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Service‐dominant logic: a necessary step

Robert F. Lusch (Department of Marketing, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA)
Stephen L. Vargo (Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 26 July 2011




The purpose of this paper is to respond to the criticism O'Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy made of service‐dominant logic in EJM, on behalf of both the paper and the worldwide community of scholars that have embraced S‐D logic as historically informed, integrative, transcending and rich in its potential to generate theoretical and practical contributions.


The paper is a critical, conceptual analysis of the fallacious arguments that O'Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy developed to argue against the emerging and rapidly developing service‐dominant logic.


The paper shows that, contrary to the claims of O'Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy, S‐D logic: is neither regressive nor intended to displace all other marketing perspectives; is not advocating technology at the expense of explanatory theory; and is pre‐theoretic and intended to be soundly grounded in a manner to assist theory construction.

Research limitations/implications

Theory advancement is critical to marketing and S‐D logic puts special emphasis on the development of theory. It begins to do this by proposing ten foundational premises, which some may wish to refer to as axioms. From these axioms, considerable theoretical work and related empirical research can develop.

Practical implications

O'Shaughnessy and O'Shaughnessy wish to prevent marketing scholars from adopting, advocating, and supporting service‐dominant logic and, as they suggest, taking a backward step. They view the S‐D logic movement as primarily USA‐dominated (which it is not) and are firmly anti‐S‐D logic. The available evidence from around the world suggests that the S‐D logic movement has profound implications for the advancement of both marketing science and marketing practice.


It is critical that S‐D logic should not be viewed as being represented by a single paper but as a body of work that Lusch and Vargo have developed since their initial publication and also the work of a community of scholars working collaboratively to co‐create S‐D logic.



Lusch, R.F. and Vargo, S.L. (2011), "Service‐dominant logic: a necessary step", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 45 No. 7/8, pp. 1298-1309.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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