Co-opetition in Service Clusters with Waiting-Area Entertainment

35 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2016 Last revised: 11 Mar 2018

Xuchuan Yuan

Singapore University of Social Sciences

Tinglong Dai

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Lucy Gongtao Chen

NUS Business School, National University of Singapore

Srinagesh Gavirneni

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: February 5, 2018

Abstract

Problem definition: Unoccupied waiting feels longer than it actually is. Service providers operationalize this psychological principle by offering entertainment options in waiting areas. A service cluster with a shared waiting space provides firms with an opportunity to cooperate in the investment for providing entertainment options while competing on other service dimensions.

Academic/Practical Relevance: Despite the widespread usage of waiting-area entertainment in the service industry, research remains lacking toward a systematic understanding at the service design level. Additionally, there is a paucity of analytical models linking the intra-firm dynamics in customer-interface design and inter-firm strategic interactions, particularly in the little-explored clustering setting.

Methodology: Using a queueing theoretic approach, we develop a parsimonious model of co-opetition in a service cluster with shared entertainment options for waiting customers (e.g., a boardwalk).

Results: By comparing the case of co-opetition with two benchmarks (monopoly, and duopoly competition), we demonstrate that a service provider which would otherwise be a local monopolist can achieve higher profitability by joining a service cluster and engaging in co-opetition. Achieving such benefits, however, requires a cost-allocation scheme properly addressing an efficiency-fairness tradeoff. In designing the cost- allocation scheme, the pursuit of fairness may backfire and lead to even lower profitability than under pure competition.

Managerial Implications: We show that as much as co-opetition facilitates resource sharing in a service cluster, it heightens price competition. Furthermore, as the intensity of price competition increases, surprisingly, service providers may opt to charge higher service fees, albeit while providing a higher entertainment level.

Keywords: service co-opetition, waiting-area entertainment, marketing/operations interfaces, service cluster, customer-interface design

JEL Classification: L24, L80, D74

Suggested Citation

Yuan, Xuchuan and Dai, Tinglong and Chen, Lucy Gongtao and Gavirneni, Srinagesh, Co-opetition in Service Clusters with Waiting-Area Entertainment (February 5, 2018). Johns Hopkins Carey Business School Research Paper No. 17-07. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2849885 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2849885

Xuchuan Yuan

Singapore University of Social Sciences ( email )

461 Clementi Road
599491
Singapore

Tinglong Dai (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

Lucy Gongtao Chen

NUS Business School, National University of Singapore ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Drive
Singapore, 119245
Singapore
6565163013 (Phone)

Srinagesh Gavirneni

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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