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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2019

Arne De Keyser, Sarah Köcher, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Cédric Verbeeck and Jay Kandampully

Smart technologies and connected objects are rapidly changing the organizational frontline. Yet, our understanding of how these technologies infuse service encounters…

Abstract

Purpose

Smart technologies and connected objects are rapidly changing the organizational frontline. Yet, our understanding of how these technologies infuse service encounters remains limited. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to update existing classifications of Frontline Service Technology (FST) infusion. Moreover, the authors discuss three promising smart and connected technologies – conversational agents, extended reality (XR) and blockchain technology – and their respective implications for customers, frontline employees and service organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a conceptual approach integrating existing work on FST infusion with artificial intelligence, robotics, XR and blockchain literature, while also building on insights gathered through expert interviews and focus group conversations with members of two service research centers.

Findings

The authors define FST and propose a set of FST infusion archetypes at the organizational frontline. Additionally, the authors develop future research directions focused on understanding how conversational agents, XR and blockchain technology will impact service.

Originality/value

This paper updates and extends existing classifications of FST, while paving the road for further work on FST infusion.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2019

Linda Alkire, Johannes Pohlmann and Willy Barnett

Internet user privacy risks have been a topical subject with respect to consumers, corporations and governments. In line with the recent privacy scandals linked to social…

Abstract

Purpose

Internet user privacy risks have been a topical subject with respect to consumers, corporations and governments. In line with the recent privacy scandals linked to social media, the aim of this study is to explore users’ privacy protection behaviors (PPB) on Facebook through the actions they take to protect their privacy, their underlying motives and the values behind these protective actions. Moreover, this study aims to address an unintended consequence of Facebook usage. Despite Facebook’s positive and uplifting goal of connecting people, consumers are forced to resort to specific behaviors to protect their privacy and well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts an exploratory research approach by using a well-established qualitative technique: structured laddering interviews. In total, 20 in-depth personal interviews were conducted with the Millennials.

Findings

Results show that the process of privacy protection is initiated by experiences, uncertainty and literacy, rather than threats, which leads to concerns that trigger PPBs. The most common PPBs include: “Reflection,” “Avoidance,” “Intervention,” “Restriction,” “Control,” and “Restraint.” The underlying motives for the adoption of these strategies include: “Success,” “Security,” “Social Recognition,” “A World of Peace,” “Exclusivity of Self,” “Being in Control,” “Meaning” and “True Friendship”.

Originality/value

The present research adopts a transdisciplinary framework to help fill the gap regarding the interplay of PPBs on Facebook, the triggers of those behaviors and their underlying motives. It contributes to the service literature and practice as it provides insights into a growing area of interest, whereas more social media channels are being created and more services are using social media strategies to engage and interact with their customers. Finally, it addresses the growing need to consider the impact of technological services, including internet and social media, on consumers’ and societies’ well-being.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2018

Raymond P. Fisk, Alison M. Dean, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Alison Joubert, Josephine Previte, Nichola Robertson and Mark Scott Rosenbaum

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/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.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 29 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2020

Raymond P. Fisk, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Laurel Anderson, David E. Bowen, Thorsten Gruber, Amy L. Ostrom and Lia Patrício

Elevating the human experience (HX) through research collaborations is the purpose of this article. ServCollab facilitates and supports service research collaborations…

Abstract

Purpose

Elevating the human experience (HX) through research collaborations is the purpose of this article. ServCollab facilitates and supports service research collaborations that seek to reduce human suffering and improve human well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

To catalyze this initiative, the authors introduce ServCollab's three human rights goals (serve, enable and transform), standards of justice for serving humanity (distributive, procedural and interactional justice) and research approaches for serving humanity (service design and community action research).

Research implications

ServCollab seeks to advance the service research field via large-scale service research projects that pursue theory building, research and action. Service inclusion is the first focus of ServCollab and is illustrated through two projects (transformative refugee services and virtual assistants in social care). This paper seeks to encourage collaboration in more large-scale service research projects that elevate the HX.

