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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Beltagui, A., K. Sigurdsson, M. Candi and J. C. K. H. Riedel (2017): Articulating the service concept in professional service firms, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.593-616
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to propose a solution to the challenges of professional service firms (PSF), which are referred to as cat herding, opaque quality and lack of process standardization. These result from misalignment in the mental pictures that managers, employees and customers have of the service. The study demonstrates how the process of articulating a shared service concept reduces these challenges.Design/methodology/approach A narrative methodology is used to analyze the perspectives of old management, new management and employees during organizational change in a PSF – a website design company growing to offer full-service branding. Group narratives are constructed using longitudinal data gathered through interviews and fieldwork, in order to compare the misaligned mental pictures and show the benefits of articulating the service concept.Findings Professional employees view growth and change as threats to their culture and practice, particularly when new management seeks to standardize processes. These threats are revealed to stem from misinterpretations caused by miscommunication of intentions and lack of participation in decision making. Articulating a shared service concept helps to align understanding and return the firm to equilibrium.Research limitations/implications The narrative methodology helps unpack conflicting perspectives, but is open to claims of subjectivity and misrepresentation. To ensure fairness and trustworthiness, informants were invited to review and approve the narratives.Originality/value The study contributes propositions related to the value of articulating a shared service concept as a means of minimizing the challenges of PSFs.
Eggert, A., E. Böhm and C. Cramer (2017): Business service outsourcing in manufacturing firms: an event study, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.476-498
Purpose Many manufacturing firms entrust partners to provide services on their behalf. However, it is not clear whether and when firms can capture the potential value advantages of outsourcing business services. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effects of different types of business service outsourcing on firm value.Design/methodology/approach The paper uses event study methodology to estimate the impact of business service outsourcing announcements on abnormal returns of publicly traded manufacturing companies in Europe.Findings External service outsourcing that directly affects the company’s customers leads to more favorable outcomes than internal service outsourcing. This effect is contingent on the strategic outsourcing intention, the service’s reliance on technology, and the choice of the outsourcing partner.Research limitations/implications Findings show that firm value depends critically on the service value it delivers to customers. Future research could explore further contingency variables, and investigate the role of service outsourcing networks and relationships.Practical implications The insights of this study help managers to decide why, how, and to whom they should outsource their business services, as well as how to justify their outsourcing decisions, and how to communicate them toward the financial markets.Originality/value This research sheds light on the value implications of outsourcing decisions. Two types of business service outsourcing are distinguished, namely, internal and external. Furthermore, the study enhances our understanding of a contingency perspective on service outsourcing decisions.
Harwood, T. and T. Garry (2017): Internet of Things: understanding trust in techno-service systems, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.442-475
Purpose The characteristics of the Internet of Things (IoT) are such that traditional models of trust developed within interpersonal, organizational, virtual and information systems contexts may be inappropriate for use within an IoT context. The purpose of this paper is to offer empirically generated understandings of trust within potential IoT applications.Design/methodology/approach In an attempt to capture and communicate the complex and all-pervading but frequently inconspicuous nature of ubiquitous technologies within potential IoT techno-systems, propositions developed are investigated using a novel mixed methods research design combining a videographic projective technique with a quantitative survey, sampling 1,200 respondents.Findings Research findings suggest the dimensionality of trust may vary according to the IoT techno-service context being assessed.Originality/value The contribution of this paper is twofold. First, and from a theoretical perspective, it offers a conceptual foundation for trust dimensions within potential IoT applications based upon empirical evaluation. Second, and from a pragmatic perspective, the paper offers insights into how findings may guide practitioners in developing appropriate trust management systems dependent upon the characteristics of particular techno-service contexts.
