Please join me in congratulating the winners for their continued contributions to Journal of Service Management and to our service research field. The winner were selected based on nominations of the board.

2014 Robert Johnston Outstanding Paper of the Year Award

Lariviere, B., Keiningham, T. L., Cooil, B., Aksoy, L. and Malthouse, E.C. (2014),
“A longitudinal examination of customer commitment and loyalty”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 25, (1), pp. 75 – 100


This study aims to provide the first longitudinal examination of the relationship between affective, calculative, normative commitment and customer loyalty by using longitudinal panel survey data. Repeated measures for 269 customers of a large financial services provider are employed. Two types of segmentation methods are compared: predefined classes and latent class models and predictive power of different models contrasted. The results reveal that the impact that different dimensions of commitment have on share development varies across segments. A two-segment latent class model and a managerially relevant predefined two-segment customer model are identified. In addition, the results demonstrate the benefits of using panel survey data in models that are designed to study how loyalty develops over time. This study illustrates the benefits of including both baseline level information and changes in the dimensions of commitment in models that try to understand how loyalty unfolds over time. It also demonstrates how managers can be misled by assuming that everyone will react to commitment improvement efforts similarly. This study also shows how different segmentation schemes can be employed and reveals that the most sophisticated ones are not necessarily the best.

Highly Commended Awards

Munzel, A., and  Kunz, W.H. (2014) “Creators, multipliers, and lurkers: who contributes and who benefits at online review sites”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 25(1), pp.49 – 74


As the internet has become an increasingly relevant communication and exchange platform, social interactions exist in multiple forms. The research aims to integrate a multitude of those interactions to understand who contributes and why different types of contributors generate and leverage social capital on online review sites. Based on the literature about social capital, social exchange theory, and transformative consumer research, the authors carried out a study of 693 contributors on a hotel review site. Content analysis and a latent profile analysis were used to research the contribution types and the underlying motives for generating and leveraging social capital. Through the integration of various customer-to-customer interactions, the results reveal a three-class structure of contributors on review sites. These three groups of individuals show distinct patterns in their preferred interaction activities and the underlying motives. The authors develop the existing literature on transmission of electronic word-of-mouth messages and typologies of contributors. Future research should seek to expand the findings to additional industry and platform contexts and to support the findings through the inclusion of behavioral data.

Bolton, R. N., Gustafsson , A., McColl-Kennedy, J., Sirianni, N. J., and Tse, D. K. (2014), “Small details that make big differences: A radical approach to consumption experience as a firm’s differentiating strategy, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 25 (2), pp. 253 – 274

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Service organizations and marketers have focussed too much of their energy on their core service’s performance and too little emphasis on designing a customer journey that enhances the entire customer experience. There is nothing wrong with firms seeking continuous improvement in service quality and customer satisfaction. These efforts are needed for firms to be competitive in the marketplace. The problem occurs when performance levels and service offerings become too similar within an industry, so that price is the only competitive weapon that remains. The purpose of this paper is to argue that in order to break this deadlock, companies need to focus on the small details that make big differences to customers. The paper builds on interviews with executives in successful service organizations. It provides an analysis of differentiation strategies in diverse service organizations across consumption contexts, nations and cultures around the world. The paper develops three research propositions and argues for radical approaches to help service organizations truly understand customers and provide service experiences that engage and delight them. The paper argues that the new challenge for marketing is to help companies find and implement these small details to make a large impact on the overall customer experience.

Paulin, M., Ferguson, R., Jost, N., and Fallu, J  (2014) “Motivating millenials to engage in charitable causes through social media”, 25 (3), pp. 334-348.

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It has been suggested that the future success of non-profit organizations lies in ensuring the sustainable involvement of the Millennial generation through social network sites. Facebook is a social media (SM) network that creates new research contexts and methodologies in service management. Organizations must now engage in learning how customer-with-customer interactions in SM could work best for them. The purpose of this paper is to better understand the factors influencing Millennials support for social causes through their autonomous engagement in the public environment of SM. The authors conducted two studies of events for social causes (breast cancer and youth homelessness). In each, two Facebook event pages appealing to others-benefits and self-benefits were designed. Participants were randomly assigned the task of examining the appeal pages online. The dependent variables were two sets of intentions in support of the cause (online and offline). The effectiveness of an others-benefit vs a self-benefit Facebook appeal, the influence of empathetic identification with these causes and the direct and mediating effects of autonomous motivation was studied. The studies provide consistent evidence that, to gain Millennial’s support for social causes through SM, it is better to appeal mainly to the benefits others derive than to benefits to the self. Autonomous motivation is a strong predictor of supportive intentions and it also significantly mediates the positive influence of empathetic identification with a cause. Self-reported behavioral data following the youth homelessness event provided empirical evidence that the supportive intentions data were valid predictors of actual behaviors.

Best Reviewer Awards

052c8bb Saara Brax, Ph.D. Aalto University, Finland.

Faculty Ceridwyn King, Ph.D. Temple University, USA.