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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…

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

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…

11736

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: 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…

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

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…

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

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…

3227

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: 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…

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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…

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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

Article
Publication date: 1 November 2021

Cristina Mele, Marialuisa Marzullo, Irene Di Bernardo, Tiziana Russo-Spena, Roberta Massi, Alessandra La Salandra and Stefania Cialabrini

Some population groups face precarious health, reflecting their vulnerability, in terms of lack of agency or control. Smart technologies promise to transform people's…

Abstract

Purpose

Some population groups face precarious health, reflecting their vulnerability, in terms of lack of agency or control. Smart technologies promise to transform people's lives from the enhanced connectedness, greater computational processing and more complex decision-making they can achieve. This study aims to investigate how smart technology can mitigate vulnerability and improve well-being.

Design/methodology/approach

The research group, of three scholars and three managers, pursued an action research methodology with an iterative process of planning, action and learning. The authors conducted three related action studies: (1) adopting smart technologies, (2) fostering patient engagement and (3) assessing well-being.

Findings

The adoption of sensors and wearable devices had positive impacts for both patients and caregivers. Technologies highlighted their meaning as resources to support actors' (caregivers' and vulnerable patients') activities. Smart devices as resources get integrated, stimulate change and enable new practices. For caregivers, such innovative solutions help improve their knowledge of patients and their ability to act efficiently; for vulnerable patients, they fostered engagement in daily activities to improve well-being.

Originality/value

The paper delineates an overall model (SEVP) that describes how the integration of high-tech and high touch enables patient engagement to mitigate vulnerability and improve well-being.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 November 2021

Cristina Mele and Tiziana Russo-Spena

This paper aims to focus on how companies shape the architecture of a phygital customer journey through the exploitation of smart technologies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to focus on how companies shape the architecture of a phygital customer journey through the exploitation of smart technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts a qualitative method using a grounded theory approach involving leading players in digital customer solutions and service providers from different industries.

Findings

The shaping of the architecture of the phygital customer journey comes from the interplay between systems of insights and systems of engagement activated by multiple customer-provider interactions in an entanglement of physical and digital contexts.

Practical implications

Companies need to design a blended approach to bridge disconnected contexts, capture new opportunities and provide customer engagement along the entire journey.

Originality/value

This study depicts the “phygital customer journey” under systems of insights and systems of engagement: These systems operate as dynamic architectures to capture insights and engage customers.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 56 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2017

Tiziana Russo-Spena, Marco Tregua and Francesco Bifulco

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the interdisciplinary debate promoted by service research community by establishing the conceptual frame within which…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the interdisciplinary debate promoted by service research community by establishing the conceptual frame within which different perspectives addressing systemic and multifaceted approaches to innovation are framed. Growing research interest in innovation has led to different definitions, which are referred to here as “innovation system(s)”, “innovation network(s)” and “innovation ecosystem(s)”. The paper examines the theoretical foundations, outcomes, and patterns of contributions to which each innovation perspectives is tied and proposed a subject and the framework allowing an exploration of an interdisciplinary dialogue between the different research positions.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to discern differences in concepts and their meanings. An overview obtained using Web of Knowledge leads to a focus on studies, followed by a content analysis using NVivo, which enables identification of key concepts and their definitions. By highlighting relationships among terms, the paper establishes a framework of the ontological assumptions of different innovation discourses and explores their contribution to the interdisciplinary dialogue promoted by service research perspective on innovation.

Findings

A comparison among the three innovation perspectives leads us to focus on innovation itself, alongside context, actors, enablers, and governance, which are useful to mark the commonalities and differences among the three research approaches. The framework is helpful to break down the fragmented and sometimes overlapping points of view of innovation and provides a more integrative stance from which to address the emergence of the service ecosystems approach on innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation focuses on three innovation perspectives and on top-cited articles alone; hence, it can be complemented with a full analysis through a bibliometric approach to test whether the features highlighted are linked to other elements. Moreover, the different approaches grouped on “innovation ecosystems” perspective suggest the possibility to enhance service ecosystems discourse on innovation by looking at different knowledge and contributions that are rapidly growing in this area.

Social implications

The central idea this work puts forward is that after some decades of separation, there is a need to move towards an increasing convergence of economics, business and service based on the milestones of innovation systems, innovation networks, and innovation ecosystems thoughts.

Originality/value

This research sheds light on the different ways innovation, in multi-actor and the interconnected setting, is theoretically framed and described. By capturing established thinking in different innovation perspectives, the paper provides an integrated framework to making sense of the full picture of economies and societies seen as complex networks and systems of service systems.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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