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After the revolution – new chances for service research in a digital world

Werner H. Kunz (Department of Marketing and Management, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
Gianfranco Walsh (Department of General Management and Marketing, University of Jena, Jena, Germany)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 7 July 2020

Issue publication date: 6 October 2020



Digital media has revolutionized societies and changed forever how we do business. This paper aims to determine the current scope of service research in the area of digital media, identifying research gaps and introducing new research contributions to complement our knowledge of digital media.


Based on all service articles of the SERVSIG literature alert system from 2016 to 2019, a subset of digital media articles was identified and latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) text-mining methods were used on the abstracts and titles of the articles for topic modeling of the field. Dominant research topics were identified and depicted in a two-dimensional space.


The study identifies eight distinct topic areas of digital media in service research and shows their relationship to each other in a two-dimensional space. A clear tendency in service research towards taking primarily a customer (versus business perspective) of digital media can be observed. Further, for some journals, a trend towards specialization on particular topics could be detected.

Research limitations/implications

This article advocates for more digital media research with a stronger business perspective. Further, although particular new technologies are exciting to discuss, it seems that the importance of customer relationship topics in digital media is not reflected in the current digital media research as needed.


The article uses a quantitative–explorative approach to determine the current state of research in regard to digital media in services. The authors introduce 11 new studies that aim to close the knowledge gap in critical areas of digital media.



Kunz, W.H. and Walsh, G. (2020), "After the revolution – new chances for service research in a digital world", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 597-607.



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