The purpose of this paper is to investigate the core themes of service research by analysing citations in the International Journal of Service Industry Management (IJSIM). It also aims to discuss changes in the discipline's sub‐fields and identifies emerging topics.
The paper is an empirical analysis of citations and co‐citations from the IJSIM. Network and factor analysis are used to analyse and group the data. The study is unique in performing the analysis at the individual publication level, rather than following the normal aggregated author co‐citation analysis method.
The study examines only IJISM. Future study on other top journal such as Journal of Service Research would provide a more complete picture on service research.
The study identifies that the core ideas of service research centred on service quality and customer satisfaction. Also identified are periphery areas which may become more significant.
The main contribution of this article is the use of the novel network analysis technique to analyze the 15,003 citations in the 435 articles published in IJSIM between 1990‐2005. This is a quantitative analysis unlike previous review articles which rely largely on the observations and reflections of pioneering researchers.
Pilkington, A. and Chai, K. (2008), "Research themes, concepts and relationships: A study of
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