Relationship Value in Outsourced FM Services – Value Dimensions and Drivers

; (). Relationship Value in Outsourced FM Services – Value Dimensions and Drivers. Facilities, Vol. 34, No. 1/2. 43-68. Peer reviewed.

Purpose

The study examines the relation between relationship value and relationship quality in the business relationship between customers and facility management (FM) suppliers. To investigate the relationship value in outsourced FM services, the customer’s perspective is used to identify the dimensions and drivers of relationship value.

Design/methodology/approach

A three-stage research design was used. The first stage was a thorough literature review, followed by expert interviews with six senior managers from the customer side, together with workshop and discussion with FM academics. In the third stage, quantitative data was gathered in a survey of 60 senior managers whose companies outsource FM services.

Findings

The findings show that relationship value is an antecedent to relationship quality of the business relationship in the context of FM. Nine dimensions and 34 drivers of relationship value were identified and a framework of relationship value for FM was established and measured. The sacrifice dimension correlates positively with relationship value, which contrasts with previous studies of relationship value in the context of business markets.

Research limitations/implications

A framework of relationship value has been established for further in-depth investigation. There are limitations related to the sampling procedure: qualitative research selected large-sized organizations, the relationship value was only studied within the customer-FM supplier dyad, and a static view of customers’ perceived value from the relationship with their FM suppliers.

Practical implications

The study provides a set of value dimensions and drivers for customers to assess how a FM supplier adds value in a relationship, and for FM suppliers to improve their services.

Originality/value

This research narrowed the gap in relationship-value studies in FM. The findings can contribute to traditional theory that customer value can be the add-on between benefits (“what you get”) and sacrifices (“what you give”), rather than just a trade-off between these two dimensions.