Industry-based issues in the provision of hearing aids in Italy
by Nicola Cobelli; Marta Maria Ugolini; Fabio Cassia; Liz Gill; Ian D. Cameron
World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development (WREMSD), Vol. 14, No. 3, 2018

Abstract: Despite the availability of free hearing tests and aids provided by qualified community-based professionals specialising in audiology services, hearing aid adoption remains low in Italy. This article investigates the reasons why hearing aids have a low acceptance level in Italy. Interviews with different hearing health professionals were conducted along with an analysis of the regulations and documentation governing the provision of publicly funded hearing aids. A combined service management and hearing-health literature review was then carried out and analysis performed. Interviews were then conducted with other hearing health professionals to confirm our analysis and findings. We contend that industry operational issues related to the structure, culture and public financing of the Italian audiology industry adversely impact on consumer service experiences. Based on this finding we propose a conceptual framework and offer four theory building propositions that we have identified as related to this highly regulated service industry.

Online publication date: Mon, 14-May-2018

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