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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2019

Werner H. Kunz, Kristina Heinonen and Jos G.A.M. Lemmink

Service technologies are transforming the business landscape rapidly. This paper aims to explore the current scope of research in regard to emerging service technologies…

1501

Abstract

Purpose

Service technologies are transforming the business landscape rapidly. This paper aims to explore the current scope of research in regard to emerging service technologies by comparing the content of articles in academic journals with practitioner-oriented publication outlets.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 5,118 technology-related articles from service journals, service conferences, business journals and business magazines are analyzed. Text-mining on abstracts is used for the thematic and semantic analysis. Common research themes and their relationships are depicted in a two-dimensional structured network. Further, the sample is analyzed regarding various technologies mentioned in the Gartner Hype Cycle.

Findings

The paper reveals differences in academic and business perspectives in regard to service technologies. In comparison to business journals, scientific service research is more focused on customer-related aspects of technology. Service research has a less concrete focus on technology than in business publications. Still, service conference articles show a broader scope of emerging service technologies than academic journal articles.

Research limitations/implications

Scientific research should focus on more concrete service technologies. Business magazines serve as a good source for that and the paper identifies several promising new technology fields.

Practical implications

Although business magazines cover significantly more concrete service technologies, they miss the integrated perspective that academic articles usually offer. Academia can help business to better align concrete technologies with different internal and external perspectives.

Originality/value

This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue Future Service Technologies. Additionally, a quantitative study of recent service technology research serves as a reality check for academic researchers on business reality and provides research and practical recommendations.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 October 2021

Valentina Pitardi, Jochen Wirtz, Stefanie Paluch and Werner H. Kunz

Extant research mainly focused on potentially negative customer responses to service robots. In contrast, this study is one of the first to explore a service context where…

4283

Abstract

Purpose

Extant research mainly focused on potentially negative customer responses to service robots. In contrast, this study is one of the first to explore a service context where service robots are likely to be the preferred service delivery mechanism over human frontline employees. Specifically, the authors examine how customers respond to service robots in the context of embarrassing service encounters.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employs a mixed-method approach, whereby an in-depth qualitative study (study 1) is followed by two lab experiments (studies 2 and 3).

Findings

Results show that interactions with service robots attenuated customers' anticipated embarrassment. Study 1 identifies a number of factors that can reduce embarrassment. These include the perception that service robots have reduced agency (e.g. are not able to make moral or social judgements) and emotions (e.g. are not able to have feelings). Study 2 tests the base model and shows that people feel less embarrassed during a potentially embarrassing encounter when interacting with service robots compared to frontline employees. Finally, Study 3 confirms that perceived agency, but not emotion, fully mediates frontline counterparty (employee vs robot) effects on anticipated embarrassment.

Practical implications

Service robots can add value by reducing potential customer embarrassment because they are perceived to have less agency than service employees. This makes service robots the preferred service delivery mechanism for at least some customers in potentially embarrassing service encounters (e.g. in certain medical contexts).

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to examine a context where service robots are the preferred service delivery mechanism over human employees.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 February 2022

Arne De Keyser and Werner H. Kunz

Service robots are now an integral part of people's living and working environment, making service robots one of the hot topics for service researchers today. Against that…

1324

Abstract

Purpose

Service robots are now an integral part of people's living and working environment, making service robots one of the hot topics for service researchers today. Against that background, the paper reviews the recent service robot literature following a Theory-Context-Characteristics-Methodology (TCCM) approach to capture the state of art of the field. In addition, building on qualitative input from researchers who are active in this field, the authors highlight where opportunities for further development and growth lie.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper identifies and analyzes 88 manuscripts (featuring 173 individual studies) published in academic journals featured on the SERVSIG literature alert. In addition, qualitative input gathered from 79 researchers who are active in the service field and doing research on service robots is infused throughout the manuscript.

Findings

The key research foci of the service robot literature to date include comparing service robots with humans, the role of service robots' look and feel, consumer attitudes toward service robots and the role of service robot conversational skills and behaviors. From a TCCM view, the authors discern dominant theories (anthropomorphism theory), contexts (retail/healthcare, USA samples, Business-to-Consumer (B2C) settings and customer focused), study characteristics (robot types: chatbots, not embodied and text/voice-based; outcome focus: customer intentions) and methodologies (experimental, picture-based scenarios).

