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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Breidbach Christoph, F., W. Keating Byron and C. Lim (2019): Fintech: research directions to explore the digital transformation of financial service systems, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(1), pp.79-102

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to delineate a research agenda to guide future service research investigating the digital transformation of financial service systems through Fintech – disruptive innovations by new market entrants that challenge the position of mainstream financial institutions.Design/methodology/approach Rooted in the philosophical foundations of “use-inspired research,” this paper addresses the managerially and societally relevant phenomenon of Fintech by identifying, and responding to, the individual challenges and problems associated with the digital transformation of financial services. This is accomplished through a computational text-mining approach to analyze the corpus of 1,545 published practitioner articles associated with Fintech, identification of managerial challenges therein and subsequent delineation of a novel research agenda.Findings By connecting managerial challenges relating to Fintech with the service literature, this paper develops a use-inspired research agenda that provides scholarly and managerially relevant research directions (RDs). These pertain to the complexity of digital financial service systems (micro level), orchestration of value co-creation with Fintech (meso level), and the development of elastic infrastructures, models and markets (macro level).Research limitations/implications Fintech is an emerging phenomenon associated with the digital transformation of financial services. However, actual guidelines on how service research related to Fintech could be advanced from a theoretically as well as managerially relevant angle are unavailable to date. Here, the authors address this challenge and provide the field with 18 tangible RDs to advance service theory and practice.Practical implications The purpose of this paper is to guide future academic research addressing managerial challenges associated with Fintech and the digital transformation of financial service. Due to the explicit use-inspired nature of the work, the future research stemming from the agenda that the authors put forward here will be of benefit to decision makers and society more broadly.Originality/value This empirical research contributes to the discourse regarding the role of information and communication technologies in service in general, and the digital transformation on financial services in particular. The in-depth computational text-mining analysis is unbiased, replicable and provides the foundation for a use-inspired research agenda that is subsequently delineated.À

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-08-2018-0185 [Google]

 

Davey, J., J. Herbst, R. Johns, J. Parkinson, R. Russell-Bennett and N. Zainuddin (2019): The role of health locus of control in value co-creation for standardized screening services, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(1), pp.31-55

Purpose Despite the availability and accessibility of standardized screening services, such as preventative health services, many individuals avoid participation. The extant health literature has indicated that health locus of control (HLOC) influences engagement and uptake of health services. The purpose of this paper is to explore how the microfoundation, HLOC, contributes to value co-creation via service-generated and self-generated activities in standardized screening services.Design/methodology/approach A qualitative study of 25 consumers who have experienced one of the three standardized screening services in Australia was undertaken, followed by thematic analysis of the data.Findings Service-generated activities elicit reactive responses from consumers – compliance and relinquishing control – but when customers lead co-creation activities, their active responses emphasize protecting self and others, understanding relationship needs and gaining control. Consumers with high internal HLOC are more likely to take initiative for their health, take active control of the process and feel empowered through participating. Consumers with low internal HLOC, in contrast, require more motivation for participation, including encouragement from powerful others through promotion or interpersonal dialogue.Social implications These findings can be used by policymakers and providers of preventative health services for the betterment of citizen health.Originality/value The integration of the DART framework, customer value co-creation activities, and the delineation of self-generated and service-generated activities provides a holistic framework to understand the influence of HLOC on the co-creation of value in standardized screening services.À

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-08-2018-0180 [Google]

 

Ellway Benjamin Piers, W. and A. Dean (2020): Habitus as a value lens to link customer engagement and value cocreation, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(1), pp.57-77

