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Can there only be one? Towards a post‐paradigmatic service marketing approach

Johan Hultman (Department of Service Management, Lund University, Helsingborg, Sweden)
Richard Ek (Department of Service Management, Lund University, Helsingborg, Sweden)

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences

ISSN: 1756-669X

Article publication date: 5 July 2011

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1372

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to unlock positions regarding the goods/services dichotomy in service marketing and to offer an argument that treats goods and services on an ontologically equal basis.

Design/methodology/approach

A close reading of influential texts that argue in favor of a service‐dominant logic (SDL) and new paradigms in service marketing.

Findings

Both the SDL proposal and calls for new service paradigms can be understood as ad hoc solutions that serve to reproduce and even strengthen the asymmetry between goods and services. A post‐paradigmatic analysis opens up new possibilities for service marketing research and practice.

Research limitations/implications

By showing how goods and services can be positioned equally, hitherto invisible sites of value creation become potential subjects for analyses in service marketing.

Practical implications

Service marketing practices are situated so as to explain the value creating interactions between service providers and customers in a more transparent way than is usual.

Originality/value

An ontologically grounded critique of the ad hoc nature of contemporary service marketing theory.

Keywords

Citation

Hultman, J. and Ek, R. (2011), "Can there only be one? Towards a post‐paradigmatic service marketing approach", International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 166-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/17566691111146078

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited