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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Jörg Finsterwalder and Volker G. Kuppelwieser

This article explores the impact of crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic, on service industries, service customers, and the service research community. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores the impact of crises, such as the coronavirus pandemic, on service industries, service customers, and the service research community. It contextualizes pandemics in the realm of disasters and crises, and how they influence actors' well-being across the different levels of the service ecosystem. The paper introduces a resources–challenges equilibrium (RCE) framework across system levels to facilitate service ecosystem well-being and outlines a research agenda for service scholars.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature on disasters, crises, service and well-being is synthesized to embed the COVID-19 pandemic in these bodies of work. The material is then distilled to introduce the novel RCE framework for service ecosystems, and points of departure for researchers are developed.

Findings

A service ecosystems view of well-being co-creation entails a dynamic interplay of actors' challenges faced and resource pools available at the different system levels.

Research limitations/implications

Service scholars are called to action to conduct timely and relevant research on pandemics and other crises, that affect service industry, service customers, and society at large. This conceptual paper focuses on service industries and service research and therefore excludes other industries and research domains.

Practical implications

Managers of service businesses as well as heads of governmental agencies and policy makers require an understanding of the interdependence of the different system levels and the challenges faced versus the resources available to each individual actor as well as to communities and organizations.

Social implications

Disasters can change the social as well as the service-related fabric of society and industry. New behaviors have to be learned and new processes put in place for society to maintain well-being and for service industry's survival.

Originality/value

This paper fuses the coronavirus pandemic with service and well-being research, introduces a resources-challenges equilibrium framework for service ecosystem well-being and outlines a research agenda.

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Phil Klaus

This viewpoint sheds light on an as yet underrepresented consumer group. Considering impaired consumers in our theories would not only change these theories’ meaning but…

Abstract

Purpose

This viewpoint sheds light on an as yet underrepresented consumer group. Considering impaired consumers in our theories would not only change these theories’ meaning but also add variance. These theories would therefore develop from a specific case theory to a broadly acceptable and applicable theory.

Design/methodology/approach

As a viewpoint paper, this work relies on previously published literature and highlights exemplary shortcomings in the servicescape and customer experience theory.

Findings

The paper specifies shortcomings in the current theory development and application. While service marketing scholars consistently consider the normal and representative consumer, changing the customer groups will lead to a broader understanding of consumer behavior.

Originality/value

This paper not only highlights impaired consumers’ different needs and expectations, but also discusses the difference between impairment and disability. Given this distinction, the paper calls for further research on such consumers.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Mourad Touzani

The existing literature dealing with attractiveness during a service encounter focuses on employee attractiveness and its consequences. This paper aims to consider the…

Abstract

Purpose

The existing literature dealing with attractiveness during a service encounter focuses on employee attractiveness and its consequences. This paper aims to consider the other side of the coin by focusing on customers’ attractiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

On the basis of two studies, this paper presents and tests a model explaining the specific role that employee social attraction plays in customer service perception and satisfaction judgment.

Findings

It suggests that the appraisal of customers’ physical attractiveness and homophily may lead to situations in which employees are socially attracted to customers, thus influencing customer service perception.

Originality/value

Consequently, this research provides insights into the role of attraction determinants in a service context. In addition, it demonstrates how employees’ social attraction is triggered in a service context. The findings contribute to satisfaction research by extending prior research perceptions on dyadic service encounters and examining both employee attitude and customer perceptions in service interactions.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 April 2014

Jochen Wirtz, Sven Tuzovic and Volker G. Kuppelwieser

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of marketing in today's enterprises and examines the antecedents of the marketing department's influence and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of marketing in today's enterprises and examines the antecedents of the marketing department's influence and its relationship with market orientation and firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from the West (i.e. the USA and Europe) and the East (i.e. Asia). Partial least squares (PLS) was used to estimate structural models.