Heidig, W., D. Wentzel, T. Tomczak, A. Wiecek and M. Faltl (2017): “Supersize me!” The effects of cognitive effort and goal frame on the persuasiveness of upsell offers, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.541-562
Purpose In many industries, customers are offered the opportunity to revise their initial decision in return for a superior but more expensive service option, a selling technique that is typically referred to as upselling. Drawing on the research on customers’ service experience, cognitive effort, decision justification, and goal framing, the purpose of this paper is to conceptualize upselling as a two-stage decision process where the process of making the first decision (i.e. deciding on an initial service option) affects the final decision (i.e. the decision for or against the upsell offer).Design/methodology/approach First, qualitative interviews were conducted both with customers as well as managers. Moreover, in two experimental studies, different scenarios depicted an upsell situation that is common in many service encounters. After choosing a hotel room or rental car for reservation, participants were confronted with differently framed arguments to induce a shift toward an enhanced but more costly version of the initially chosen service option.Findings The qualitative interviews reveal that upselling is a common practice in many companies and that the manner in which the upsell is communicated has a considerable influence on its effectiveness. The first experimental study finds that the cognitive effort that customers expend in the initial choice moderates the effect of upsell messages using different goal frames. The second experimental study shows that customers are only affected by different goal frames when they feel responsible for the outcome of the final decision.Practical implications The findings provide a number of useful guidelines for designing upselling strategies and may also be used to segment a firm’s customer base. On a more general level, this research also raises managers’ awareness of the sequential nature of upselling decisions and the customer’s intrinsic need to justify an upsell choice.Originality/value The studies contribute to the literature on customers’ service experience and upselling strategies. Upselling is conceptualized as a two-stage process in which customers’ experience in one phase influences their behavior in later stages. The underlying psychological mechanisms of this effect are also highlighted by referring to customers’ need to justify service choices to themselves.
Jakic, A., M. O. Wagner and A. Meyer (2017): The impact of language style accommodation during social media interactions on brand trust, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.418-441
Purpose Social media encourage interactions between customers and brands. Concerning the cues utilized during social media interactions, verbal cues (i.e. the language used) gain importance, since non-verbal and paraverbal cues are hard to convey via social media. Looking at interpersonal interactions, interlocutors adopt each other’s language styles or maintain their own language style during interactions to build trust. Transferring these insights to social media, the purpose of this paper is to test the effects of a brand’s language style accommodation in brand-customer interactions on brand trust and on its antecedents.Design/methodology/approach Two quantitative pre-studies (n1 (questionnaire)=32, n2 (laboratory experiment)=199), and one quantitative main study (n3 (laboratory experiment)=427) were conducted to determine the effects of a brand’s language style accommodation on brand trust.Findings In line with communication accommodation theory, this paper reveals that the impact of a brand’s accommodation strategy on brand trust is mediated by perceived relationship investments, such as perceived interaction effort, benevolence, and quality of interaction. This paper also underscores language style’s roles and its fit, and sheds light on situational factors such as purchase decision involvement and the valence of the content.Originality/value This paper is the first to transfer cross-disciplinary theories on interpersonal interactions to brand-customer interactions in social media. Thus, the authors derive the effects of language style accommodation on brand trust as well as further mediating effects.
Joosten, H., J. Bloemer and B. Hillebrand (2017): Consumer control in service recovery: beyond decisional control, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.499-519
Purpose Focusing on decisional control of the outcome provides only a partial picture of how firms may handle customer complaints and ignores many (alternative) opportunities to recover the relationship with the customer when service delivery fails. The purpose of this paper is to introduce other types of control and explore their effects.Design/methodology/approach This paper conducts a field study using survey instruments to collect data from real consumers, which are subsequently analyzed with structural equations modeling.Findings The main conclusion of this study is that there is more to control than having a choice. Different types of control have differential main effects: behavioral control affects distributive justice, cognitive control affects procedural justice and decisional control affects interactional justice (which in turn affect satisfaction and loyalty).Research limitations/implications Service recovery research should include behavioral, cognitive and decisional control of the service recovery as aspects of the firm’s organizational response to customer complaints. The effects of these customer control types on satisfaction and loyalty are mediated by dimensions of justice.Practical implications Firms should offer complaining customers information to interpret and appraise the failure (cognitive control), opportunities to personally take action and influence the recovery (behavioral control), and choices in the recovery process and outcome (decisional control).Originality/value This study is the first to offer a comprehensive investigation of the subtle interrelationships between types of control and dimensions of justice in a service recovery context.
