Systemic Practice and Action Research

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 465–483 | Cite as

Co-design Research and Business Development: Case of Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)

Original Paper


This paper is presenting a case study of Scandinavian Airlines Systems (SAS) showing how improvements of service quality aspects with Avatars can be managed with a Co-design research approach. The Co-design practices are carried out in different fields of studies. Some of the key advocates of Co-design originate from business. In this study the four steps of Co-design approach is applied. From the first step of Co-design, through interviews, log analysis and a channel survey, findings show that the failed dialogues with Avatar Eva are mainly concerned with five factors: interactivity; dialogue capability; consistency; knowledge; and synonyms. In the second step, carrying out customer workshops, we suggested ten ideal scenarios for Avatar Eva to perform better. In the third step, SAS decision makers decided to implement the first three scenarios: Eva’s synonyms; knowledge and Eva’s consistency. In the fourth step, another channel survey was carried out as well as a new log analysis to know the impact of the redevelopment above three scenarios. An important result of the study was that the company adopted a continuous use of Co-design as an approach of continuous improvement of the service quality performed by the Avatar Eva. It also opens a new set of questions framing the relation and transformation between Co-design as a research approach for knowledge creation and Co-design as a method for innovation and service quality improvements. The study presents an Extended Co-design Model, which illustrates how the Co-design inspires staff to use it for other functions within and without the SAS.