Findings

The findings support the idea that a strong and influential marketing department contributes positively to firm performance. This finding holds for Western and Asian, and for small/medium and large firms alike. Second, the marketing department's influence in a firm depends more on its responsibilities and resources, and less on internal contingency factors (i.e. a firm's competitive strategy or institutional attributes). Third, a marketing department's influence in the West affects firm performance both directly and indirectly (via market orientation). In contrast, this relationship is fully mediated among Eastern firms. Fourth, low-cost strategies enhance the influence of a firm's marketing department in the East, but not in the West.

Research limitations/implications

The paper assumes explicitly that a marketing department's influence is an antecedent of its market orientation. While the paper finds support for this link, the paper did not test for dual causality between the constructs.

Originality/value

Countering the frequent claim in anecdotal and journalistic work that the role of the marketing department diminishes, the findings show that across different geographic regions and firm sizes, strong marketing departments improve firm performance (especially in the marketing-savvy West), and that they should continue to play an important role in firms.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 November 2011

Volker G. Kuppelwieser and Jörg Finsterwalder

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to demonstrate how psychological safety influences individual contributions in customer groups where multiple customers co‐create a service experience. It also shows the influence of other customers' contributions on an individual customer's own contribution to the service experience as well as the individual customer's perception of his/her own and of other customers' contributions toward service satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

This empirical research paper is based on structural equation modelling to examine customer group experiences of two different service providers, a white water rafting company and an indoor soccer company. Data from a survey of a combined total of 273 consumers were utilised to test the research model.

Findings

The results demonstrate that, on an aggregate level, psychological safety affects an individual customer's perception of his/her own and others' contributions to a service experience. The findings show that the contributions of others have a significant influence on one's own contribution. No influence or relationship could be found regarding one's own contribution and service satisfaction; however, other customers' contributions have a negative effect on an individual's service satisfaction. The results vary on a subsample level.

Research limitations/implications

The generalisability of the findings is limited to two customer group services, one group sport experience and one group leisure experience.

Practical implications

This research provides insights for service firms with respect to managing the provider‐to‐multi‐customer co‐creation interface.

Originality/value

This article contributes to the analysis of co‐creation efforts of individuals in groups with respect to a specific environment (psychological safety). It adds value to the discussion of factors that influence the partial creation of a service by individuals while interacting with one another and the impact on the perceived outcome. The paper provides a platform for further research on aspects of co‐creation in customer groups.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 September 2015

Daniele Pederzoli and Volker G. Kuppelwieser

The purpose of this paper is to challenge earlier recommendations and explanations regarding companies’ behaviour after an economic shock and analyses worldwide retail…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to challenge earlier recommendations and explanations regarding companies’ behaviour after an economic shock and analyses worldwide retail companies’ internationalization processes before and after the 2008 crisis.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on information published between 2003 and 2012, the authors focus on the 2008 crisis and analyse 1,500 different internationalization moves by 109 companies from 26 countries.

Findings

The analyses confirm that the pace of retail internationalization increased after the 2008 crisis, that these companies had mainly moved into countries with newly developing economies, and that the entry modes ranged from high-cost entry modes and low-cost strategies.

Originality/value

This paper provides an initial indication of retailers’ actual internationalization behaviour in the period considered. Such material has not been available previously as international retailing research has primarily focused on theoretical assumptions. By focusing on the current financial crisis, the authors highlight the problem that researchers investigating various company behaviours face when comparing these to the theoretical expectations. By using a worldwide, multisectorial, and longitudinal retailing sample to illustrate the internationalization process, the authors not only generalize companies’ internationalization behaviour, but also challenge earlier recommendations and explanations regarding their behaviour after an economic shock.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 43 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Joe F. Hair Jr, Marko Sarstedt, Lucas Hopkins and Volker G. Kuppelwieser

The authors aim to present partial least squares (PLS) as an evolving approach to structural equation modeling (SEM), highlight its advantages and limitations and provide…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors aim to present partial least squares (PLS) as an evolving approach to structural equation modeling (SEM), highlight its advantages and limitations and provide an overview of recent research on the method across various fields.