Originality/value

The current paper is the first to analyze the service robot literature from a TCCM perspective. Doing so, the study gives (1) a comprehensive picture of the field to date and (2) highlights key pathways to inspire future work.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
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…

9570

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

Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Werner H. Kunz and Gianfranco Walsh

Digital media has revolutionized societies and changed forever how we do business. This paper aims to determine the current scope of service research in the area of…

Abstract

Purpose

Digital media has revolutionized societies and changed forever how we do business. This paper aims to determine the current scope of service research in the area of digital media, identifying research gaps and introducing new research contributions to complement our knowledge of digital media.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on all service articles of the SERVSIG literature alert system from 2016 to 2019, a subset of digital media articles was identified and latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) text-mining methods were used on the abstracts and titles of the articles for topic modeling of the field. Dominant research topics were identified and depicted in a two-dimensional space.

Findings

The study identifies eight distinct topic areas of digital media in service research and shows their relationship to each other in a two-dimensional space. A clear tendency in service research towards taking primarily a customer (versus business perspective) of digital media can be observed. Further, for some journals, a trend towards specialization on particular topics could be detected.

Research limitations/implications

This article advocates for more digital media research with a stronger business perspective. Further, although particular new technologies are exciting to discuss, it seems that the importance of customer relationship topics in digital media is not reflected in the current digital media research as needed.

Originality/value

The article uses a quantitative–explorative approach to determine the current state of research in regard to digital media in services. The authors introduce 11 new studies that aim to close the knowledge gap in critical areas of digital media.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 26 September 2018

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

The service sector is at an inflection point with regard to productivity gains and service industrialization similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that…

48793

Abstract

Purpose

The service sector is at an inflection point with regard to productivity gains and service industrialization similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that started in the eighteenth century. Robotics in combination with rapidly improving technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), mobile, cloud, big data and biometrics will bring opportunities for a wide range of innovations that have the potential to dramatically change service industries. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential role service robots will play in the future and to advance a research agenda for service researchers.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses a conceptual approach that is rooted in the service, robotics and AI literature.

Findings

The contribution of this paper is threefold. First, it provides a definition of service robots, describes their key attributes, contrasts their features and capabilities with those of frontline employees, and provides an understanding for which types of service tasks robots will dominate and where humans will dominate. Second, this paper examines consumer perceptions, beliefs and behaviors as related to service robots, and advances the service robot acceptance model. Third, it provides an overview of the ethical questions surrounding robot-delivered services at the individual, market and societal level.

Practical implications

This paper helps service organizations and their management, service robot innovators, programmers and developers, and policymakers better understand the implications of a ubiquitous deployment of service robots.

Originality/value

This is the first conceptual paper that systematically examines key dimensions of robot-delivered frontline service and explores how these will differ in the future.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2013

Cristiana R. Lages, Cláudia M.N. Simões, Raymond P. Fisk and Werner H. Kunz

The evolution of the service marketing field was marked by the emergence of a global, vigorous and tolerant community of service marketing researchers. This paper seeks to…

1396

Abstract

Purpose

The evolution of the service marketing field was marked by the emergence of a global, vigorous and tolerant community of service marketing researchers. This paper seeks to examine the history of the service marketing community and argues that it may be an archetype for building the emergent global service research community.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combines qualitative and quantitative approaches. The authors interviewed four pioneering service scholars and also collected descriptive data (e.g. Authorship, Affiliation, Title, Keywords) of all service related articles published in 13 top peer‐reviewed marketing and service journals over the last 30 years (5,432 articles; 6,450 authors). In a dynamic analysis the authors mapped global collaboration between countries over time and detected clusters of international collaboration.

Findings

Findings suggest a growing international collaboration for the USA and the UK, while for other countries like Israel the global collaboration started from a high level and decreases now. Further, the service marketing community never became polarized and there were always contributions from researchers all over the world.

Research limitations/implications

As the global service research community is developing, service marketing becomes a research neighborhood within the broader service research community. Simultaneously, other research neighborhoods are emerging within this new community (e.g. service arts, service management, service engineering, service science).

