framework for service systems is applied to a design science research (DSR) project, which aims to build a smart community. The case demonstrates the application and its usefulness for capturing the micro-meso-macro-implications of smart community design (Grotherr et al. 2020).
The fifth paper, “Waking Up a Sleeping Giant: Lessons from Two Extended Pilots to Transform Public Organizations by Internal Crowdsourcing,” elaborates on the design principles proposed in Grotherr et al. (2018a) by comparing them to a second design science research project situated within a public organization. By applying the social cognitive theory, this comparison leads to design principles that guide the design of internal crowdsourcing in public organizations (Grotherr et al. 2019).



Theoretical Contribution
This thesis contributes with (1) the multilevel design framework to the methodological knowledge base for service systems engineering (SSE) and with (2) the design principles to the evidence-based design knowledge for internal crowdsourcing mechanisms, building on the naturalistic intervention of the engagement platforms within public organizations.
Several service design methods focus on interactional and explorative design activities of one single service (e.g., Bullinger et al. 2003; Holmlid 2007). However, this perspective neglects the broader context of service systems, engaging actors, and institutions (Koskela-Huotari et al. 2020). Within an actor’s context, changes at organizational and individual levels only occur when considering environmental conditions. The multilevel design framework with two intertwined design cycles goes beyond traditional service design approaches, which focus on the design of artifacts, toward the design of institutional set-up in order to enable actor engagement. The framework considers the design of the institutional set-up, comprising environmental conditions, institutions, configurations of actors and resources and value propositions (institutional design), and the design of socio-technical artifacts (engagement design) as inseparable design activities. Its multiple levels provide a more detailed specification of design activities and elements with an improved understanding of their interrelations. This research result contributes to the methodological knowledge base of service systems engineering.
Moreover, while research about internal crowdsourcing increases, little is known about the adaption of the concept within organizations and specific contexts (Pedersen et al. 2013; Zuchowski et al. 2016). This thesis addresses this research need by providing design knowledge for internal crowdsourcing and their corresponding effects on organizational structure and individual behavior (Grotherr et al. 2019). Design principles are derived in two design science research projects, which design and introduce internal crowdsourcing within public organizations. These principles foster the establishment of internal crowdsourcing within naturalistic environments by mobilizing and integrating the resources of employees into a collaborative process of exchange, thus unleashing the potential of empowered employees (Elmes et al. 2005). By doing so, the design knowledge of governance and supporting structures is elaborated upon, advancing the existing body of knowledge on internal crowdsourcing.


Practical Contribution
This thesis combines theoretical contributions with managerial relevance because the design and piloting were carried out in real-world environments. The intervention in organizations responds to the need for “the last research mile” in order to unleash the potential of developed artifacts in an actor’s natural environment (Benoit et al. 2019; Nunamaker et al. 2015). In particular, this thesis provides two practical contributions. First, the multilevel framework for service systems provides guidance for coordinating design activities by identifying design elements. The framework helps allocate responsible roles from different design domains to find suitable configurations of socio-technical artifacts and environmental conditions, such as governance structures or processes. The intertwined design cycles highlight the need to align socio-technical artifact design and organizational design. Doing so enhances artifact’s fit in the organizational context. Consequently, service innovation and transformation require the design of organizational set-up at strategic and operational levels. These activities range from shifting management practices, guiding values, experimental approaches, adaption performance-measurement systems, or cross-functional cooperation mechanisms (Grotherr et al. 2019).
Second, while digitization emphasizes technologies, the term digitalization has been coined to describe the complex socio-technical processes of adapting these technologies in broader individual, organizational, and societal contexts (Legner et al. 2017). Central drivers for digital transformation are new work processes and culture, rather than the implementation of technology only. This thesis provides evidence that the success of digitally-enabled initiatives depends on environmental conditions and employees’ skills. It demonstrates how internal crowdsourcing facilitates employee engagement and empowerment and how a service system perspective captures the design of socio-technical artifacts and broader environmental conditions.
Outlook
The research results identify a set of research opportunities that relate to (1) extending the multilevel design framework by supporting processes or tools and (2) broadening the perspective of the design of service ecosystems through institutionalization.
First, the potential of the multilevel design framework to conduct an inquiry into an institutional set-up and its ability to guide service systems designers need further research activities. The synchronization of the two design cycles requires a more detailed description of duration, frequency, roles, and structured processes. In addition, best practices and tools must strengthen understanding of how the multilevel framework can be utilized in a broader context.
Second, due to technological advancements and a data-driven economy, new forms of value co-creation and emergence of learning services are facilitated (Böhmann et al. 2018). These developments exploit technological and architectural networks with rapidly emerging machine-to-machine interaction and lead to smart service systems, such as self-driving cars (Wünderlich et al. 2015). Nevertheless, embedding these service systems within a real-world environment necessitates regulations, governance structures, and processes for facilitating social responsibility for digital innovations. As service science recognizes the role of institutionalization in service ecosystems (Vargo et al. 2015), further research should be directed toward obtaining a more in-depth understanding of how these interconnected service systems bear the potential to shape markets and customer needs. Since engineering approaches and design knowledge help transform organizations, individuals, and service ecosystems, they consequently need further elaboration.
URL: https://ediss.sub.uni-hamburg.de/handle/ediss/8737
URN: urn:nbn:de:gbv:18-ediss-89029
Dokumenttyp: Dissertation
Betreuer*in: Böhmann, Tilo
Enthalten in den Sammlungen:Elektronische Dissertationen und Habilitationen

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