The Efficient Provision of Culture-Sensitive Services: A Modularization Approach

Conference paper


This paper presents first guidelines for the cultural adaptation and efficient global provision of services. For this purpose, it elaborates on how to consider culture-specific components of a service on the basis of systematic service modularization. This is illustrated by the example of an IT-mediated learning service, which is usually perceived differently in diverse cultures. To this end, a process model is described based on culture theory and systematic modularization in order to identify culture-specific and culture-independent components of a learning service for its consideration within global service provision. This contribution to practice is complemented by the theoretical contribution of the inclusion of culture-theoretical components into service modularization.


Service modularization Culture Learning service Technology-mediated learning 



The research presented in this paper was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research in course of the project kuLtig (, FKZ 01BEX05A13.


  1. 1.
    iMOVE (2013) Trendbarometer: Exportbranche Aus- und Weiterbildung.
  2. 2.
    Fraunhofer MOEZ (2012) Treibende und hemmende Faktoren im Berufsbildungsexport aus Sicht deutscher Anbieter.
  3. 3.
    Straub D, Loch K, Evaristo R et al. (2002) Toward a Theory-Based Measurement of Culture. Journal of Global Information Management 10(1): 13–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Donthu N (1998) Cultural Influences on Service Quality Expectations. Journal of Service Research 1(2): 178–186. doi: 10.1177/109467059800100207CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Mattila AS (1999) The Role of Culture in the Service Evaluation Process. Journal of Service Research 1(3): 250–261. doi: 10.1177/109467059913006CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Raajpoot N (2004) Reconceptualizing Service Encounter Quality in a Non-Western Context. Journal of Service Research 7(2): 181–201. doi: 10.1177/1094670504268450CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gerbic P (2005) Chinese learners and computer mediated communication: Balancing culture, technology, and pedagogy. In: Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Australian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education Conference: Balance, Fidelity, Mobility: Maintaining the MomentumGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hornik S, Tupchiy A (2006) Culture's Impact on Technology Mediated Learning. Journal of Global Information Management 14(4): 31–56. doi: 10.4018/jgim.2006100102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Fischer B, Kopp B (2007) Evaluation of a Western training concept for further education in China. interculture journal 6(4): 57–76Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Schermann M, Böhmann T, Prilla M et al. (2012) Service Modularization for Customer-Specific Service Design Based on Highly Standardized Services. In: Böhmann T, Burr W, Herrmann T et al. (eds) Implementing International Services: A Tailorable Method for Market Assessment, Modularization, and Process Transfer. Gabler Verlag/Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, pp 101–118Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hevner AR, March ST, Park J et al. (2004) Design science in information systems research. MIS Quarterly 28(1): 75–105CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Arazy O, Kumar N, Shapira B (2010) A Theory-Driven Design Framework for Social Recommender Systems. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 11(9)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gehlert A, Schermann M, Pohl K et al. (2009) Towards a Research Method for Theorydriven Design Research. Wirtschaftinformatik Proceedings 2009Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Alavi M, Leidner DE (2001) Research Commentary: Technology-Mediated Learning--A Call for Greater Depth and Breadth of Research. Information Systems Research 12(1): 1–10. doi: 10.1287/isre. Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gupta S, Bostrom R (2013) An Investigation of the Appropriation of Technology-Mediated Training Methods Incorporating Enactive and Collaborative Learning. Information Systems Research 24(2): 454–469. doi: 10.1287/isre.1120.0433CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Gupta S, Bostrom R (2009) Technology-Mediated Learning: A Comprehensive Theoretical Model. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 10(9): 686–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    DeSanctis G, Poole MS (1994) Capturing the complexity in advanced technology use: Adaptive structuration theory. Organization Science 5(2): 121–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bitzer P, Janson A (2014) Towards a Holistic Understanding of Technology-Mediated Learning Services - a State-of-the-Art Analysis. ECIS 2014 ProceedingsGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Janson A, Thiel de Gafenco M (2015) Engaging the Appropriation of Technology-mediated Learning Services - A Theory-driven Design Approach. ECIS 2015 ProceedingsGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kwan S, Min, Jae, H. (2008) An Evolutionary Framework of Service Systems: Presented at the International Conference on Service Science Beijing, China, April 17–18, 2008Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kummer T, Leimeister JM, Bick M (2012) On the Importance of National Culture for the Design of Information Systems. Business & Information Systems Engineering 4(6): 317–330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Leidner DE, Kayworth T (2006) Review: A Review of Culture in Information Systems Research: Toward a Theory of Information Technology Culture Conflict. MIS Quarterly 30(2): 357–399. doi: 10.2307/25148735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Hofstede G (1980) Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Sage Publications, IncGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Hofstede GH, Hofstede GJ, Minkov M (2010) Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind: intercultural cooperation and its importance for survival, 3rd ed. