Barriers to adopting a customer profitability-oriented mindset - A case study

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Information and Service Management (ISM)
Customer profitability is a key issue for companies in the increasingly dynamic business environment, and many organizations have made the shift to a more customer profitability focused mindset in their ways of working. A multitude of companies have the motivation and a business case for doing so, however, such changes are not often simple. Various factors may hinder the companies’ abilities to exploit the resources available to them and truly transition into a customer profitability-oriented model of working. The purpose of this study is to understand the change process associated with shifting to a more customer profitability-oriented way of operating as outlined above. The study is conducted as a case study within an organization that stays anonymous in the Thesis. The study aims to answer two research questions: (1) “What kinds of barriers can hinder companies’ efforts in adopting a customer profitability focus?” and (2) “How are the barriers identified interrelated as a combination of components that have a hindering effect on adoption?”. The research is carried out as a qualitative case study. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted among employees in various roles within the organization. The interviewees were identified by using a method of snowball sampling, which finds research subjects by interviewees giving the interviewer the name of the next potential interviewee. The results indicate that there are five main barriers when it comes to adopting a profitability-oriented mindset within the case company. The barriers identified are 1) Traditional Way of Thinking and Resistance to Change; 2) Accuracy Issues and Trust Issues; 3) Complexity and Multiple Systems; 4) Alignment Issues Within Company; and 5) Lack of Ownership and Know-how. An analysis was constructed from the findings of the research. They demonstrate how the adoption of a customer profitability-oriented mindset is hindered as a result of two barriers as individual components, and how the components are interrelated and thus the negative effect on adoption is magnified.
Thesis advisor
Penttinen, Esko
asiakaskannattavuus, adoptio, muutosprosessi, tapaustutkimus, customer profitability, adoption, change process
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