Considered Service-specific journals were Journal of Service Research, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Service Industries Journal, Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, and Service Science.

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Atiq, A., L. Gardner and A. Srinivasan (2017): An Experience-Based Collaborative Service System Model, Service Science, 9(1), pp.14-35

Our aim in this paper is to develop a specialized model of service engagement in the design of services. We build on some widely accepted constructions of service science that have appeared in the literature to produce a model that is relevant and useful in our context: technology-enabled services. We do this by conducting a field study in the telecommunications industry in a developing economy. We believe that this context is important to study due to the rapidly increasing rate of design and delivery of such services in emerging economies. By integrating existing frameworks and incorporating the results from our own findings, we present an experience-based service system model that explicitly includes consumer participation in the service design process. The main outcome of our data analysis is the characterization of the multidimensional nature of services based on three different ontological frameworks from the literature. Our model of service engagement does not devalue any of the earlier models; however, it provides a holistic understanding of services research especially around interactions and technology-enabled service design. Our model has the potential to advance service science research in an integrated and applied manner.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/serv.2016.0162 [Google]

 

Botti, A., M. Grimaldi, A. Tommasetti, O. Troisi and M. Vesci (2017): Modeling And Measuring The Consumer Activities Associated With Value Cocreation: An Exploratory Test In The Context Of Education, Service Science, 9(1), pp.63-73

The goal of the current work is to introduce a model for the identification and measurement of consumers? behavioral and cognitive value cocreation activities in the light of service-dominant logic (SDL) assumptions. The individuation of tools for the measurement of users? conduct has a fundamental role in the modeling of service consumer needs and in guiding suppliers to improve relationships with their counterparts. A framework identifying eight dimensions of consumer value cocreation behavior is proposed and empirically validated through an exploratory factor analysis, which confirms the existence of six out of the eight dimensions initially postulated. To develop an instrument for measuring consumer value cocreation activities and behavior, we tested our scale in the education field. In particular, the 42-item scale was tested on a sample of 180 students attending their third (last) year of their business management degree. This paper produces two main outcomes: the theoretical outcome specifies and assesses the activities and dimensions of consumers? value cocreation, while the managerial outcome allows managers to devise new methods of delivery and new practical measures to stimulate the involvement of users at each level.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/serv.2016.0156 [Google]

 

Khan, I. and Z. Rahman (2017): Brand Experience And Emotional Attachment In Services: The Moderating Role Of Gender, Service Science, 9(1), pp.50-61

Studies have acknowledged the importance of providing superior brand experience and developing emotional attachment between a brand and a consumer. However, the significance of brand experience and emotional attachment in enhancing brand loyalty remains underexplored, especially in the context of service brands. The present study examines the effect of emotional attachment and brand experience on brand loyalty in banking services. This study also examines the role of gender as a moderator in the relations that emotional attachment and brand experience share with brand loyalty. Data were collected from 356 bank account users through an online questionnaire survey. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling techniques were used for data analysis. Results suggest that brand experience positively influenced emotional attachment, and that both brand experience and emotional attachment have a significant positive influence on brand loyalty. Results also suggest that gender moderates the relationships shared by emotional attachment and brand experience with brand loyalty. This study empirically establishes that marketers should consider not only the rational aspect of consumers, but also their emotional aspects. To address such emotional needs, it is crucial to provide pleasurable brand experiences and develop emotional attachment within customers toward the brand. The relationships examined in the present study have not been tested before; this is the first attempt of the kind. Thus, the associations established in this study form an important, original, and unique contribution to existing body of brand experience and emotional attachment literature.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/serv.2016.0169 [Google]

 

Padilla, R. S., S. K. Milton, L. W. Johnson and M. W. Nyadzayo (2017): Impact Of Service Value On Satisfaction And Repurchase Intentions In Business-To-Business Cloud Computing, Service Science, 9(1), pp.5-13

