Journal Article


Rethinking nonprofit service disintermediation through service communication interactions

Abstract

Purpose - A significant management issue for nonprofit organisations (NPOs) is the disconnect between services beneficiaries and the funders of those services. Individual donors and fundraisers provide the resources to enable other people (or animals) to be supported. The purpose of this paper is to address this service management challenge through new types of customer service interactions that bring together service donors and service recipients through innovative digital communication. Design/methodology/approach - Based on a review, and illustrated by recent examples of innovative best practice, the authors develop a new conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between customer participation and service brand communication.  Findings - The paper starts by identifying the problem of ‘nonprofit service disintermediation’. The paper also outlines the inadequacies of popular frameworks of communication, widely taught in business schools, to understand the new reality of customer-service organisation engagement in the digital age.  Through adopting a customer engagement lens, the paper develops a new conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between customer participation and service brand communication. Research limitations/implications - Given the authors’ focus on the intersection between new communication opportunities and customer service interactions, this paper adds novel insight to theory and raises important implications for management. Originality - The paper explores how, through these new communication interactions, engagement with, and loyalty to, the brand is built over time in a fluid and dynamic way. It identifies a disintermediated relationship, distinct to other service contexts, but significant in terms of value and social impact.

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Authors

Mitchell, Sarah-Louise
Clark, Moira K.

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Marketing

Dates

Year of publication: 2022
Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-22


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License


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