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Journal of Service Theory and Practice at age 30: past, present and future contributions to service research

Naveen Donthu (Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Satish Kumar (Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, Jaipur, India)
Chatura Ranaweera (Lazaridis School of Business, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)
Marianna Sigala (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Riya Sureka (Malaviya National Institute of Technology Jaipur, Jaipur, India)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 29 January 2021

Issue publication date: 20 April 2021




In 2020, the Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP), previously titled Managing Service Quality, celebrates its 30th anniversary. This study provides a retrospective of the evolution and contribution of the journal to service research by identifying its major trends, research constituents, factors contributing to citations and thematic structure over its 29 active years (1991–2019). The paper concludes by providing directions and ideas for progressing service research


The study uses the Scopus database to extract JSTP's bibliographic data. It employs bibliometric methods to study the trends of the journal, such as the citation structure and most-contributing authors, institutions and countries. Bibliographic coupling and keyword co-occurrence analyses are used to study the intellectual structure of the journal. Regression analysis discloses the factors influencing citations of JSTP articles. Factors explaining the citation count of JSTP articles include article age, number of author keywords, article length, title length and number of references.


JSTP's influence has grown significantly in the scientific community, which is evidenced by findings relating to the citation counts, the thematic scope/variety and authorship features of the JSTP papers published during the last 30 years. JSTP attracts publications from around the globe, but most contributions come from the United States, United Kingdom and Australia. Although JSTP has continuously evolved with new and varied themes, a bibliographic coupling analysis clustered JSTP articles into five major clusters.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the Scopus database may impact the study's results.


This study is the first to provide a comprehensive review of JSTP since its launch. It is useful to the editorial board and other JSTP stakeholders as well as service scholars alike.



Donthu, N., Kumar, S., Ranaweera, C., Sigala, M. and Sureka, R. (2021), "Journal of Service Theory and Practice at age 30: past, present and future contributions to service research", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 265-295.



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