Service design in the NHS: collaboration or conflict?

Smith, Anne M. and Fischbacher, Moira (2001). Service design in the NHS: collaboration or conflict? Journal of Marketing Management, 18(9/10) pp. 923–951.




Continuous new service design / redesign is a key contributor to organisational performance. The NSD literature, originally evolving from new product development studies, often emphasised a sequential, linear process. More recently, however, the role of culture, internal politics and social dynamics in the NSD process has been highlighted. The potential for an enhanced role for political behaviour and stakeholder conflict within public sector organisations is apparent. In view of the increasing importance of consumer opinion as both an input into, and evaluation of, the design of public sector services, the need to understand the process of new service formation and its impact on consumer perceived service quality is of major importance. This study examines the design process for three mental health resource centres. Through interviews with a range of stakeholders, the role of conflict within complex, multi-organisational decision making is highlighted and the impact on the final consumer is assessed.

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