Asset maintenance strategy : the effect of asset specificity on the relational norm of networking with technical service agents

Pao Yue-kong Library Electronic Theses Database

Asset maintenance strategy : the effect of asset specificity on the relational norm of networking with technical service agents

 

Author: Hui, Yun-yee Encon
Title: Asset maintenance strategy : the effect of asset specificity on the relational norm of networking with technical service agents
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2002
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Plant maintenance -- Management
Contracting out -- Management
Department: Dept. of Management
Pages: x, 216 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1659066
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/841
Abstract: This empirical research investigated the out-tasking practice of maintenance professionals in Hong Kong. In the context of market competition, technological change and rising expectation of stakeholders, there is corporate pressure on asset maintenance organizations to stay lean and become competitive. Many asset maintenance organizations respond to the challenge by out-tasking. They improve their productivity through increasing use of technical service agents to supplement the competence required in performing maintenance, repair and operation of physical assets. Technical service agents are contractors employed by the client organization to provide preventive and corrective maintenance. The similarities and differences between out-sourcing and out-tasking are compared. The rationale behind the decision of out-tasking certain asset maintenance activities is examined. A framework for decision support of what to out-task was synthesized. The resulting governance structure is a hybrid form of market and hierarchy. There is a research gap in understanding the inter-organizational relationship in the asset maintenance context. It is argued that a continuum exists between relational and contractual control of the technical service agent. The unit of analysis in this empirical research is asset based dyad which consists of the client and the technical service agent linked by the asset. The focus of the study is on the maintenance of essential assets and the best practice in governance of technical ervice agents. From the perspective of transaction cost economics and relational exchange theory, a model was developed to determine the governance mechanism in the presence of specific asset. The dependent variable is Relational Norm. The antecedents are Asset Specificity, Risk of Malfunction, Decision Making Uncertainty and Trust in the technical service agent. Hypotheses were tested with data collected from a questionnaire survey. It was found that (1) there is a positive relationship between Asset Specificity and Relational Norm; and (2) the positive relationship between Asset Specificity and Relational Norm is attenuated when Risk of Malfunction is increased.

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