Let’s look at some examples of services described in my update to Gallouj & Weinstein “service as characteristics” model. And we do this for two reasons. First to see that the model works. And secondly, to identify if there are any rules we need to highlight.
Editing / Writing below here
Let’s think of a legal service provided by a lawyer. And, by the way, the same example fits for many types of consultancy (aka knowledge-intensive based service, or KIBS).
What can we say about the make-progress aspect of the final characteristics? Well, the beneficiary is seeking help to resolve a legal matter.
As such, they are less likely to have competencies themselves (beyond describing their situation). And are, predominantly, relying on the co-beneficiaries competencies. That is to say, the individual skills of the lawyer. Such as the lawyer’s knowledge of the particular legal aspect in question, whether they are a prosecutor or defender, their previous success rate, etc.
Additionally, the lawyer will be relying on the overall firm’s ways of working and processes. These are standard internal characteristics. But do not directly
If we think of education, then we can see the involvement of technical characteristics in an intangible service. Education itself is an intangible service – a mental-stimulus processing service – where knowledge from the co-beneficiary is transferred to the beneficiary.
In traditional education that knowledge is transferred in person. Yet the content, and sometimes the means, are defined by a school or examination body. These are technical characteristics. And when we talk about great and OK teachers, we are reflecting their (co-beneficiary) competencies.
And there is a growing provision of on-line education. My own MBA was given as such a service, and courses I’ve done on Machine learning have also been through on-line services, such as Coursera.
In these on-line cases, we can see that the IT platform that supports the education becomes just as key as the co-beneficiary competencies. No greatness of a teacher on-line can overcome a poor platform. It too is a technical characteristic.
But there comes an interesting situation here with the move to online.