Purpose This paper uses practice theory to strengthen the theoretical relationship between customer engagement (CE) and value cocreation (VCC), thereby demonstrating how customers may become engaged and remain engaged through VCC practices.Design/methodology/approach The study adopts a problematization approach to identify shared assumptions evident in service-dominant logic (SDL) and CE research. Practice theory, as a higher-order perspective, is used to integrate the iterative and cyclical processes of VCC and CE, specifically through the theoretical mechanism of habitus.Findings Habitus acts as a customer value lens and provides a bridging concept to demonstrate how VCC and CE are joined via sensemaking processes. These processes determine how customers perceive, assess, and evaluate value, how they become engaged through VCC, and how their experience of engagement may lead to further VCC practice. The temporally bound experiences, states, and episodes are accumulated and aggregated through an enduring customer value lens comprised of habituated dispositions, interests, and attitudes.Research limitations/implications This work responds to calls for research to strengthen the theoretical link between VCC and CE and to take account of customers’ lived realities and their contextualized experiences. A key suggestion for future research is the use of a rope metaphor to stimulate thinking about the complex, temporally unfolding, and interrelated processes of VCC and CE.Practical implications The customer value lens and CE rope are introduced to simplify the complex, abstract, theoretical research on VCC and CE for a nonacademic audience. To understand how customers’ value lenses are formed and change, and how a CE rope is strengthened, firms, service designers, and practitioners need to understand sensemaking processes through customer narratives and to use platforms and feedback to support and trigger sensemaking.Originality/value This paper provides a theoretical mechanism to explain the iterative and cyclical nature of VCC and CE processes and how accumulation and aggregation occur in these processes. In doing so, it demonstrates that CE occurs by virtue of, and is typified by, sensemaking processes that reproduce and shape a customer’s habituated value lens, which perceives, assesses, and determines VCC and thus provides a basis for further customer engagement.À

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-04-2019-0093 [Google]

 

O’Brien Ingrid, M., R. Ouschan, W. Jarvis and N. Soutar Geoffrey (2020): Drivers and relationship benefits of customer willingness to engage in CSR initiatives, Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 30(1), pp.5-29

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to assess the impact of CSR initiative preference, customer helping orientation and customer participation on willingness to engage in CSR and to demonstrate the influence this engagement has on their commitment and loyalty to the organisation.Design/methodology/approach This study entailed an online survey of customers from a large not-for-profit organisation (n = 210). Choice modelling is used to test a structural equation model of drivers and outcomes of willingness to engage in CSR.Findings Results demonstrate the CSR initiative preferred by customers has a stronger impact on their willingness to engage with the CSR initiative (volunteering their time, effort, money) than either customers’ helping orientation or customer participation. Furthermore, willingness to engage in CSR influences customer commitment and loyalty to support and recommend the organisation.Research limitations/implications The results clearly demonstrate the significant impact that customers’ preferences for and willingness to engage in CSR initiatives have on customers’ relationship with not-for-profit organisations.Social implications The results highlight the importance of taking into account customer preferences for CSR issues to encourage customers to engage in CSR initiatives designed to benefit society.Originality/value Traditionally CSR literature has focused on how commercial firms’ engagement in CSR creates value for the firm and society. The marketing literature has focused on how customer engagement in brand communities benefits the firm. This study extends the research by exploring customers’ willingness to engage in CSR with not-for-profit organisations. It uses Choice modelling to demonstrate the impact of customer preferences for local and aligned CSR initiatives on customer willingness to engage.À

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-08-2018-0186 [Google]

 

Beatson, A., A. Riedel, M. Chamorro-Koc, G. Marston and L. Stafford (2020): Increasing the independence of vulnerable consumers through social support, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.223-237

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of social support on young adults with disabilities (YAWDs) independent mobility behavior with the aim of understanding how better to support this vulnerable consumer segment in their transition into the workforce. Design/methodology/approach: A survey was conducted which examined how social support (high and low) influenced YAWD’s path to independent mobility behavior. The data were analyzed using partial least squares-SEM. Findings: It was identified that different factors were more effective at influencing independent mobility behavior for high and low socially supported YAWDs. For high social support individuals, anticipated positive emotions and perceived behavioral control were found to drive attitudes to independent mobility with perceived behavioral control significantly stronger for this group than the low socially supported group. For the low socially supported group, all factors were found to drive attitudes which then drove individual behavior. One entire path (risk aversion to anticipated negative emotions to attitude to behavior) was found to be stronger for low supported individuals compared to high. Originality/value: This study is unique in that it is the first to identify the theoretical constructs that drive vulnerable consumer’s independence behavior and understand how these factors can be influenced to increase independence. It is also the first to identify that different factors influence independent behavior for vulnerable consumers with high and low social support with anticipated negative emotions important for consumers with low social support and perceived behavioral control important for those with high social support.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-09-2019-0327 [Google]

