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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Tiziana Russo Spena and Mele Cristina

Over recent years, few industries have seen such dramatic changes as the healthcare industry. The potential connectivity of digital technologies is completely transforming the…

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Abstract

Purpose

Over recent years, few industries have seen such dramatic changes as the healthcare industry. The potential connectivity of digital technologies is completely transforming the healthcare ecosystem. This has resulted in companies increasingly investing in digital transformations to exploit data across channels, operations and patient outreach, by building on a practice approach and actor-network theory and being informed by service-dominant logic, this study aims to contribute by advancing the agential role of third-party actors to prompt innovation and shape service ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is grounded in an epistemological contextualism. To gain situated knowledge and address the role of context in knowledge, understanding and meaning the authors adopted a qualitative methodology to study actors in their different contexts. The empirical research was based on case theory. The authors also took guidance from practice scholars about how to investigate actors’ practices. The unit of analysis moves from dyadic relationships to focus on practices across different networks of actors.

Findings

This study expands on the conceptualization of triad as proposed by Siltaloppi and Vargo (2017) by moving from the form of triadic relationships – brokerage, mediation and coalition – to the agency of e-health third-parties; and their practices to innovate in the healthcare ecosystem. This study focuses on the actors and the performativity of actions and grounding the conceptual view on an empirical base.

Practical implications

Third-party actors bring about innovative ways of doing business in the healthcare ecosystem. Their actions challenge the status quo and run counter to long-time practices. Third-parties support the complex set of interconnections between different healthcare actors for the provision of new service co-creation opportunities. Considering how these e-health third-parties performs has implications for health managers, patients and other actors.

Originality/value

This study focuses on the actors and the performativity of actions and grounding the conceptual view on an empirical base. The agency of third-party actors is their ability to act among others and to connect multiple social and material structures to boost innovation. They prompt innovation and shape service ecosystems by brokering, mediating and coalescing among a great variety of resources, practices and institutions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 May 2024

Cristina Mele, Irene Di Bernardo, Angelo Ranieri and Tiziana Russo Spena

The study aims to delve into the “phygital customer journey” (PCJ), which merges physical and digital interactions in customer experiences, using a practice-based lens to reveal…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to delve into the “phygital customer journey” (PCJ), which merges physical and digital interactions in customer experiences, using a practice-based lens to reveal the underlying dynamics of these blended encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

Feedback from 60 individuals established the groundwork for a qualitative analysis. They chronicled customer journeys through diaries and used UXPressia software for journey mapping. This strategy enabled a detailed exploration of the PCJ, focusing on customers’ lived experiences and perceptions.

Findings

The study presents an integrative framework for the PCJ, identifying four key elements: hybrid artefacts (the melding of digital and physical tools/interfaces), blended contexts (the seamless integration of digital and physical spaces), circular actions (the non-linear paths of customer engagement) and intertwined emotions (the complex emotional responses to phygital experiences). These elements underscore the intricate and interconnected nature of the PCJ.

Originality/value

This study advances the field by applying a practice-based approach to unravel the complexities of the PCJ, illuminating the nuanced interplay between digital and physical realms. This innovative lens foregrounds the significance of practices in consumer experiences, thereby contributing to a deeper academic and practical understanding of phygital integration.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 12 March 2024

Cristina Mele and Tiziana Russo-Spena

In this article, we reflect on how smart technology is transforming service research discourses about service innovation and value co-creation. We adopt the concept of technology…

Abstract

Purpose

In this article, we reflect on how smart technology is transforming service research discourses about service innovation and value co-creation. We adopt the concept of technology smartness’ to refer to the ability of technology to sense, adapt and learn from interactions. Accordingly, we seek to address how smart technologies (i.e. cognitive and distributed technology) can be powerful resources, capable of innovating in relation to actors’ agency, the structure of the service ecosystem and value co-creation practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual article integrates evidence from the existing theories with illustrative examples to advance research on service innovation and value co-creation.

Findings

Through the performative utterances of new tech words, such as onlife and materiality, this article identifies the emergence of innovative forms of agency and structure. Onlife agency entails automated, relational and performative forms, which provide for new decision-making capabilities and expanded opportunities to co-create value. Phygital materiality pertains to new structural features, comprised of new resources and contexts that have distinctive intelligence, autonomy and performativity. The dialectic between onlife agency and phygital materiality (structure) lies in the agencement of smart tech–enabled value co-creation practices based on the notion of becoming that involves not only resources but also actors and contexts.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a novel conceptual framework that advances a tech-based ecology for service ecosystems, in which value co-creation is enacted by the smartness of technology, which emerges through systemic and performative intra-actions between actors (onlife agency), resources and contexts (phygital materiality and structure).