Practical implications

ServCollab seeks to raise the aspirations of service researchers, expand the skills of service research teams and build mutually collaborative service research approaches that transform human lives.

Originality/value

ServCollab is a unique organization within the burgeoning service research community. By collaborating with service researchers, with service research centers, with universities, with nonprofit agencies and with foundations, ServCollab will build research capacity to address large-scale human service system problems. ServCollab takes a broad perspective for serving humanity by focusing on the HX. Current business research focuses on the interactive roles of customer experience and employee experience. From the perspective of HX, such role labels are insufficient concepts for the full spectrum of human life.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 January 2020

Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Christine Mooney, Furkan A. Gur, Sertan Kabadayi, Maija Renko and Josina Vink

The purpose of this paper is to provide an interdisciplinary framework bridging service design and social entrepreneurship with transformative service research (TSR) to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an interdisciplinary framework bridging service design and social entrepreneurship with transformative service research (TSR) to create greater synergetic effects to advance wellbeing and drive social impact.

Design/methodology/approach

This research provides an interdisciplinary review and synthesis of literature to establish a basis for a conceptual framework advancing human wellbeing and driving social impact.

Findings

The overarching framework created incorporates various concepts, methods and tools across the three research domains. At the core of the framework is the ultimate goal of multilevel wellbeing and social impact. The core is subsequently supported by established social entrepreneurship concepts and strategies: prosocial motivation, hybrid identity, social bricolage, entrepreneurial thinking, community engagement, business model design and innovative delivery. The implementation of these concepts could benefit from the methods and tools used in service design, such as: design probes, service blueprints, appreciative inquiry, contextual interviews, actor maps, sustainable business model canvas and service prototyping.

Practical implications

The paper uses the refugee crisis as an illustrative example of how the proposed framework can be put into action by service organizations.

Originality/value

By bridging literature in TSR, service design and social entrepreneurship, this paper provides service managers with a framework to guide scalable systemic solutions for service organizations interested in advancing human wellbeing and driving social impact.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Lerzan Aksoy, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Jay Kandampully, Laura Kemppainen, Lu Kong and Laura E. McClelland

The purpose of this study is to highlight the role that service firms can play to improve societal health and create symbiotic value, defined as value created as a result…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to highlight the role that service firms can play to improve societal health and create symbiotic value, defined as value created as a result of collaborative relationships between the firm, its employees, customers and the communities in which it operates.

Design/methodology/approach

This manuscript examines the case of Millennials as they make up a dominant portion of the current workforce in society and proposes a conceptual framework for symbiotic value creation.

Findings

This study identifies the need to develop supporting mechanisms for the growing role of Millennials as employees and members of society that ultimately, in turn, create symbiotic value.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an integrative framework beyond the traditional and siloed examination of linkages between employee, customer, firm and society, creating new opportunities for extending a service theory and practice.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Mauricio Losada-Otálora and Linda Alkire (née Nasr)

Grounded in Transformative Service Research, the purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanisms by which bank information transparency influences consumer’s financial…

Abstract

Purpose

Grounded in Transformative Service Research, the purpose of this paper is to explore the mechanisms by which bank information transparency influences consumer’s financial well-being (FWB). The authors propose that customer attitudes toward the brand and the subjectively perceived ability of individuals to deal with the financial challenges explain the enhancement of FWB driven by bank information transparency.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses. In total, 400 bank customers of five commercial banks in Colombia were approached and asked to fill out a pen and paper questionnaire. Serial mediation analysis was applied to test the hypotheses.

Findings

This research shows that bank information transparency can uplift the FWB of customers. Furthermore, the positive effect of bank information transparency on the FWB occurs because the shared information improves the positive attitudes toward banks and the perceived financial self-efficacy of customers.