Co-design Avatar e-services Dialogue Synonyms Self service technologies 


  1. Ackoff RL (1967) Management misinformation systems. Manag Sci 14(5):147–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ackoff RL (1981) Creating the corporate future. John Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Ackoff RL (1998) A systemic view of transformational leadership. Syst Pract Action Res 11(1):23–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Alm H, Forsgren O (2011a) “successful use of Avatar/e-services—powerful, but needs a knowledge manager with proper skills” accepted at BAI2011 international conference on business and information 4 Jul 2011, Bangkok, ThailandGoogle Scholar
  5. Alm H, Forsgren, O (2011b) Successful use of Avatar/e-services—powerful, but needs a knowledge manager with proper methods. Paper presented at the BAI2011 InternationalGoogle Scholar
  6. Anderson WE, Fornell C, Lehmann RDC (1994) Customer satisfaction, market share, and profitability: finding from Sweden. J Mark 58(2):53–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Barlow AKJ, Noreen QS, Mannion M (2004) Development in information and communication technologies for retail marketing channels. Int J Ret Distrib Manag 32:157–163CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Baron S, Harris K (2003) Service marketing: text and cases, 2nd edn. Palgrave Macmillan, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  9. Baskerville R, Myers DM (2004) Special issues on action research in information systems: making a research relevant to practice-foreword. MIS Q 28(3):329–335Google Scholar
  10. Baskerville RL, Wood-Harper AT (1996) A critical perspective on action research as a method for information systems research. J Inform Technol 11(3):235–246Google Scholar
  11. Baskerville RL, Wood-Harper AT (2002) A critical perspective on action research as a method for information. In: Myers DM (ed) Qualitative research in information systems. Sage Publication Ltd, Los Angels, pp 129–146Google Scholar
  12. Bitner MJ (2005) Creating customer demand through service innovation. Penn state university, University ParkGoogle Scholar
  13. Bowen S, Dearden A, Wright P, Wolstenholme D, and Cobb, M P h s d a i I p -I B, Keld, Bratteteign, Tone, and Loi, Daria. (2010). In: PDC ′10 Proceedings of the 11th biennial participatory design conference, SydneyGoogle Scholar
  14. Campbell CS, Maglio PP, Davis MM (2011) From self-service to super-service: a resource mapping framework for co-creating value by shifting the boundary between provider and customer. IseB 9(2):173–191CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carmines EG, Zeller RA (1979) Reliability and validity assessment. Sage Publications, Newbury Park, CAGoogle Scholar
  16. Checkland P (1981) Systems thinking, system practice. John Wiley, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  17. Chen IJ, Small MH (1994) Implementing advanced manufacturing technology: an integrated planning model. OMEGA. Int J Manage Sci 22(1):91–103Google Scholar
  18. Chen K-C, Chuang CK-W (2013) Using system thinking to analyze health care in the united states: should we move to a government sponsored health. Acad Health Care Manage J 9(2):3–12Google Scholar
  19. Churchman CW (1971) The design of inquiring systems: basic concepts of systems and organization. Basic Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  20. Cochran-Smith M, Lytle SL (1999) The teacher research movement: a decade later. Edu Res 28(7):15–25Google Scholar
  21. Curtis V (2009) Small business for dummies, 3rd edn. Wiley Publishing Australia Pty Ltd, AustraliaGoogle Scholar
  22. Dabholkar P (1996) Consumer evaluations of new technology-based self-service options: an investigation of alternative models of service quality. Int J Res Mark 13(1):29–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Flood RL, Jackson MC (1991) Creative problem solving: total systems intervention. Wiley, ChichesterGoogle Scholar
  24. Fornell C (1992) A national customer of satisfaction barometer: the Swedish experience. J Mark 56:6–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Forrester JW (2006) Systems dynamic, systems thinking, and soft OR. Sys Dyn Rev 10:245–256CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Forsgren, O (1988). Samskapande datortillämpningar : en systemteoretisk ansats för lösning av vissa förändrings problem vid administrativ datoranvändning = Constructive computer applications : a systems approach for solution of certain change problems in administrative computer applications. UmeåGoogle Scholar
  27. Forsgren O (2005) Churchmanian Co-design—basic ideas and application examples, in advances in information systems development: bridging the gap between academia and industry. Springer, AucklandGoogle Scholar
  28. Forsgren, O, Johansson, T, Nilsson, O, and Siösteen-Thiel, M (2010). e-Power to the People—a driver for cross sector regional development in Europe eChallenges e-2010. Warsaw. (Awarded second best conference contribution)Google Scholar
  29. Forsgren O, Johansson T, Orre C, Gustavsson T, Lindgren S (2012) Impact University—basic ideas, background examples and the concept applied. eChallanges Conference 2012, LisboaGoogle Scholar
  30. Greenwood, Davydd J (1999) Action research: from practice to writing in an international action research development program. John Benjamins Publishing Company, AmsterdamCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Gronholdt L, Martesen A, Kristensen K (2000) The relationship between customer satisfaction and loyalty: cross-industry differences. Total Qual Manag 11(4–6):509–514CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hallowell R (1996) The relationships of customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and profitability: an empirical study. J Ser Ind Manag 7(4):27–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hassan HS, Shehab EJP (2011). Recent advances in e-service in the public sector: state-of-the-art and future trends. Bus Proc Manag J 17(3):526–545Google Scholar
  34. Hayes EB (2008) American society for quality. Measuring customer satisfaction and loyalty: survey design, use and statistical analysis method, 3rd edn. Quality Press, Plankinton Ave MilwaukeeGoogle Scholar
  35. Hill N, Self B, Roche G (2002) Customer satisfaction measurement for ISO 9000:2000. Butterworth-Heinemann, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  36. Hoffman KD, Bateson EGJ (2010) Services marketing: concepts, strategies and cases, 4th edn. South-Western Cengage Learning, MasonGoogle Scholar
  37. Holzwarth M, Janiszewski C, Neumann M (2006) The influence of avatars on online consumer shopping behavior. J Mark 70:19–36CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Hsieh, Chang-Tseh. (2005). Implementing self-service technology to gain competive advantage. In: Proceedings of the annual conferences communications of the international information management association (IIMA), Access on 21 Dec 2012 PP 77–84
  39. Jacka JM, Keller PJ (2009) Business process mapping: improving customer satisfaction. John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken, NJGoogle Scholar
