Screenshot 2014-12-16 19.32.49guest article by Katrien Verleye and Bart Lariviere

On 11-12 December 2014, the Center for Service Intelligence was honored to host the third edition of “Let’s Talk about Service” (LTAS), which was organized together with Ghent University, Antwerp University and University of Namur and empowered by AMA SERVSIG.

Untitled2LTAS aims to introduce young scholars to the wonderful world of service research and provide guidance for their PhD journey or early career. Each year, a workshop on a particular emerging topic is organized, thereby targeting PhD Candidates and Young Faculty.

Untitled3The central topic of LTAS 2014 was how to position and publish service research, because it is – and we quote from Prof. Dr. Mary-Jo Bitner’s editorial – “a wonderful time to be a service researcher” but not easy for young scholars to get their research published.

Untitled4During a two-day workshop in Ghent – which is not only the home town of the Center for Service Intelligence but also a very nice medieval city, we welcomed 48 participants from 8 different countries. All these participants were invited to talk about service research with peers, experts, and (area) editors of leading journals in our field. In preparation for the workshop, all participants submitted three key issues in relation to their research/publishing experience.

Untitled5On the first day of the LTAS-workshop, Prof. Dr. Mirella Kleijnen zoomed in how to position and publish research papers in the field of service reserach, thereby drawing from both the literature and issues submitted by the participants. Next, scholars across all stages of the career path shared their personal experiences regarding positioning and publishing their papers, the publication process, and their lessons learned.

It is remarkable that all of these scholars – from starting PhD students as Drs. Anouk Den Ambtman to leading scholars as Prof. Dr. Timothy Keiningham and Prof. Dr. Lerzan Aksoy – testified to have struggled with positioning and publishing their research, at least at some point in their career. In the meanwhile, each of them pointed out the importance of not only scientific rigor but also continued effort, perseverance, and optimism.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 19.33.07On the second day, we had the honor to gain insight into positioning and publishing service research from the editor perspective. Specifically, the (area) editors of JM, JSR, JOSM, JSTP (former MSQ), and JSM presented their journal and shared their view on key topics for service researchers. Additionally, these editors enumerated key issues to be addressed before getting your research published in their journals, such as clarifying the theoretical and practical contribution in the introduction to your research.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 19.33.22Afterwards, we had an interactive sessions where the editors responded to the key issues raised by the participants. Although we received more than 100 interest issues from the participants, we were able to group these issues into three categories: research development, personal development, and the review process. Each of the editors shared their experiences with the participants during a vivid panel discussion, but we were very grateful that they also took the time to talk to the participants during coffee breaks, lunches, and dinners.

In sum, we really enjoyed the LTAS-workshop and hope that the same goes for our participants. A couple of them already ensured us that they’ll come back to LTAS… and even to our city Ghent…

see below some impressions of the workshop