Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the diverse nature of tangible and intangible value dimensions that contribute to customers’ perception of value from outsourced maintenance services. Design/methodology/approach – A multiple case study approach has been adopted. Repertory grid, an in-depth structured interviewing technique, has been used in order to draw out the respondents’ hidden constructs in evaluating outsourced maintenance services. Data have been collected from four customer organizations of outsourced maintenance services, and a total of 33 interviews have been undertaken. Findings – The paper has identified a range of tangible and intangible value dimensions that are of importance in maintenance outsourcing decision making. The most important value dimensions for maintenance outsourcing were found to be specialist knowledge, accessibility (of the service provider), relational dynamic, range of products and services, delivery, pricing and locality. Although the paper has identified the most important value dimensions the paper also emphasizes the need to take into account the full range of value dimensions in order to understand the whole value pattern in an organization. Practical implications – The results will be of use for maintenance service providers to help them to improve value-adding capacity of maintenance services. The results can also be applied by customers to help them assess the value they receive from outsourced maintenance services. Originality/value – A different perspective on maintenance outsourcing value is provided. The value patterns in different organizations and the viewpoints of respondents in different organizational roles are described. The dynamic nature of these tangible or intangible values over time and their interrelationships has also been explored.
Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, 2013, Vol 19, Issue 4, p. 348-363