Design/methodology/approach

In this review article, the authors merge literatures from the marketing, management, and management information systems fields to present the state-of-the art of PLS-SEM research. Furthermore, the authors meta-analyze recent review studies to shed light on popular reasons for PLS-SEM usage.

Findings

PLS-SEM has experienced increasing dissemination in a variety of fields in recent years with nonnormal data, small sample sizes and the use of formative indicators being the most prominent reasons for its application. Recent methodological research has extended PLS-SEM's methodological toolbox to accommodate more complex model structures or handle data inadequacies such as heterogeneity.

Research limitations/implications

While research on the PLS-SEM method has gained momentum during the last decade, there are ample research opportunities on subjects such as mediation or multigroup analysis, which warrant further attention.

Originality/value

This article provides an introduction to PLS-SEM for researchers that have not yet been exposed to the method. The article is the first to meta-analyze reasons for PLS-SEM usage across the marketing, management, and management information systems fields. The cross-disciplinary review of recent research on the PLS-SEM method also makes this article useful for researchers interested in advanced concepts.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

Keywords

Content available
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…

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

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2018

Sven Tuzovic and Sertan Kabadayi

The ongoing pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus has severely influenced lives and livelihoods. As service organizations either face…

Abstract

Purpose

The ongoing pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus has severely influenced lives and livelihoods. As service organizations either face hibernation or continuity of their business operations, the impact of social distancing measures raises major concerns for the well-being of service employees. In this paper, the authors develop a conceptual framework to examine how different social distancing practices impact an organization's service continuity or service hibernation, which in turn affects different dimensions of their employee subjective well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on macroeconomic data and industrial reports, linking them to theoretical concepts to develop a conceptual framework and a research agenda to serve as a starting point to fully understand the impact of this pandemic on employee well-being.

Findings

This article develops an overarching framework and research agenda to investigate the impact of social distancing practices on employee well-being.

Originality/value

The authors propose two opposing business concepts – service continuity and service hibernation – as possible responses to social distancing measures. By bridging different theoretical domains, the authors suggeste that there is a need to holistically examine macro-, meso- and micro-level factors to fully understand the impact of social distancing–related measures on employee well-being.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2020

Donald C. Barnes, Jessica Mesmer-Magnus, Lisa L. Scribner, Alexandra Krallman and Rebecca M. Guidice

The unprecedented dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced firms to re-envision the customer experience and find new ways to ensure positive service encounters. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The unprecedented dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic has forced firms to re-envision the customer experience and find new ways to ensure positive service encounters. This context has underscored the reality that drivers of customer delight in a “traditional” context are not the same in a crisis context. While research has tended to identify hedonic need fulfillment as key to customer well-being and, ultimately, to invoking customer delight, the majority of studies were conducted in inherently positive contexts, which may limit generalizability to more challenging contexts. Through the combined lens of transformative service research (TSR) and psychological theory on hedonic and eudaimonic human needs, we evaluate the extent to which need fulfillment is the root of customer well-being and that meeting well-being needs ultimately promotes delight. We argue that in crisis contexts, the salience of needs shifts from hedonic to eudaimonic and the extent to which service experiences fulfill eudaimonic needs determines the experience and meaning of delight.

Design/methodology/approach

Utilizing the critical incident technique, this research surveyed 240 respondents who were asked to explain in detail a time they experienced customer delight during the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyzed their responses according to whether these incidents reflected the salience of hedonic versus eudaimonic need fulfillment.

Findings

The results support the notion that the salience of eudaimonic needs become more pronounced during times of crisis and that service providers are more likely to elicit perceptions of delight when they leverage meeting eudaimonic needs over the hedonic needs that are typically emphasized in traditional service encounters.

Originality/value

We discuss the implications of these findings for integrating the TSR and customer delight literatures to better understand how service experiences that meet salient needs produce customer well-being and delight. Ultimately, we find customer delight can benefit well-being across individual, collective and societal levels.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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