guest article by Werner Kunz
The QUIS 14 conference, June 18-21 at CEIBS in Shanghai, was a total success and a big thank you to the organizer for this wonderful event. This year’s conference was also special from a SERVSIG perspective, because we continue to do more direct collaboration with QUIS. In the context of QUIS 14, we were involved in two events that I want to showcase here.
1. QUIS/SERVSIG Session on Global Service Research Collaboration
The final plenary session of the QUIS conference was a panel discussion dedicated to insights on how-to initiate and run successful Service Research centers and how-to foster international research collaboration. Parsu Parasuraman from the University of Miami was moderating the panel and discussion. The panelist were leaders from research centers around the world. In particular, Henrietta Huzell (Karlstad University), Mary Jo Bittner (Arizona State University), Xiu Cheng Fan (Fudan University), Rohit Verma (Cornell University), Xiande Zhao (CEIBS), and Werner H. Kunz (University of Massachusetts Boston).
First, every panelist introduced their center and talked about how they set priorities for their center’s work, how they collaborate with industry, how they engage research scholars at their own / other universities, how they seek funds to support their work and how they developed international collaborations. The individual presentations were followed by a discussion with the audience
It is challenging to present a summary of all the different presentations in a short blog article, but three main things stayed in my mind from this session:
- Don’t be intimidated by the achievements of the big research centers. Every initiative starts with a first step regardless how small it seems at the beginning.
- If you can not hire new colleagues for your center (and who can that seriously at the beginning), think about inviting established and like-minded scholars for a limited time (for one or two month). This is more affordable and the research output for your center could be almost the same.
- Don’t sell yourself (and your soul) for extra private funding. The panel discussed critically the role of business consulting for establishing a research center. Consulting can be highly distracting for a center that want to become a research center. As alternative external funding opportunities for centers were paid company memberships and practitioner oriented conferences mentioned.
2. QUIS/AMA SERVSIG Doctoral Consortium in Service Research
The doctoral consortium was organized by the School of Management of the Fudan University and co-sponsored by SERVSIG. It was intended to boost cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural research in service and provide opportunities for doctoral students and junior faculty members to connect and interact with each other.
The organizer at Fudan created a wonderful mentoring atmosphere by inviting senior scholars to share their valuable experience in conducting service research, and also to comment and give feedback on the ongoing projects of the consortium participants. Almost 100 doctoral students and junior faculty members participated at the event.
The presenting and mentoring scholars were Mary Jo Bitner (Arizona State University), Bo Edvardsson (Karlstad University), Xiucheng Fan (Fudan University), Jay Kandampully (Ohio State University), Werner Kunz (University of Massachusetts Boston), Parsu Parasuraman (University of Miami), Chatura Ranaweera (Wilfrid Laurier University), Javier Francisco Reynoso (Tecnologico de Monterrey), Piyush Sharma (Cutin University), Marianna Sigala (University of the Aegean), Stephen Vargo (University of Hawai’i at Manoa), Rohit Verma (Cornell University), and Jochen Wirtz (National University of Singapore).
In total, the event was a huge success and we are looking forward as SERVSIG to support more of such iniatives. More illustration of the event can be seen below.
If you have ideas to collaborate with SERVSIG and serve together our service research community, please let us know and contact me via (werner.kunz(a)umb.edu).