Research limitations/implications

This paper heeds the call of current literature for improved explanations of the relationship between attempts to inform consumers about financial services and their FWB.

Practical implications

This research shows that managers who embrace the challenging task of improving the FWB of their customers should design strategies for more transparent information sharing with their customers. However, these strategies should be designed not only to deliver information to customers but also to increase the perceived disclosure, accuracy and clarity of shared information.

Originality/value

This pioneering study aims to explain the effects of bank information transparency on the FWB of consumers by drawing on interdisciplinary literature. This research is important as many banks aim to increase their information transparency without a clear understanding of the effects of these actions on consumers and therefore in many instances their efforts fail. A key contribution of this study is identifying concrete mechanisms (i.e. brand attitudes and self-efficacy) that help managers to improve customers’ FWB via information transparency. Accordingly, the authors offer suggestions for better information transparency strategy implementation.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Lerzan Aksoy, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Sunmee Choi, Peter Beomcheol Kim and Lu Zhang

The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for guiding social innovation in service (SIS), defined as the creation of novel, scalable and sustainable market based…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for guiding social innovation in service (SIS), defined as the creation of novel, scalable and sustainable market based service offerings that solve systemic societal problems.

Design/methodology/approach

This research provides a review and synthesis of transdisciplinary literatures to establish a basis for the conceptual framework proposed for SIS.

Findings

It is argued that the primary unit of an SIS is the service firm and that there are micro-, meso-, and macro-level actors and enablers in the ecosystem that can help bring about SIS. Examples from the hospitality and tourism industry are used to demonstrate key points.

Practical implications

Benefits of an SIS to companies include growth through new markets and innovative value offerings, sustainable supply chains in production, building consumer value and trust in the company/brand, attracting and retaining talent and being proactive in including social and environmental measures of success in customer metrics and company financial reporting.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the social innovation and service literature by: offering a new, scientifically supported view of an SIS; providing managers with a framework to guide social innovation within their service firm and for the benefit of their company and its stakeholders; and directing service scholars to research issues necessary to advance SIS.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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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).

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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Article
Publication date: 7 April 2020

Vinh Nhat Lu, Jochen Wirtz, Werner H. Kunz, Stefanie Paluch, Thorsten Gruber, Antje Martins and Paul G. Patterson

Robots are predicted to have a profound impact on the service sector. The emergence of robots has attracted increasing interest from business scholars and practitioners…

Abstract

Purpose

Robots are predicted to have a profound impact on the service sector. The emergence of robots has attracted increasing interest from business scholars and practitioners alike. In this article, we undertake a systematic review of the business literature about the impact of service robots on customers and employees with the objective of guiding future research.

Design/methodology/approach

We analyzed the literature on service robots as they relate to customers and employees in business journals listed in the Financial Times top 50 journals plus all journals covered in the cross-disciplinary SERVSIG literature alerts.

Findings

The analysis of the identified studies yielded multiple observations about the impact of service robots on customers (e.g. overarching frameworks on acceptance and usage of service robots; characteristics of service robots and anthropomorphism; and potential for enhanced and deteriorated service experiences) and service employees (e.g. employee benefits such as reduced routine work, enhanced productivity and job satisfaction; potential negative consequences such as loss of autonomy and a range of negative psychological outcomes; opportunities for human–robot collaboration; job insecurity; and robot-related up-skilling and development requirements). We also conclude that current research on service robots is fragmented, is largely conceptual in nature and focused on the initial adoption stage. We feel that more research is needed to build an overarching theory. In addition, more empirical research is needed, especially on the long(er)-term usage service robots on actual behaviors, the well-being and potential downsides and (ethical) risks for customers and service employees.

Research limitations/implications

Our review focused on the business and service literature. Future work may want to include additional literature streams, including those in computer science, engineering and information systems.

Originality/value

This article is the first to synthesize the business and service literature on the impact of service robots on customers and employees.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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