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Design for service inclusion: creating inclusive service systems by 2050

Raymond P. Fisk (Department of Marketing, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)
Alison M. Dean (Faculty of Business and Law, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)
Linda Alkire (née Nasr) (Department of Marketing, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas, USA)
Alison Joubert (UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Josephine Previte (The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia)
Nichola Robertson (Deakin Business School, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia)
Mark Scott Rosenbaum (Department of Retailing, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 7 September 2018

Issue publication date: 8 November 2018




The purpose of this paper is to challenge service researchers to design for service inclusion, with an overall goal of achieving inclusion by 2050. The authors present service inclusion as an egalitarian system that provides customers with fair access to a service, fair treatment during a service and fair opportunity to exit a service.


Building on transformative service research, a transformative, human-centered approach to service design is proposed to foster service inclusion and to provide a platform for managerial action. This conceptual study explores the history of service exclusion and examines contemporary demographic trends that suggest the possibility of worsening service exclusion for consumers worldwide.


Service inclusion represents a paradigm shift to higher levels of understanding of service systems and their fundamental role in human well-being. The authors argue that focused design for service inclusion is necessary to make service systems more egalitarian.

Research limitations/implications

The authors propose four pillars of service inclusion: enabling opportunity, offering choice, relieving suffering and fostering happiness.

Practical implications

Service organizations are encouraged to design their offerings in a manner that promotes inclusion and permits customers to realize value.


This comprehensive research agenda challenges service scholars to use design to create inclusive service systems worldwide by the year 2050. The authors establish the moral imperative of design for service inclusion.



This paper originated at the Thought Leadership Conference hosted by The University of Queensland Business School in Brisbane, Australia, November 2–5, 2017.


Fisk, R.P., Dean, A.M., Alkire (née Nasr), L., Joubert, A., Previte, J., Robertson, N. and Rosenbaum, M.S. (2018), "Design for service inclusion: creating inclusive service systems by 2050", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 834-858.



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Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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