Businesses are starting to use several cloud computing services, but we do not know much about how these business-to-business (B2B) customers view the service value that they receive from these services. Service value in the business-to-consumer (B2C) literature has been seen to be made up of four components, all shown to relate to the customer?s satisfaction and intention to repurchase. In this current paper, we examine whether these same four components can be used in a model explaining satisfaction and repurchase intention for B2B cloud computing services. We describe a two-step research project consisting of (1) a set of exploratory interviews and (2) a questionnaire survey of 328 information technology (IT) managers. The interview step resulted in confirmation of the existing four components of service value from the B2C literature. We also uncovered a fifth component that we have called cloud service governance. We then developed a survey instrument to measure these five service value dimensions as well as satisfaction and intention to repurchase. We used structural equation modeling (SEM) to estimate a structural model that linked the perceptions of these service value components to customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions. Our results will enable B2B customers to better understand the components of service value in cloud services, and cloud service vendors will be able to measure how well their services are leading to value and satisfaction for their customers.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/serv.2016.0163 [Google]

 

Viswanathan, V., L. D. Hollebeek, E. C. Malthouse, E. Maslowska, S. Jung Kim and W. Xie (2017): The Dynamics Of Consumer Engagement With Mobile Technologies, Service Science, 9(1), pp.36-49

While important insights about the customer engagement concept have been gleaned in recent literature, little remains known regarding the nature and dynamics characterizing customers? engagement with mobile devices, particularly from a longitudinal perspective. Therefore, the objective of this paper is to examine how customer engagement with mobile technology is related to purchase behaviors over time as a dynamic iterative process. A unique database addressing customers? mobile engagement and purchase behaviors is used for the analysis. The results from a vector autoregressive (VAR) model suggest that customer mobile disengagement, where consumers abandon an app, has a strong negative long-term effect on purchase behaviors. However, purchase behaviors can alleviate the level of disengagement. The study, therefore, provides novel findings pertaining to the dynamic interrelationship between customers? engagement with new digital media and purchase behaviors, and therefore it has important scholarly and managerial implications.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/serv.2016.0161 [Google]

 

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

Chuah, S. H.-W., P. A. Rauschnabel, M. Marimuthu, R. T. and B. Nguyen (2017): Why do satisfied customers defect? A closer look at the simultaneous effects of switching barriers and inducements on customer loyalty, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to go beyond satisfaction as an indicator of customer loyalty and proposes a holistic model of service switching in a mobile Internet setting. The model, which reflects both barriers and inducements of switching, is developed based on the “mooring” and “pull” concepts in the migration literature. Design/methodology/approach Focusing on Generation Y mobile Internet subscribers, the study analyzed a total of 417 usable questionnaire responses. Partial least squares structural equation modeling was used to test the research model. Findings The results show that first, satisfaction and switching barriers (i.e., a focal firm’s marketing innovation initiatives, switching costs, inertia, and local network effects) are positively related to customer loyalty; second, switching barriers has a stronger influence on customer loyalty compared with satisfaction; third, switching inducements (i.e., competitors’ marketing innovation initiatives, alternative attractiveness, variety-seeking tendencies, and consumers’ susceptibility to social reference group influence) is negatively related to customer loyalty and the relationship is weaker when perceived switching barriers is high. Originality/value This study empirically validates multidimensional scales of switching barriers and inducements from a more nuanced perspective, and specifies them as reflective-formative type II models. This study is among the first to use opposing dimensions to measure switching barriers and its counterpart. Hence, it illustrates how the two contrasting mechanisms can coexist in the minds of mobile Internet subscribers.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-05-2016-0107 [Google]

