University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Service differentiation and dimensions of strategic orientations in German retail horticulture

Engelke, Christian (2020) Service differentiation and dimensions of strategic orientations in German retail horticulture. DBA thesis, University of Worcester.

Doctoral thesis Christian Engelke.pdf - Submitted Version

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This thesis investigates service differentiation and dimensions of strategic orientation using the example of German retail horticulture, an industry in which numerous companies are currently transitioning from retail to service provision.
In this industry, the economic situation is strained and strategic orientation often unavailable (Gabriel and Bitsch, 2018). The differentiation of products and services is a strategy for increasing competitive advantage and enhancing performance, but whereas product differentiation has been adequately explored in the literature (Loy and Weiss,
2019), empirical research on service differentiation is lacking. This is especially true of service variety (Green, Davies and Ng, 2017), which highlights the first research gap. Moreover, the mutual impact of dimensions in service
differentiation on dimensions of two related concepts, market orientation and service innovativeness, have remained relatively unexplored. Thus, the challenging task for the author was to create an integrated model that allows the
simultaneous application of multiple moderators and mediators (Chen and Hung, 2016).
Drawing on a sample of 222 German retail horticulture companies, hypothesis testing was conducted using covariance-based structural equation modelling (CB-SEM) in AMOS 27. The results revealed that in the interplay of three
concepts, service depth and customer preference were the most important dimensions for performance throughout the study, as their indirect effects were significant in almost every analysis. They changed the former direct effects.
As for practical implications, the study can help managers better understand the consequences of service differentiation on performance as a strategic tool, in line
with Zghidi and Zaiem (2017). This can help them better manage events such as shifts in the market and unexpected sales collapses, such as those caused by the current coronavirus crisis. On this basis, in future research, more research using constellation designs that involve these simultaneous concepts could be developed to allow managers to get a deeper understanding of strategic orientations

Item Type: Thesis (DBA)
Additional Information:

A thesis submitted to the University of Worcester in accordance with the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Business Administration, Institute of Education, Institute of Health and Society, Worcester Business School, University of Worcester, September, 2020.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: strategic orientation, competitive advantage, service differentiation, market orientation, service innovativeness, business performance
Divisions: College of Arts, Humanities and Education > School of Education
College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
College of Health, Life and Environmental Sciences > School of Allied Health and Community
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Depositing User: Janet Davidson
Date Deposited: 20 May 2021 07:34
Last Modified: 20 May 2021 07:34

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