Details

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

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 August 2020

Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena, Dominik Mahr and Andrea Ruggiero

Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have intensified this…

16718

Abstract

Purpose

Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have intensified this so-called “loneliness virus”. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative framework and research agenda on the role of companion robots in mitigating feelings of loneliness.

Design/methodology/approach

A netnographic analysis of 595 online visual and textual descriptions offer empirical insights about the role of the companion robot Vector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

The contributions of this study are twofold. First, it postulates that companion robots have the potential of mitigating feelings of loneliness (i.e. indicator of well-being). Second, this study contributes to transformative service by developing an integrative framework introducing the roles (personal assistant, relational peer and intimate buddy) that companion robots can fulfill to mitigate feelings of loneliness through building different types of supportive relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed research agenda encourages future service scholars to investigate 1) the role of robots in addressing loneliness, 2) design features that drive adoption of robots, 3) social support for different groups, 4) the operationalization and the measurement of loneliness and 5) an impact analysis of companion robots.

Practical implications

Service providers and policy makers can leverage the insights about how companion robots can help reduce a sense of loneliness.

Originality/value

The integrative framework on loneliness reduction, based on 595 unprompted online contributions issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers initial evidence for the impact of companion robots in reducing people's feelings of loneliness.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Nadia Di Paola and Tiziana Russo Spena

This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically, the…

1142

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically, the authors raise the questions of how the opposite elements of EI characteristics can be arranged and combined to generate benefits for companies and markets.

Design/methodology/approach

A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is conducted to analyse European companies operating in telecommunications and in information and communication technology (ICT). This method helps us interpret the complexity occurring in the real world, in which the contribution of a specific attribute to the outcome might change according to other interacting and concurring aspects.

Findings

By recognising the conflicting aspects inherent to the complexity of EI, this study addresses how these tensions can be embraced. Specifically, the paradox logic is proposed to open EI strategy to a “both-and” perspective, with the purpose of making EI goals concretely feasible and integrated into a holistic view.

Practical implications

Paradoxical resolution denotes purposeful iterations between alternatives to ensure simultaneous attention to them over time. A paradox logic can support managers in making the EI strategy more workable and reconciling the extremes as well as possible.

Originality/value

This study unpacks the multiple enactments of EI by exploring the factors enabling integrated EI benefits. By adopting a paradox approach, the EI strategy may be interpreted in a “both-and” perspective, allowing firms to concretely achieve integrated EI benefits.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 November 2022

Tiziana Russo-Spena, Cristina Mele and Jaqueline Pels

This paper aims to focus on how the use of new technologies disrupts markets. To date, marketing literature has lacked studies investigating the link between market practices and…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on how the use of new technologies disrupts markets. To date, marketing literature has lacked studies investigating the link between market practices and new technologies. The study adopts the blockchain technology (BcT) context to elicit novel technology-enhanced market practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopt a qualitative multimethod research design to engage in interpretative theorizing. They investigated 77 companies and used the Gioia method for the data coding and analysis.

Findings

The study of the adoption of blockchain prompts three technology-enhanced market practices. The latter offers new ways of resourcing by removing constraints and expanding actors’ network and knowledge to integrate resources; sensemaking by expressing new language and assigning novel meaning to represent markets; and legitimizing, by structuring new rules and trusting new mechanisms to institutionalize markets.

Research limitations/implications

The technology-enhanced market practices are distinct from extant market practices as well as related, thus, enriching and complementing them. Therefore, this work expands the understanding of the mechanisms of how markets work.

Originality/value

This study is the first, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, to focus on how BcT features affect market practices. BcT market practices entail how actors perform, share and interpret symbols and objects and set rules for how markets should work.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 38 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 December 2020

Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena and Valtteri Kaartemo

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a tremendous impact on companies worldwide. However, researchers have no clear idea of the key issues requiring their attention. This paper aims…

6356

Abstract

Purpose

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a tremendous impact on companies worldwide. However, researchers have no clear idea of the key issues requiring their attention. This paper aims to close this gap by analysing all business-related posts on a coronavirus subreddit (“r/coronavirus”) and identifying the main research streams that are guiding the research agenda for a post-coronavirus world.

Design/methodology/approach

We use data from reddit, particularly the subreddit “r/coronavirus” to identify posts that reveal the impact of coronavirus on business. Our dataset has more than 200,000 posts. We used an artificial intelligence–based algorithm to scrape the data with business-related search terms, clean it and analyse the discussion topics.

