Behaviour Transformation: An Examination of Relational Governance in Complex Engineering Service

  • Lei Guo
  • Irene Ng
Part of the Decision Engineering book series (DECENGIN)


In the present study, we investigated two outcome-based maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service contracts in the attempt to better understand the effect of relational governance on firms’ boundary-spanners behaviours in co-producing complex engineering service. Our field interviews indicate that managers are heavily dependent on interpersonal relationships to promote mutual cooperation in service delivery. The role of legal contracts in monitoring behaviours seems insignificant. Furthermore, we noted that with the development of interpersonal relationship, cooperation moved from reciprocal to communal. That is, at the early stage of relationship, both parties cooperate conditionally according to the norm of reciprocity. When the relationship becomes more mature, both parties share a common identity and work towards their collective goals. To that end, service performance would then be greatly enhanced. Through a theory-in-use methodology, our study maps the practices of behaviour transformation in complex engineering service systems, effected through interpersonal relationship development.


Interpersonal Relationship Service Contract Exchange Partner Formal Contract Individual Provider 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Exeter Business SchoolExeterUK

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