Originality/value

Anchored on the social evolution and biological evolution metaphors, this study explains the evolution of the service marketing field from both qualitative and quantitative perspectives. Furthermore, it explains the development of the service marketing community as an archetype for building the global service research community.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Bart Larivière, Herm Joosten, Edward C. Malthouse, Marcel van Birgelen, Pelin Aksoy, Werner H. Kunz and Ming‐Hui Huang

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of Value Fusion to describe how value can emerge from the use of mobile, networked technology by consumers, firms…

6620

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of Value Fusion to describe how value can emerge from the use of mobile, networked technology by consumers, firms, and entities such as non‐consumers, a firm's competitors, and others simultaneously.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses the combination of characteristics of mobile devices that enable Value Fusion and discusses specific value and benefits to consumers and firms of being mobile and networked. Value Fusion is introduced and defined and set apart from related, other conceptualizations of value. Examples are provided of Value Fusion and the necessary conditions for Value Fusion to occur are discussed. Also discussed are the conditions under which the use of mobile, networked technology by consumers and firms may lead to Value Confusion instead of Value Fusion. Several research questions are proposed to further enhance the understanding and management of Value Fusion.

Findings

The combination of portable, personal, networked, textual/visual and converged characteristics of mobile devices enables firms and consumers to interact and communicate, produce and consume benefits, and create value in new ways that have not been captured by popular conceptualizations of value. These traditional conceptualizations include customer value, experiential value, customer lifetime value, and customer engagement value. Value Fusion is defined as value that can be achieved for the entire network of consumers and firms simultaneously, just by being on the mobile network. Value Fusion results from producers and consumers: individually or collectively; actively and passively; concurrently; interactively or in aggregation contributing to a mobile network; in real time; and just‐in‐time.

Originality/value

This paper synthesizes insights from the extant value literature that by and large has focused on either the customer's or the firm's perspective, but rarely blended the two.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 January 2010

Roland Kantsperger and Werner H. Kunz

The concept of “trust” has gained considerable importance in the field of marketing during the last decades and is seen as a key mediator of customer relationship…

7677

Abstract

Purpose

The concept of “trust” has gained considerable importance in the field of marketing during the last decades and is seen as a key mediator of customer relationship marketing. But upon a closer look at the literature, the construct “trust” is conceptualized and measured very differently. Based on a literature review and theoretical work, the purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model of consumer trust in a service company, which distinguishes two fundamental dimensions. Using these dimensions, it is possible to detect different mediating effects of trust in the customer relationship to the service company.

Design/methodology/approach

Antecedents and consequences of trust are studied in a business‐to‐consumer services context in the banking industry. To test hypotheses, empirical data are collected from a sample of 232 retail bank customers with checking accounts. By means of a LISREL approach, two rivalling measurement models of trust are compared and show various mediating effects.

Findings

The empirical data support the two‐dimensional model of trust. Further, the two dimensions of trust are mediating the effect of customer satisfaction (CS) differently. In particular, it is shown that “benevolence” has a significantly greater influence on customer loyalty than “credibility.” Finally, beside CS, the customer's propensity to trust also influences trust.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited to the cross‐sectional design of the study and the financial industry.

Practical implications

For the management of consumers' trust perception, the adequate conceptualization and measurement of trust is central. The aspect of benevolence is crucial for creating consumer loyalty and trust as well as the building of customer relationships. Consequently, management should foster activities to signal customers to be benevolent partners (e.g. service guarantees and branding) to ensure a high‐quality service experience.

Originality/value

In previous research, trust has been often conceptualized and measured in an inconsistent and unequivocal way. In the proposed approach, the two facets of trust are theoretically conceptualized and measured separately. Thus, differentiated effects of antecedents as well as consequences of trust can be detected.

Details

Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 March 2014

Andreas Munzel and Werner H. Kunz

As the internet has become an increasingly relevant communication and exchange platform, social interactions exist in multiple forms. The research aims to integrate a…

2856

Abstract

Purpose

As the internet has become an increasingly relevant communication and exchange platform, social interactions exist in multiple forms. The research aims to integrate a multitude of those interactions to understand who contributes and why different types of contributors generate and leverage social capital on online review sites.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the literature about social capital, social exchange theory, and transformative consumer research, the authors carried out a study of 693 contributors on a hotel review site. Content analysis and a latent profile analysis were used to research the contribution types and the underlying motives for generating and leveraging social capital.

Findings

Through the integration of various customer-to-customer interactions, the results reveal a three-class structure of contributors on review sites. These three groups of individuals show distinct patterns in their preferred interaction activities and the underlying motives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors develop the existing literature on transmission of electronic word-of-mouth messages and typologies of contributors. Future research should seek to expand the findings to additional industry and platform contexts and to support the findings through the inclusion of behavioral data.

Originality/value

The research contributes to researchers and marketers in the field by empirically investigating who and why individuals engage in online social interactions. The authors expand upon the existing literature by highlighting the importance of social debt in anonymous online environments and by assessing a three-class structure of online contributors.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

1 – 10 of 49