Balancing standardisation and customisation in the public elderly care setting
by Anna Essen
International Journal of Mass Customisation (IJMASSC), Vol. 2, No. 3/4, 2008

Abstract: Contemporary literature typically conceptualises standardisation and customisation as two ends on a continuum. Using qualitative data from the public home-help services setting, this paper explores how standardisation and customisation can concurrently operate in practice. The findings suggest that in many cases, services in this setting include a high degree of standardisation and a high degree of customisation. This is possible with a strategy characterised by a deliberate emergentness, i.e., allowing operational strategies to emerge in situ, within a shared ideology, imposed legal constraints and financial restrictions. It is concluded that depicting standardisation and customisation as two ends on a continuum may be inappropriate. Rather, there is a need for new models and concepts illustrating the relationship between standardisation and customisation, allowing for high levels of standardisation combined with high levels of customisation.

Online publication date: Fri, 15-Feb-2008

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