McGinnis, L. P., T. Gao, S. Jun and J. Gentry (2017): Motivational bases for consumers’ underdog affection in commerce, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.563-592
Purpose The understanding of the motives for consumers’ support of business underdogs is generally limited. The purpose of this paper is to help address this important research topic by conceptualizing underdog affection as a theoretical construct capturing the emotional attachment held by some consumers toward underdog business entities and advances two perspectives (self- and other-oriented) to unravel its motivational underpinnings.Design/methodology/approach To test the conceptual model, a survey study was conducted involving 365 respondents drawn from an electronic alumni association list from a medium-sized Midwestern university in the USA. Exploratory factor analysis and confirmatory factor analyses were used to validate the scales, and the structural equations modeling method was used to test the hypothesized effects.Findings The data support most of the hypotheses (eight out of nine). Under the self-oriented perspective, commerce underdog affection is positively influenced by underdog orientation, need for uniqueness, nostalgia proneness, and hope, and is negatively impacted by their materialism level. Only hope did not impact consumer underdog affection. Under the other-oriented perspective, balance maintenance, top dog antipathy, and empathic concern positively influence underdog affection. The other-oriented factors, especially top dog antipathy and balance maintenance, show stronger effects on commerce underdog affection than self-oriented factors.Research limitations/implications The sample was geographically restrictive in the sense that it measured only one group of respondents in the USA. The conceptual model is limited in terms of its coverage of the consequences of underdog affection. While discriminant validity is established in the scale development phase of the study, relatively close relationships do exist among some of these theoretical constructs.Practical implications Given the significant evidence linking consumers’ underdog affection to underdog support in commerce, small locally owned businesses could use underdog positioning advertising to differentiate themselves against national retailers. Due to their tendency to display higher underdog affection in commerce, people with higher levels of balance maintenance, top dog antipathy, underdog orientation, emphatic concern, and nostalgia proneness, and lower levels of materialism can be segmented for marketing purposes.Social implications This research indicates that there are ways in which small business entities and non-profits alike can operate in a business setting that is increasingly more competitive and challenging for underdog entities.Originality/value This study integrates the various underdog studies across contexts to examine motives to underdog affection, a construct not yet operationalized in business studies. In addition, hypotheses linking eight specific antecedents to commerce underdog affection, via two theoretical perspectives, are empirically examined to assess relative as well as absolute effects.
Soares, R. R., T. T. Zhang, J. F. Proença and J. Kandampully (2017): Why are Generation Y consumers the most likely to complain and repurchase?, Journal of Service Management, 28(3), pp.520-540
Purpose The purpose of this paper is twofold: to examine generational differences in complaint and post-recovery behaviors after service failures and recoveries, and to investigate the key factors that relate to Generation Y consumers’ responses.Design/methodology/approach In a two-stage approach, Study 1 investigates generational differences in the complaint and repurchase behaviors of a vast sample of more than 36,000 customers. Study 2 examines which factors influence Generation Y consumers’ decisions to complain and to repurchase.Findings Across four generational cohorts (the Silent Generation, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y), consumers in Generation Y are the most likely to complain about service failures and repurchase after a satisfactory service recovery. The service recovery paradox thus is a generational feature. Generation Y’s unique characteristics – being tech savvy, heavily influenced by peers, and untrusting of brands – relate closely to their complaint and repurchase patterns. These prolific users of social media tend to stay with a service provider after experiencing satisfactory recovery but are more inclined to complain.Originality/value This study contributes to service management literature by revealing generational differences in customers’ complaint behavior and responses to recovery efforts, while also testing repurchase behavior rather than just behavioral intentions. This study provides valuable insights into the unique factors that influence Generation Y consumers’ complaint and post-recovery responses.
Akgün, A. E., H. Keskin and A. Koçak Alan (2017): Emotional prototypes, emotional memory usages, and customer satisfaction, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.494-520
In this study, we investigated the positive and negative emotion concepts in the prototype perspective and then tested them on customer satisfaction. By studying 612 customers in luxury restaurants, we found that two levels of customer emotions (i.e. positive and negative emotions) as a super-ordinate level, 4 positive emotions (i.e. contentment, happiness, love, and pride) and 5 negative emotions (i.e. anger, fear, sadness, shame, and disgust) as a basic level, and 49 specific emotions as a subordinate level are significantly related to customer satisfaction. We also examined the moderating role of emotional memory (EM) usage in the relationship between consumers’ emotions and their satisfaction. We found that product (food and beverage)-related EM strengthens and service-related EM usage weakens the relationship between customers’ negative emotions and their satisfaction. Interestingly, we found that positive and negative emotions are significantly related to customer satisfaction regardless of experience and store-related EM usage.