  40. Johnson DM, Nader G, Fornell C (1996) Expectations, perceived performance, and customer satisfaction for complex service: the case of bank loans. J Econ Psychol 17(2):163–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Johnson DM, Gustafsson A, Andreassen TW, Lervik L, Cha J (2001) The evolution and future of national customer satisfaction index models. J Econ Pschol 22(2):217–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Juon C, Greilling D, Buerkle C (2012) Internet marketing start to finish: drive measurable, repeatable online sales with search marketing, usability, CRM, and analytics. Que Publishing, WatertownGoogle Scholar
  43. Kankainen A, Vaajakallio K, Kantola V, Mattelmäki T (2012) Storytelling group—a Co-design method for service design. Behav Inf Technol 31(3):221–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Kapsali Maria (2011) System thinking in innovation project management: a match that works. Int J Project Manag 29(4):396–407CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kim J, Christodoulidou N, Choo Y (2013) Factors influencing customer acceptance of kiosks and quick service restaurants. J Hosp Tour Tech 4(1):10–25Google Scholar
  46. Kristensen K, Martensen A, Gronholdt L (2000) Customer satisfaction measurement at post Denmark: results of application of the European customer satisfaction index methodology. Total Qual Manag 11(7):1007–1015CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Kurtz LD, Bonne EL (2010) Cotemporary Business 2009. South-Western Cengage Learning, MasonGoogle Scholar
  48. Lenihan, D, Briggs, L (2011). Co-design: toward a new service vision for Australia? Public Administration Today (January–March), 35–47Google Scholar
  49. Lewin, Zadek K (1948) Resolving social conflicts: selected papers on group dynamics. Harpers & Brothers, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  50. Lewin EJ (2009) Business customers satisfaction: what happens when supplier downsize. Ind Mark Manage 38(3):283–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lin, C, Pervan G (2001). IS/IT Investment evaluation, benefits management and outsourcing issues in an Australian government agency. Paper presented at the eight European conference on IT evaluation, MCIL management centre international limited, reading, United KingdomGoogle Scholar
  52. Lin, C and Pervan G. (2002). A public sector case study on evaluating and managing the benefits of IS/IT. Paper presented at the international conference proceeding Issues and trends of information technology management in contemporary, Hershey, PA, United StatesGoogle Scholar
  53. Lind, M, Salomonson, N (2006) The role of virtual servants in e-interaction”. In: Proceedings of the first international pragmatic web conference (PragWeb06). PP 124–138Google Scholar
  54. Lind, M, Salomonson, N, and Alm, H (2008_ENREF_37). How can I help you?—The role of a virtual servant in a municipal context. In: Proceedings of the servsig conference, Liverpool, UKGoogle Scholar
  55. Longenecker GJ, Moore WC, Petty W, Palich EL (2007) Small business management: launching and growing entrepreneurial ventures, 14th edn. South-Western College Publisher, BostonGoogle Scholar
  56. Marcos S, Gómez-García-Bermejo J, Zalama E (2010) A realistic virtual head for human–computer interaction. Interact Comput 22:176–192CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Mason RO, Swanson EB (1981) Measurement for management decision. Addison-Wesley, EssexGoogle Scholar
  58. Mehrjerdi ZY (2013) A framework for Six-Sigma driven RFID-enabled supply chain systems. Int J Qual Reliab Manag 30(2):142–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Meuter ML, Ostrom AL, Bitner MJ, Roundtree R (2003) The influence of technology anxiety on consumer use and experiences with self-service technologies. J Bus Res 56(11):899–906CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Miller EJ (2002) Co-design in action: knowledge sharing, mediating and learning. Inside the communication revolution: evolving patterns of social and technical intraction. Oxford University Press, London, pp 165–185Google Scholar
  61. Moon Y (2000) Intimate exchanges: using computers to elicit self-disclosure from consumers. J Cons Res 26:323–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Morandi IWM, Maria, Rodrigues H, Luis, Lacerda P, Daniel, Pergher, Issac (2013) Foreseeing iron ore prices using system thinking and scenario planning. Sys Pract Act Res. doi: 10.1007/s11213-013-9277-9 Google Scholar
  63. Nadar EN, Vijayan S (2009) Managerial economics, eastern economy edition. PHI Learning Private Limited, ConnaughtGoogle Scholar
  64. Nass CI, Lombard M, Henriksen L, Steur JS (1995) Anthropocentrism and computers. Behav Inf Tech 14(4):229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Nedjah N, Mourelle MDL (2007) Co-design for system acceleration: a quantitative approach. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  66. Pelton P, Robert (2010) Action research for teacher candidates. Rownman & Littlefield Education, Colonial WilliamsburgGoogle Scholar
  67. Qiu L, Benbasat I (2010) A study of demographic embodiments of product recommendation agents in electronic commerce. Int J Hum Comput Stud 68:669–688CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Raoufi MM (2005) How can I help you?—The delivery of e-government services by means of a digital assistant. Department of Informatics, UmeåGoogle Scholar
  69. Rattanawicha P (2005) Communicating customer trust in e-Commerce through website design. Dissertation, Asian institute of TechnologyGoogle Scholar
  70. Redmond WH (2002) The potential impact of artificial shopping agents in E-commerce markets. J Inter Mark 16:56–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Saleh K, Shukairy A (2011) Conversion optimization: the art and science of converting prospect to customers. O’Reilly Media Inc, SebastopolGoogle Scholar
  72. Schiuma, Carlucci, Daniela, Sole, Francesco (2012) Applying a system thinking framework to assess knowledge assest dynamic for business performance improvement. Exp Sys App 39:8044–8059CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Subrahmanyam, P A (1992). Hardware/software Co-design: What is needed for success. In: Paper presented at the In international workshop on hardware/software codesign, ACM/IEEE, Estes Park, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  74. Subrahmanyam, P A (1993). Hardware–software Co-design—cautious optimism for the future. January. IEEE Computer, 84Google Scholar
  75. Sweeney B, Linda, Sterman D, John (2000) Bathtub dynamics: initial results of a system thinking inventory. Sys Dyn Rev 16(5):249–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Szwarc P (2005) Researching customer satisfaction & loyalty: how to find out what people really think. Kogan Page Limited, LondonGoogle Scholar
  77. Transportation Research Board. Report 47 (1999) A handbook for measuring customer satisfaction and service quality. United States of America: National Research Council. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  78. Wang L, Baker J, Wakefield K (2007) Can a retail Web site Be social? J Mark 71:143–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Yawson M, Robert (2012) System theory and thinking as a foundational theory in human resource development—A Myth or Reality? Hum Res Develop Rev 12(1):53–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Zenker S, Petersen S, Aholt A (2012) The citizen satisfaction index (CSI): evidence for a four basic factor model in a German sample. Cities 31:156–164Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)Klong LuangThailand
  2. 2.Stockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations