Frontiers-2016-Bergen-085_1The “SERVSIG Best Services Article Award” is presented annually by SERVSIG to the author(s) of the best article in the services literature published during the previous calendar year. SERVSIG thanks the following committee members for their commitment and their work:

  • Chair: Ruth Bolton, Arizona State University, USA
  • Jenny van Doorn, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  • Kristina Heinonen, Hanken School of Business, Finnland
  • Tom Baker, University of Alabama, USA
  • Sven Tuzovic, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Based on the proposals from the community and a defined procedure the award committees chose the winning article. The past years winners can be checked out here

SERVSIG Best Services Article Award for 2015

Alexis M. Allen, Michael K. Brady, Stacey G. Robinson, Clay M. Voorhees (2015): “One firm’s loss is another’s gain: capitalizing on other firms’ service failures”, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 43(5), 648-662.

Abstract: Whereas past research has focused on negative outcomes that can transfer from one firm to another, this paper examines conditions under which a service failure by one firm creates an opportunity to enhance customer evaluations of a different firm in a contiguous service experience. Thus, a new external service recovery phenomenon is demonstrated in which consumers have more favorable perceptions of a firm when there was a previous failure with a different firm compared with no previous service failure. Study 1 tests hypotheses related to consumers’ perceptions of a hotel’s external service recovery after an airline’s service failure. Study 2 examines an external recovery effort in the hotel industry that follows a service failure from an unrelated hotel, an affiliated hotel, and the same hotel. Study 3 utilizes a laboratory experiment to assess the effects of external recovery in a restaurant setting. Results from all three studies suggest external recovery leads to appreciable gains for the recovering firm but only when it is not affiliated with the failing firm. Implications for service managers suggest several simple and relatively low cost tactics can be implemented to capitalize on other firms’ failures. In particular, this research highlights strategies that encourage frontline employees to listen to customers and, if a prior failure is detected, make simple gestures of goodwill.


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Highly Commended Article Award

Maarten J. Gijsenberg, Harald J. Van Heerde, Peter C. Verhoef (2015): “Losses loom longer than gains: Modeling the impact of service crises on perceived service quality over time”, Journal of Marketing Research, 52(5): 642-656.

Abstract: Service providers sometimes face mass service failures. These problems occur across service industries, ranging from severe Internet outages to major delays for airlines or trains. The literature has not yet addressed the following key question: How do service crises affect perceived service quality (PSQ) over time? To answer this question, the authors introduce a Double-Asymmetric Structural Vector Autoregressive model. It captures not only the short- and long-term effects of objective service performance on PSQ but also the differential effects of service crises versus service restoration. The authors analyze a unique data set from a major European railway company, spanning seven years of monthly observations. During this period, severe winter weather caused dramatic service crises. The authors find that performance losses loom larger than gains in the short run and also have permanent negative effects on PSQ in the long run. Consequently, a crisis followed by a restoration will result in a net negative long-term effect on PSQ. The impact of a crisis also depends on the prior trend in objective service performance.


Timothy L. Keiningham, Carly M. Frennea, Lerzan Aksoy, Alexander Buoye, Vikas Mittal (2015): “A Five-Component Customer Commitment Model: Implications for Repurchase Intentions in Goods and Services Industries” Journal of Service Research, 18(4), 433-450.

Abstract: Empirical studies in marketing conceptualize commitment as a three-component construct comprised of affective, normative, and calculative commitment. We develop and empirically test a five-component typology of consumer commitment—affective,normative, economic, forced, and habitual commitment. The broadened conceptualization of commitment is tested using qualitative and quantitative studies with data from 9,000 consumers and 10 countries. The broadened five-component commitment model demonstrates high levels of reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, and stability, as well as unique associations with repurchase intentions. Managerially, it provides a roadmap for optimizing commitment: while forced commitment should be minimized, economic and habitual commitment should be enhanced. These prescriptions vary for goods and services. Namely, affective, normative, and habitual commitment exhibit stronger positive effects on repurchase intentions for goods than for services; the opposite pattern is found for economic commitment. By showing how managers should optimize specific commitment dimensions rather than simply maximize overall commitment, while accounting for contextual factors such as differences between goods and services, our results provide an actionable strategic blueprint for firms’ customer commitment strategy.


Martin Mende, Jenny van Doorn (2015): “Coproduction of Transformative Services as a Pathway to Improved Consumer Well-Being Findings From a Longitudinal Study on Financial Counseling” Journal of Service Research, 18(3): 351-368.

Abstract: Although many consumers turn to financial counseling to improve their financial well-being, the effectiveness of these counseling services remains nebulous and the exact mechanisms through which they improve consumer well-being require further research. This longitudinal research demonstrates that consumers’ coproduction of financial counseling services is pivotal for increasing their credit scores and for decreasing their financial stress. Drawing on self-determination theory, this study also shows that financial literacy, consumer involvement, and attachment styles are important drivers of coproduction. Involvement plays a moderating role, such that higher involvement substitutes for lower levels of financial literacy and mitigates the negative effects of attachment avoidance on coproduction. These findings help both counseling agencies and public policy makers improve the effectiveness of financial counseling. Financial counselors should track their customers’ objective and subjective financial literacy, involvement, and attachment styles, then segment customers, and, finally, tailor the service provision accordingly, to leverage coproduction as the pathway to consumers’ financial well-being. From a public policy perspective, the findings suggest that efforts to improve consumer financial literacy are important but should be supplemented with programs designed to increase consumer involvement in financial counseling; this combination promises to foster coproduction and improve consumers’ financial well-being.



  • General topics may include (but are not limited to) services marketing and services management. The article should have appeared in an English language refereed journal during 2014.
  • Candidates for a SERVSIG Award do not have to be a member of SERVSIG or the AMA to be eligible or to win.
  • Candidates may be from anywhere in the world. From the beginning, SERVSIG has sought to be globally oriented and globally active.
  • Candidates for the awards do not have to be academics. SERVSIG recognizes the vital link between academe and business practice.