Cheng, C. C. J. and C. Sheu (2017): When are strategic orientations beneficial for collaborative service innovation?, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.466-493
Despite the importance of collaborative innovation, the existing literature tends to be somewhat vague in identifying when strategic orientations are beneficial for service innovation between a focal firm and its business partners. The purpose of this study is to examine the relative effects of four strategic orientations (market, service, interaction, and learning) on collaborative service innovation performance, while considering the contextual factor of service offerings (basic installed base, maintenance, operational, and professional). Results based on survey data from 362 paired B2B firms show that learning orientation has the strongest effect on collaborative service innovation performance, and is the most effective for basic installed base services and maintenance services. In contrast, interaction orientation best supports those firms with operational services, while market and service orientations are more effective for professional services. Managers are advised to consider alternative strategic orientations individually aligned with service offerings to achieve desired collaborative service innovation outcomes.
Gannon, M. J., I. W. F. Baxter, E. Collinson, R. Curran, T. Farrington, S. Glasgow, E. M. Godsman, K. Gori, G. R. A. Jack, S. Lochrie, R. Maxwell-Stuart, A. C. MacLaren, R. MacIntosh, K. O’Gorman, L. Ottaway, R. Perez-Vega, B. Taheri, J. Thompson and O. Y (2017): Travelling for Umrah: destination attributes, destination image, and post-travel intentions, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.448-465
This paper examines the links between cosmopolitanism, self-identity, and a desire for social interaction on perceived destination image and behavioural intentions. A model was tested using a sample of 538 Iranian visitors to Mecca for the purpose of Umrah. The result from the structural model suggests that destination attributes influence perceived destination image. Further, such tourists are likely to revisit or recommend Islamic destinations if their experience matches their perceived image of the destination. This implies that, while the religious characteristics of the destination remain important, destination managers cannot disregard the tangential, non-religious attributes of a destination which are crucial in order to satisfy more conventional tourist desires. As such, this study suggests that those managing religious travel destinations should endeavour to foster a welcoming image, where experience, interaction, and tolerance are at the forefront of the destination’s offering.
Narteh, B., M. A. Mahmoud and S. Amoh (2017): Customer behavioural intentions towards mobile money services adoption in Ghana, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.426-447
This study examined the determinants of mobile money service usage intentions and assessed the effect of social influence (SI) on mobile money services adoption and behavioural intentions (BIs). The sample of the study comprised 300 mobile money service users in Ghana. Guided by the conceptual framework and two theories identified to have an effect on technology adoption and consumer behaviour, eight hypotheses were developed and tested using Structural Equation Modelling Techniques. It is discovered that perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness, perceived trust and perceived cost of use have a strong influence on mobile money service usage. The study found SI to have a significant effect on the adoption and BI. Providers ensure that their mobile application services are simple to operate, fulfil specific consumers’ needs, protect consumers’ accounts to ensure trust and are affordable, hence positively influencing consumers’ adoption of services.
Tsai, C.-Y. D., S.-H. Wu and S. C.-T. Huang (2017): From mandatory to voluntary: consumer cooperation and citizenship behaviour, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.521-543
Customer participation of mandatory (ensuring the completion of a service delivery) and voluntary behaviours (achieving the optimal results of the service) influence the outcomes of service organizations. This study examines how service firms transform from coproduction to cocreation in sharing economy by enhancing customer voluntary behaviour through encouraging customer mandatory behaviour. This study explores the mediating effect of perceived value on the mandatory–voluntary relationship, and the driving effect of customer readiness on mandatory behaviour. A total of 181 valid questionnaires were collected from the Taiwanese bed and breakfast sector and analysed by structural equation analysis. The results reveal: (1) the strong impact of customer mandatory behaviour on voluntary behaviour, (2) the partial mediating effect of perceived value on the mandatory-voluntary relationship, and (3) the distinct effects that cooperation has on helping others and word-of-mouth. The findings support the influential roles of customer readiness factors, especially ability, on triggering mandatory behaviour.
Weyers, M. and L. Louw (2017): Framework for the classification of service standardisation, Service Industries Journal, 37(42924), pp.409-425
Literature on services refers to standardised services without describing what a standardised service is. This becomes problematic when attempting to apply a practice suited to standardised services to services that may not be standardised. A framework is developed to assess if a service is standardised or not. The methodology used is to use literature and apply examples to each dimension of the framework to give guidelines in assessing the level of standardisation of the individual dimensions and thus the overall service. The outcome is a qualitative framework with guidelines related to each dimension in improving the assessment of a service’s level of standardisation. This framework is applied to a case study to illustrate the application of the dimensions. The dimensions used as the basis of the framework are shown to be relevant as dimensions that describe the level of service standardisation.