Mass Personalization vs. Mass Customization: Finding Variance in Semantical Meaning and Practical Implementation between Sectors
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During last 3 decades, Mass Personalization and Mass Customization as research domains have been advancedly overlooked and currently are overcoming theoretical boundaries. Ongoing digital transformation, rapidly increasing orientation to customer centric approach, demand-driven supply and value creation via online environment, platforms or tools undoubtedly influence content and development of these two paradigms too (Rungtusanatham and Salvador, 2008; Gandhi et al., 2013; Hu, 2013; KMPG, 2016; Tiihonen and Felfernig, 2017). On the other hand, a number of academic research as well as organization practices still show variances in the semantical meaning of those mentioned concepts, implementation logic and limited interaction with digitalization and value cocreation. Therefore, the research type of scoping review is based on literature analysis. It is followed throughout this article for a quality evaluation of a current standpoint and practical tendencies in the field of understanding Mass Personalization and Mass Customization, as well as defining possibilities in adapting approaches of value co-creation and technology-based attitude. Purpose – article aims to conceptualize an existing semantical gap between concepts of Mass Personalization and Mass Customization by analyzing recent scientific literature and trends in their practical implementation. Design / methodology / approach – in this research the author followed a mixed type of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. The first one is related to the method of scoping review, which is used to collect and categorize data of semantical meaning in Mass Personalization and Mass Customization concepts. The qualitative one follows methods of general and comparative scientific literature review and conceptualization of new insights later. Therefore, the design of research is described as a systematic literature review and information systemization. Finding – results of the present evaluation of the research subject suggest that mismatches in semantical understanding of analyzed concepts as well as their adoption are very common. In addition, it is noticed that approaches of value co-creation and technology-based attitude and their combination are evaluated separately or partly from the research subject. Research limitations / implications – the present article has limitations both in theoretical and practical fields. From the perspective of scientific research, it is noticed that in different periods, the focus has been switched exclusively on process standardization or Mass Customization, without conducting a multi-dimensional research. In addition, there are also limited research carried out in the field of finding content differences between Mass Personalization and Mass Customization concepts as well as their possible combination for different sectors, with a focus on non-manufacturing organizations, digitalization and data analytics. Practical implications – results of the research may be applied in practice in different sectors and different type of organizations: a) as a multi-dimensional framework and basis for conducting an internal evaluation of ongoing process status as well as a content of service in relation to Mass Customization or Mass personalization; b) as a theoretical background to set up a direction and content of changes to reach a more customized or personalized service and create an overall more customer-centric approach in an organization; c) as a summary of key points for a better understanding on main differences, requirements, trends of each concept and their practical adoption. Originality / Value – theoretical analysis created following holistic and multidimensional standpoints not only confirms existing differences between semantical meanings but also reveals possible areas of misunderstanding when applied in practical implementation. In parallel, at this point, a combined approach of value co-creation and technology-based attitude produces valuable insights for future research and might serve as a basis for ongoing process evaluation in practice.
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