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Article
Publication date: 19 July 2021

Courtney Nations Azzari, Natalie A. Mitchell and Charlene A. Dadzie

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of service flexibility in addressing consumer vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers within the funerary context.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of service flexibility in addressing consumer vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers within the funerary context.

Design/methodology/approach

Using phenomenological philosophy and a grounded approach, data was collected and analyzed through 12 depth interviews with funeral service providers, coupled with observations and photographs of three second-line funeral processionals.

Findings

Study results include the following three primary roles of service providers in supporting chronically-traumatized consumers: the role of service fluidity in addressing trauma, mitigating vulnerability via service providers as community members and alleviating suffering through compassionate service. Service flexibility and value co-creation efforts were executed through an expansive service ecosystem of vendors.

Practical implications

When consumers experience vulnerability that demands reliance upon service industries, service providers can intentionally implement fluidity and agility in service design, adopt understanding and altruistic practices, and operate with empathy and compassion to orchestrate mutually-beneficial service outcomes.

Social implications

Rooted in transformative service research, providers are advised to consider modifying services to improve well-being and mitigate vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers via fluidity, community and compassion.

Originality/value

This study contributes originality to the body of service marketing literature by illustrating how service providers alleviate vulnerability for chronically-traumatized consumers through three adaptive service strategies.

Article
Publication date: 24 January 2020

Courtney Nations Azzari and Stacey Menzel Baker

This paper offers key methodological insights for scholars new to qualitative transformative service research (TSR).

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper offers key methodological insights for scholars new to qualitative transformative service research (TSR).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper offers ten lessons on conducting qualitative TSR that the authors have gleaned, across more than 30 years (combined) of qualitative inquiries and engagement with other scholars conducting and publishing what may be now termed TSR.

Findings

The key lessons of conducting qualitative TSR work include: displaying ethics in conducting and presenting qualitative TSR; preparing for and understanding the research context; considering design, mechanics and technical elements; being participant-centric; co-creating meaning with participants; seeking/using diverse types of data; analyzing data in an iterative fashion, including/respecting multiple perspectives; presenting evidence in innovative ways; and looking inward at every stage of the research process.

Social implications

The paper provides implications for addressing the vulnerability of both research participants and researchers with the aim of improving research methods that lead to improved service research and well-being outcomes.

Originality/value

Clearly, the complexity and importance of the social problems TSR scholars investigate – poverty, war, disaster recovery, inadequate healthcare – requires preparation for how to engage in transformative service research. Importantly, the paper fits with recent persistent calls within the broader literature of services marketing to: use service research and design to create “uplifting changes” within society and broaden the paradigmatic underpinnings of service research to include dynamic, process-oriented approaches, which capture the dynamic and relational aspects of service ecosystems.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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