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Srite M, Karahanna E (2006) The Role of Espoused National Cultural Values in Technology Acceptance. MIS Quarterly 30(3): 679–704. doi: 10.2307/25148745CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Yoo B, Donthu N, Lenartowicz T (2011) Measuring Hofstede's five dimensions of cultural values at the individual level: Development and validation of CVSCALE. Journal of International Consumer Marketing 23(3–4): 193–210Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hall ET (1977) Beyond culture. Random House Digital, IncGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Schwartz SH (1990) Individualism-Collectivism: Critique and Proposed Refinements. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology 21(2): 139–157. doi: 10.1177/0022022190212001CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Schein EH (1990) Organizational culture. American psychologist 45(2): 109–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Schilling MA (2000) Toward a General Modular Systems Theory and Its Application to Interfirm Product Modularity. Academy of management review 25(2): 312–334. doi: 10.5465/AMR.2000.3312918CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Balzert H (2000) Lehrbuch der Software-Technik – Software-Entwicklung. Lehrbuch der Software-Technik – Software-Entwicklung, HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Peters C, Leimeister JM (2013) TM3 - A Modularization Method for Telemedical Services: Design and Evaluation. In: 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Utrecht, NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Bask A, Lipponen M, Rajahonka M et al. (2011) Framework for modularity and customization: service perspective. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing 26(5): 306–319. doi: 10.1108/08858621111144370CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Parnas DL (1972) On the criteria to be used in decomposing systems into modules. Commun. ACM 15(12): 1053–1058. doi: 10.1145/361598.361623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Baldwin CY, Clark KB (1997) Managing in an age of modularity. Harvard Business Review 75(5): 84–93Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Böhmann T, Krcmar H (2006) Modulare Servicearchitekturen. In: Bullinger H, Scheer A (eds) Service Engineering. Springer-Verlag, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 377–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Swierczek FW, Bechter C (2010) Cultural Features of e-Learning. In: Spector JM, Ifenthaler D, Isaias P et al. (eds) Learning and Instruction in the Digital Age. Springer US, Boston, MA, pp 291–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Straub DW (1994) The Effect of Culture on IT Diffusion: E-Mail and FAX in Japan and the U.S. Information Systems Research 5(1): 23–47. doi: 10.1287/isre.5.1.23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Hofstede G (1986) Cultural differences in teaching and learning. International Journal of Intercultural Relations 10(3): 301–320. doi: 10.1016/0147-1767(86)90015-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Brinkkemper S (1996) Method engineering: engineering of information systems development methods and tools. Information and Software Technology 38(4): 275–280. doi: 10.1016/0950-5849(95)01059-9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Dubberly H, Evenson S, Robinson R (2008) On modeling the analysis-synthesis bridge model. interactions 15(2): 57. doi: 10.1145/1340961.1340976Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Bortz J, Bortz-Döring, Döring N (2009) Forschungsmethoden und Evaluation: Für Human- und Sozialwissenschaftler ; mit 87 Tabellen, 4th edn. Springer-Medizin-Verl., HeidelbergGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Shostack GL (1984) Designing services that deliver. Harvard Business Review 62(1): 133–139Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Peters C, Elm C, Söllner M et al. (2014) Blueprint-driven Telemedicine Process Modeling - The Interdisciplinary Development and Evaluation of a Modeling Language for Telemedical Services. In: Annual AIS SIG Services Pre-ICIS Workshop 2014, Auckland, New ZealandGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Janson A, Söllner M, Leimeister JM (2016) The Appropriation of Collaborative Learning – Qualitative Insights from a Flipped Classroom. 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS): 84–93Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Peters C, Blohm I, Leimeister JM (2015) Anatomy of Successful Business Models for Complex Services: Insights from the Telemedicine Field. Journal of Management Information Systems 32(3): 75–104. doi: 10.1080/07421222.2015.1095034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Reinecke K, Bernstein A (2013) Knowing what a User Likes: A Design Science Approach to Interfaces that Automatically Adapt to Culture. MIS Quarterly 37(2): 427-A11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Schermann M, Prilla M, Böhmann T et al. (2012) Designing Services as Adaptable Reference Models. In: Böhmann T, Burr W, Herrmann T et al. (eds) Implementing International Services: A Tailorable Method for Market Assessment, Modularization, and Process Transfer. Gabler Verlag/Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, Wiesbaden, Wiesbaden, pp 276–292Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Martinsons M, Ma D (2009) Sub-Cultural Differences in Information Ethics across China: Focus On Chinese Management Generation Gaps. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 10(11)Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    Ernst S, Janson A, Söllner M et al. (2015) When in Rome, do as the Romans do – Overcoming Culture Conflicts in Mobile Learning. ICIS 2015 ProceedingsGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Peters C (2014) Together They are Strong - The Quest for Service Modularization Parameters. Proceedings of the 22nd European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS). Tel Aviv, IsraelGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Peters C, Leimeister JM (2014) Modellierung telemedizinischer Dienstleistungen mit der Blueprint-driven Telemedicine Process Modeling Language. In: Schultze W, Möller K (eds) Produktivität von Dienstleistungen. Springer, GermanyGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Haas P, Blohm I, Peters C et al. (2015) Modularization of Crowdfunding Services – Designing Disruptive Innovations in the Banking Industry. ICIS 2015 ProceedingsGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Information SystemsUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Information ManagementUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations