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Enabling a service thinking mindset: practices for the global service ecosystem

Linda Alkire (Department of Marketing, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)
Rebekah Russell-Bennett (School of Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations, Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Josephine Previte (The University of Queensland, Saint Lucia, Australia)
Raymond P. Fisk (ServCollab, San Marcos, Texas, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 6 December 2022




Profound economic, social, political and environmental problems are cascading across modern civilization in the 21st century. Many of these problems resulted from the prevailing effects of rational economics focused on profit maximization. The purpose of this paper is to reframe the mindsets of scholars, firms and public policy decision-makers through enabling Service Thinking practices.


Marketing, service and allied discipline literature are synthesized, and Raworth's (2018) Doughnut Economics model is adapted to conceptualize and construct the Service Thinking framework.


Service Thinking is defined as a just, mutualistic and human-centered mindset for creating and regenerating service systems that meet the needs of people and the living planet. Service Thinking is enabled by five practices (service empathy, service inclusion, service respect, service integrity and service courage).

Practical implications

Actionable implications are presented for service ecosystem entities to uplift well-being, enhance sustainability and increase prosperity.


Service Thinking practices are shaped by influencing forces (marketing, education and law/policy) and operant service ecosystem resources (motivation–opportunity–ability or MOA), which makes Service Thinking applicable to four economic entities in the service ecosystem: the household, the market, the state and the commons.



This is a ServCollab Perspective article. ( The authors gratefully acknowledge the visual design by Natalie Sketcher (Centre for Behavioural Economics, Society and Technology, QUT, Australia) of the figures and infographic.


Alkire, L., Russell-Bennett, R., Previte, J. and Fisk, R.P. (2022), "Enabling a service thinking mindset: practices for the global service ecosystem", Journal of Service Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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