Dietrich, T., J. Trischler, L. Schuster and S. Rundle-Thiele (2017): Co-designing services with vulnerable consumers, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose This research investigates how vulnerable consumers can be involved in transformative service design and how this approach may enhance the design of such services. The study also analyzes how co-design with vulnerable consumers differs from existing user involvement processes with the purpose of developing a co-design framework. Design/methodology/approach A case study approach was employed, with six high schools in Australia identified as sites to conduct co-design sessions for a school-based alcohol education program. Adolescents were invited to review and (re)design an existing alcohol education program. Findings The study indicates that co-design with vulnerable consumers cannot be approached in the same way as conventional user involvement processes. Based on the insights generated from six co-design sessions as well as the examination of user involvement and co-design literature, we propose a six-step co-design framework. The six steps comprise resourcing, planning, recruiting, sensitizing, facilitation, and evaluation. Research limitations/implications The co-design framework illustrates important differences to conventional user involvement processes. However, the generalizability of the research findings is limited to a specific study setting and a narrowly-defined sample. Future research in a different setting is needed to further validate the presented findings. Practical implications For service design practice this study provides guidelines on how co-design activities with vulnerable consumers can be effectively resourced, planned, recruited, sensitized, facilitated and evaluated. The framework outlines how co-design may be applied so that vulnerable consumers can become empowered participants during the design process. Originality/value This research contributes to knowledge in transformative service research – a priority in service research – and service design by extending the boundaries of our understanding of processes and tools for the involvement of vulnerable consumers in transformative service design.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-02-2016-0036 [Google]

Gill, T., H. J. Kim and C. Ranaweera (2017): Ethnic stereotyping in service provision: when do stereotypes affect the performance expectations and evaluation of ethnic service providers?, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose We use the lens of ethnic stereotypes to investigate the expectations and evaluations of services provided by members of an ethnic minority. We also examine how ethnic service providers (ESPs) are evaluated by customers from the majority group versus the same ethnic group as the provider. Design/methodology/approach In Study 1, we measure the stereotypes about skills, abilities, and typical professions associated with different ethnic groups (i.e., Chinese, South Asians and White). We then measure the effect of these stereotypes on the performance expectations from ESPs in different professional services. In Study 2, we manipulate the service domain (stereotypical versus counter-stereotypical) and the level of service performance (good: above average performance vs. mediocre: below average) of a Chinese ESP, and subsequently measure the evaluation of the ESP by the same ethnic group (Chinese) versus majority group (White) participants. Findings Performance expectations from ESPs closely match the stereotypes associated with the ethnic group. But the performance of an ESP (especially mediocre level service) is evaluated differently by the same ethnic group versus majority group customers, depending upon the domain of service. A Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a stereotypical domain (martial arts instructor) is evaluated more critically by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to White participants. In contrast, a Chinese ESP providing mediocre service in a counter-stereotypical domain (fitness instructor) is evaluated more favourably by same ethnic group (Chinese) participants as compared to White participants. There is no such difference when performance is good. Research limitations/implications It is a common practice to employ ESPs to serve same ethnic group customers. While this strategy can be effective in a counter-stereotypical domain even if the ESP provides mediocre service, our findings suggest that this strategy can backfire when the performance is mediocre in a stereotypical service domain. Practical implications Our results demonstrate the need for emphasizing outcome (vis-a-vis interaction) quality where ESPs are employed to serve same ethnic group customers in a stereotypical service setting. However, when an ESP is offering a counter-stereotypical service, the emphasis needs to be more on the interpersonal processes (vis-a-vis outcome). Firms can gain by taking this into account in their hiring and training practices. Originality/value Prior research has primarily used cultural distance to examine inter-cultural service encounters. We show that ethnic stereotypes pertaining to the skills and abilities of an ESP can affect evaluations beyond the role of cultural distance alone.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-03-2016-0056 [Google]

Jain, R., J. Aagja and S. Bagdare (2017): Customer experience – a review and research agenda, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the literature on customer experience to develop a better understanding of the concept and propose a research agenda. Design/methodology/approach The paper is based on a thorough review of 69 full text articles, 12 books, and one published dissertation related to customer experience. Findings The review describes the relevance of experiential perspective, service experience and customer experience to attract, delight and retain customers. Customer experience is regarded as a holistic interactive process, facilitated through cognitive and emotional clues, moderated by customer and contextual characteristics, resulting into unique and pleasurable / un-pleasurable memories. The study provides a deeper understanding of the concept and research issues for customer experience. Research limitations/implications It provides important insights into the emergence, development, management and measurement of customer experience related issues for future research. Practical implications Customer experience needs to be considered and managed as a holistic strategic process for creating customer value, differentiation, customer satisfaction, loyalty and competitive advantage. Originality/value The study contributes to the understanding of customer experience and research agenda based on a thorough review of literature spanning 25 years.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-03-2015-0064 [Google]

