Purpose: Service research holds that as services become more technology dominated, new service provider roles emerge. On a conceptual level, the potential impact of different roles has been discussed in regards to service provider readiness, job performance and overall experience. However, as yet there is sparse empirical support for these conceptual interpretations. The aim of this paper is to provide an understanding of the new service provider roles that emerge due to the increase of technology mediation in services.
Methodology: This study follows a qualitative methodology. Insights are drawn from indepth interviews with thirty-two junior and senior healthcare service providers (across twelve specialties), and five information governance/management staff.
Findings: Our analysis illustrates that new service provider roles include those of the enabler, differentiator, innovator, coordinator and sense-giver. By adopting these roles, healthcare service providers reveal that they can encourage, support and advance technology mediation in services across different groups/audiences within their organizations (e.g., service delivery level, peer-to-peer level, organizational level). This paper further shows the relationships between these new service provider roles.
Originality/value: This study contributes to theory in technology-mediated services by illustrating empirically the range of activities that constitute each role. It also complements prior work by identifying that service providers adopt the additional role of sense-giver. Finally, this paper provides an understanding of how by taking on these roles service providers can encourage, support and advance technology mediation in services across different groups/audiences in their organization.