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Shaping service delivery through faith-based service inclusion: the case of the Salvation Army in Zambia

Janet Davey (School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Eldrede Kahiya (School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Jayne Krisjanous (School of Marketing and International Business, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand)
Lucy Sulzberger (Independent Researcher, Wellington, New Zealand)

Journal of Services Marketing

ISSN: 0887-6045

Article publication date: 9 June 2021

Issue publication date: 12 November 2021

1017

Abstract

Purpose

While service inclusion principles raise the awareness of scholars to service that improves holistic well-being, little research explicitly investigates the spiritual dimensions of service inclusion. This study, therefore, aims to explore faith-based service inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study of the Salvation Army’s Chikankata Services in Zambia was undertaken. Semi-structured interviews with the organization’s leaders and professionals were analyzed thematically.

Findings

Service inclusion pillars evince contextualized meaning and priority. In resource-constrained, vulnerable communities, faith-based service inclusion prioritizes two additional pillars – “fostering eudaimonic well-being” and “giving hope,” where existence is precarious, fostering (hedonic) happiness is of low priority. Findings reveal that pillars and processes are mutually reinforcing, harnessed by the individual and collective agency to realize transformative outcomes from service inclusion.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides unique insight into faith-based service inclusion but acknowledges limitations and areas warranting further research.

Practical implications

The study yields important managerial implications. Service providers can use the framework to identify the contextual priority and/or meaning of service inclusion pillars and relevant reciprocal processes. The framework emphasizes the harnessing potential of individual agency and capability development for transformative well-being.

Social implications

Faith-based service inclusion, predicated on inclusion, human dignity and holistic well-being, has important implications for reducing the burden on scarce resources while building resilience in communities.

Originality/value

By examining a faith-based service in sub-Saharan Africa, this paper provides a holistic framework conceptualizing pillars, processes, agency and outcomes to extend Fisk et al.’s (2018) service inclusion pillars and to better understand the shaping of service delivery for service inclusion.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Lt. Col. Ian Swan, Territorial Commander, Zambia Territory, Salvation Army for facilitating access and support for this research. We would also like to kindly thank staff of Zambia Territorial Headquarters and Chikankata Health Services for their interest and time providing interviews.

Citation

Davey, J., Kahiya, E., Krisjanous, J. and Sulzberger, L. (2021), "Shaping service delivery through faith-based service inclusion: the case of the Salvation Army in Zambia", Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 7, pp. 861-877. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSM-07-2020-0283

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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