 

Buoye, A., A. De Keyser, Z. Gong and N. Lao (2020): Intellectual property extensions in entertainment services: Marvel and DC comics, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.239-251

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to look into the topic of IP category extensions in an entertainment setting. The main goal of the study is to explore the reciprocal spillover effect of customer experience (CX) ratings with an intellectual property (IP) in one medium (i.e. film) on the sales of the same IP in other media (i.e. comic books). Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on 21-years of monthly top 300 comic book direct market sales data linked to the release schedule and domestic box office gross figures for films featuring Marvel and DC comic book IP appearing in the weekly top 50 films over the same time period. The analysis is based on a hierarchical linear (i.e. mixed) model to account for the nested structure of the data. Findings: The analysis reveals that CX ratings of weekly top 50 films featuring comic book IP have a quadratic relationship with comic book sales by the two major publishers. Films receiving very good but not excellent ratings are associated with the highest levels of incremental comic book sales. Research limitations/implications: The model is based on sales of periodical comic books in the direct market only (i.e. specialty shops) and does not account for sales of digital comics or collected editions through other channels. The analysis is also limited to IP for the two major publishers (Marvel and DC comics). Originality/value: This study expands current knowledge on CX spillover effects between different media, contributing to entertainment and CX-literature alike.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-06-2019-0224 [Google]

 

Bustamante, J. and A. Amaya (2020): A transformative perspective of financial services for the unbanked, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.193-205

Purpose: This paper aims to examine the factors that affect financial services design of and their effect on the improvement of the unbanked customer well-being. Design/methodology/approach: The authors use a path analysis to examine customer well-being integration in the activities of service organizations. The theoretical estimation model was conducted using a structural equation model with maximum likelihood estimation. To build a more robust model that explains customer well-being, direct and indirect effects are used in the estimation of the research model. Findings: Perceived customer support and interaction with the storekeeper are two major factors that, positively, influence trust and customer participation (CP). In addition, CP plays a key role in enhancing financial empowerment and thereby in the production of greater customer well-being. Originality/value: This study sheds light on the positive effects that the design of services has on customer well-being and exposes the underlying mechanisms that contribute to customer well-being through CP. It also provides a unique financial service format and specific strategies for managing trust and CP to enhance individual well-being in the unbanked population in a developing country.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-01-2019-0008 [Google]

 

Do, D. K. X., K. Rahman and L. J. Robinson (2020): Determinants of negative customer engagement behaviours, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.117-135

Purpose: Understanding negative customer engagement is important as it is argued that negative information has a stronger impact on a customer’s brand perception and purchase decision than that of positive information. Hence, this paper aims to propose new determinants of negatively valenced customer engagement, including disengaged and negatively engaged behaviours in a service consumption context and explore under what conditions customers display disengaged or negatively engaged behaviours. Design/methodology/approach: This study incorporates justice theory, expectancy disconfirmation theory and psychology literature to propose determinants of negative customer engagement behaviours. Findings: A conceptual framework is developed that proposes customer perceived justice and negative disconfirmation as determinants of negative customer engagement via the mediator of customer outrage. Moderating variables, include self-esteem, self-efficacy, altruism and vengeance; are also proposed to affect disengaged/negatively engaged behaviours. Originality/value: This study is the first to specify the underlying reasons of negative customer engagement by establishing the conceptual linkages between negative disconfirmation, justice and negative customer engagement via the mediating role of customer outrage. Further, customer resources are used to understand disengaged/negatively engaged behaviours. In doing so, this study views negative customer engagement from the perspective of a customer’s internal response to the trigger experience, rather than the experience itself. Thus, this study contributes to literature on customer engagement by developing a conceptual framework that illustrates the underlying cognitive and affective responses that drive negative customer engagement behaviours.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-02-2019-0050 [Google]