Findings

We show the key topics that address the impact of coronavirus on business, combining them into four themes: essential service provision, bricolage service innovation, responsible shopping practices and market shaping amid crisis. We discuss these themes and use them to develop a service research agenda. The results are reported against the backdrop of service research priorities.

Originality/value

The study identifies four key themes that have emerged from the impact of coronavirus on business and that require scholarly attention. Our findings can guide service research with unique insights provided immediately after the coronavirus outbreak to conduct research that matters to business and helps people in vulnerable positions in a post-coronavirus world.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena, MariaLuisa Marzullo and Andrea Ruggiero

How to improve healthcare for the ageing population is attracting academia attention. Emerging technologies (i.e. robots and intelligent agents) look relevant. This paper aims to…

2808

Abstract

Purpose

How to improve healthcare for the ageing population is attracting academia attention. Emerging technologies (i.e. robots and intelligent agents) look relevant. This paper aims to analyze the role of cognitive assistants as boundary objects in value co-creation practices. We include the perceptions of the main actors – patients, (in)formal caregivers, healthcare professionals – for a fuller network perspective to understand the potential overlap between boundary work and value co-creation practices.

Design/methodology/approach

We adopted a grounded approach to gain a contextual understanding design to effectively interpret context and meanings related to human–robot interactions. The study context concerns 21 health solutions that had embedded the Watson cognitive platform and its adoption by the youngest cohort (50–64-year-olds) of the ageing population.

Findings

The cognitive assistant acts as a boundary object by bridging actors, resources and activities. It enacts the boundary work of actors (both ageing and professional, caregivers, families) consisting of four main actions (automated dialoguing, augmented sharing, connected learning and multilayered trusting) that elicit two ageing value co-creation practices: empowering ageing actors in medical care and engaging ageing actors in a healthy lifestyle.

Originality/value

We frame the role of cognitive assistants as boundary objects enabling the boundary work of ageing actors for value co-creation. A cognitive assistant is an “object of activity” that mediates in actors' boundary work by offering novel resource interfaces and widening resource access and resourceness. The boundary work of ageing actors lies in a smarter resource integration that yields broader applications for augmented agency.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena, Marco Tregua and Cristina Caterina Amitrano

The wider possibility of connectivity offers additional opportunities for customers to experience value propositions. The online world is only one side of the customer experience…

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Abstract

Purpose

The wider possibility of connectivity offers additional opportunities for customers to experience value propositions. The online world is only one side of the customer experience. The integration of digital technologies, social presence and physical elements increases the complexity of customer journey. This paper aims to map the phygital customer journey by focusing on millennials.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a qualitative methodology to investigate 50 millennials from Italy. Millennials had to describe, in two phases, a journey they had recently made. First, they used sticky notes with no restrictions on expressing their feelings and structuring their CJ. Second, customers transferred the sticky notes’ contents, consider the information provided and map the journey with additional details using the Uxpressia software.

Findings

This paper frames the Millennials customer journey as a cycle of four moments: connect, explore, buy and use. Each moment enacts the customer experience as a mixture of emotional, behavioural and social responses. Online and offline interactions blur the boundaries between the physical and digital world (i.e. phygital): millennials move back-and-forth or jump from one action to another according to the evolving path of emotions and interactions.

Originality/value

The phygital customer journey provides an alternative understanding of customer journey occurring as a fuzzy process or loop. A phygital map develops as a circular path of moments seen as phenomenological microworlds of events, interactions, relationships and emotions.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 18 February 2022

Tiziana Russo-Spena, Marco Tregua, Anna D'Auria and Francesco Bifulco

The paper offers a comprehensive understanding of how digital transformation affects business models and how firms operate and compete effectively and successfully in a digital…

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Abstract

Purpose

The paper offers a comprehensive understanding of how digital transformation affects business models and how firms operate and compete effectively and successfully in a digital economy.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopted an abductive approach (Dubois and Gadde, 2002) through constant movement between theory and empirical evidence. A systematic literature review led the first conceptual development and examples of practices from cultural heritage sectors were used in the theorizing process.

Findings

This paper depicts a digital model framework through a set of assumptions about how an organization creates and delivers value in an interconnected way by orchestrating new interactive processes, and providing experience propositions to customers, and about how value is framed in terms of economic, social and cultural outcomes.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the scientific debate by discussing the role of digital business models as enhancements more rather than replacements of traditional business models; it frames a digital business model as consisting of three main pillars: value orchestration, experience propositions and value sharing.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

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