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Sylvia Ng | ASB Faculty | Research Paper
This article investigates the professional service provider’s role in the customer resource integration process for value creation, by drawing on research in the areas of resource integration, service experience, and role theory. Roles are flexible, in that behaviors associated with a role may vary according to the situation, expectations, and learned behaviors of the actors involved. In the context of professional service providers who support a customer’s resource integration, these role variations accordingly can be termed resource integration styles. Grounded in managerial practice, the current study relies on in-depth interviews to determine the styles that professional service providers use to support customer resource integration in a financial planning setting. The proposed typology of five styles (delegate, mentor, partner, coach, and validator), termed professional service providers’ resource integration styles (PRO-RIS), can be described by eight resource integration activity dimensions: participation ratio, frequency of interaction, deliberation, decision-making, updating, educating, connecting, and motivating. This research thus provides rich qualitative insights into how professional service providers can support customers’ resource integration processes, through the provision of appropriate resources. Notably, professional service providers can offer distinct benefits by varying the combination of resources provided to facilitate value creation. No single, best style exists; professional service providers should leverage the various styles described by PRO-RIS and adapt the eight resource integration activities as needed to support their customers.