Siahtiri, V. (2017): Does cooperating with customers support the financial performance of business-to-business professional service firms?, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between B2B professional service firms (PSFs) customer cooperation capability and its financial performance. This study explores how deep and broad expert and customer knowledge assist PSFs to enhance customer cooperation capability and increase financial performance. Design/methodology/approach A multiple informant survey was designed and administered to business to business PSFs’ managers in Taiwan. Findings The results indicate that customer and expert knowledge improve PSFs’ customer cooperation capability and that customer cooperation capability has a positive U-shaped relationship with financial performance. Importantly, the ability to control for the efficiency of customer cooperation moderates the U-shaped relationship between customer cooperation capability and financial performance by diminishing the negative effect of low levels of customer cooperation capability. Originality/value The contribution of this study rests on the theory developed and empirical support disclosing the complex relationship between PSFs’ customer cooperation capability and financial performance. The study further contributes to the literature by presenting different effect of deep and broad expert and customer knowledge on development of customer cooperation capability. The study extends the literature by introducing control for efficiency of customer cooperation as a mechanism that has the capacity to compensate for lower levels of customer cooperation capability.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-03-2016-0053 [Google]

Tan, L., J. H. Roberts and P. D. Morrison (2017): The role of expectations on consumer interpretation of new information, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose This paper aims to investigate the role of consumer expectations and their antecedents on beliefs, attitude and behavioral intentions when they responding to new Corporate Social Responsibility information about a service firm. Design/methodology/approach Empirically, we measure prior beliefs, and then calibrate how those beliefs change in response to a piece of news. We develop a conceptual model articulating the nature and antecedents of three types of expectations: would, could and should. We use structural equation modelling to test how these influence the consumer evaluation process. Findings The results show that the effect of could expectations on the evaluation process is felt via their influence on would expectations; that is, would expectations fully mediate the relationship between could expectations and attitude towards news. Similarly, attitude towards news fully mediates the relationship between would and should expectations and updated beliefs about the firm. Research limitations/implications In the selected service industry, the findings show that expectations are mediated by the new information that consumers receive when they are updating their prior beliefs. We demonstrate the ability to understand the antecedents of expectations, which provides a vehicle by which the organization can influence the consumer evaluation process. Practical implications In practice, managers can identify the antecedents of consumer expectations and thus influence the reference points against which those consumers will evaluate news about their product. Originality/value The paper introduces “could” expectations into the services literature, examines the antecedents of the different types of expectations, and studies how their effect is felt through the evaluation process.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-04-2016-0062 [Google]

Yagil, D. and T. Shultz (2017): Service with a conscience: moral dilemmas in customer service roles, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(3), pp.null

Purpose Service employees are frequently exposed to moral dilemmas as a result of their boundary role, attending to the interests of both the organization and customers. The study explores organizational and personal values that generate moral dilemmas in the service context, as well as emotions related to employees’ moral decisions. Design/methodology/approach Using the Critical Incidents Technique, data were collected from service providers about moral dilemmas in the workplace. The data were analyzed independently by each author, with an agreement rate of 84% – 88%. Findings The results show that service employees confront dilemmas as a result of conflicts between the following organizational and personal values: standardization versus personalization; profit versus integrity; and emotional display rules versus dignity. Moral decision-making involves emotions generated by customer distress, negative emotions toward customers, and emotions of guilt, shame, or fear Originality/value Little research has studied moral conflicts in service encounters from employees’ perspective. Using a qualitative approach, this study explores the role of personal values and moral emotions in such processes.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1108/JSTP-04-2016-0089 [Google]

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