Special Issue of the Journal of Service Research

Enacting Service Work in a Changing World

Co-guest-editors: Mahesh Subramony, Markus Groth

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2018;

Service work is being rapidly transformed as a result of technological innovations, changing employment norms, and evolving customer expectations. As a result, service workers are increasingly occupying ‘non-standard’ or precarious roles, performing piecework through technology-enabled platforms, and in industries including retail, being rapidly rendered obsolete. Customers, on the other hand, are increasing their share of service co-production (as in the case of banking or online shopping) thus enabling a diminished role for employees in service transactions. These changes highlight the need for a comprehensive and meaningful scholarly-conversation on the changing role of service workers, in order to (a) design theoretical models that capture the changing content and context of service work and predict future opportunities and challenges, (b) conduct rigorous research to test and modify existing theories related to service workers, and (c) positively impact service worker wellbeing and performance.

This special issue of the Journal of Service Research invites scholars across business and social science disciplines to submit their most rigorous and relevant work related to changes in service work. We strongly encourage empirical submissions (quantitative and qualitative), meta-analyses, and conceptual papers related to topics including, but not limited to:

  • HRM systems that help acquire or prevent the loss of human capital resources in services
  • Changing psychological contracts and employee-organization relationships in services
  • Worker participation in contingent employment and the ‘gig economy’
  • Social capital and networks as enablers of service work
  • Institutional processes influencing the adoption of employment practices affecting service work
  • Technological innovations as enablers and disrupters of service roles
  • Interactions within service ecosystems (organizations, workers, customers, and the community)
  • Issues of power, control, autonomy, and voice in service jobs
  • Strategic- and process-climates within service organizations
  • Determinants of worker well-being (and ill-being) in non-standard service roles
  • Worker-focused research conducted in underrepresented contexts including healthcare, public sector, low-income and low-status work, transient and migrant labor

The Journal of Service Research (Journal Citation Reports 5-year impact factor: 6.847) is a scholarly journal ranked 4th among 121 business journals(2016 Journal Citation Reports® ; Clarivate Analytics, 2017). To be published, a manuscript must significantly advance theory, provide managerially meaningful, and generalizable empirical research, or provide new models or methods that can be used to improve service.

Submission Deadline: September 30, 2018

Expected Publication Date: February 2020


Mahesh Subramony
Northern Illinois University (msubramony@niu.edu)
Associate Editor and Guest Editor, Journal of Service Research

Markus Groth
UNSW Sydney (markusg@unsw.edu.au)
Guest Co-Editor, Journal of Service Research