 

He, Y., I. Ju, Q. Chen, D. L. Alden, H. Zhu and K. Xi (2020): Managing negative word-of-mouth: the interplay between locus of causality and social presence, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.137-148

Purpose: This paper aims to describe the results of four studies that examine the interaction effects between locus of causality and social presence on consumers’ emotional response to a service failure and how they subsequently cope with the negative emotional experiences through support-seeking or vindictive negative word-of-mouth (NWOM). Design/methodology/approach: To evaluate the research hypotheses, one online content analysis study and three experiments were conducted. Findings: The results of the four studies show that when locus of causality information is not available (Studies 1 and 2), consumers are more likely to engage in support-seeking NWOM when there is social presence (versus no social presence). When a service failure is externally/internally attributed, social presence leads to less/more vindictive NWOM (Studies 3 and 4). The results clarify the underlying affective processes (frustration, anger and embarrassment) that account for the unique interaction effects involving locus of causality and social presence on NWOM. Originality/value: Despite promising progress in both social presence and service failure research, scholarly attempts aiming to draw the theoretical linkages between these two streams are relatively scarce, and it remains unknown regarding whether and how social presence influences NWOM in the event of service failure. Against this backdrop, this research examines the effects of social presence on consumer NWOM in service failure. The authors further contribute to both research streams by testing the effects of an important set of emotions as mediators, as well by exploring the conditions under which a particular emotion is more predictive of its corresponding outcomes. These findings offer important insights that help service managers effectively mitigate customer NWOM at the point of service delivery.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-03-2019-0117 [Google]

 

Khan, I., L. D. Hollebeek, M. Fatma, J. U. Islam and Z. Rahman (2020): Brand engagement and experience in online services, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.163-175

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to assess the mediating role of brand trust and commitment in the relationship of brand engagement and brand experience with brand loyalty in the online service context. Design/methodology/approach: To achieve the study’s objective, 414 users of virtual service brands, predominantly in the online banking, airline and hotel sectors, were surveyed. Findings: Both brand engagement and experience exert direct effects on brand trust and commitment, as well as indirect effects on brand commitment (via brand trust) and service brand loyalty (via brand commitment). Research limitations/implications: This paper adds to the literature by incorporating brand engagement, experience, trust and commitment into a unifying framework. The framework emphasizes brand trust and commitment’s mediating role in the relationship that brand engagement and experience share with brand commitment and loyalty in the online service context. Practical implications: Marketers should formulate online brand engagement and experience strategies that strengthen customer brand trust and commitment, which are expected to exert a significant brand loyalty-enhancing effect. Originality/value: Brand engagement and experience were validated as key drivers of brand trust and commitment, thereby further substantiating their role as important strategic metrics. Moreover, the role of commitment as a mediating factor in the association between brand engagement and experience and their respective impact on brand loyalty has been verified. Although the findings suggest that improved brand engagement/experience contributes to brand loyalty, this effect transpires only though brand commitment.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-03-2019-0106 [Google]

 

Lucia-Palacios, L., R. Pérez-López and Y. Polo-Redondo (2020): Does stress matter in mall experience and customer satisfaction?, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.177-191

Purpose: This paper aims to demonstrate that stress is a relevant feeling to take into account in mall experience and customer satisfaction management. Furthermore, it is proposed that its effects on mall experience and satisfaction differ depending on shopping motivation and frequency. Design/methodology/approach: The method is based on seemingly unrelated regressions models and data were obtained through a survey of 1,088 mall clients. Mall experience is addressed through customer cognitive and affective responses. Both terms together with stress and customer satisfaction with the mall are constructs measured by seven-point Likert scales. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted to validate these measures. Findings: The results show that stress reduces customers’ affective response and satisfaction. The effect of low levels of stress on customer affective response is less negative for frequent shoppers, and the influence of high levels on satisfaction is less negative for them. Furthermore, stress has a U-shaped effect on customers’ cognitive response, an effect that is reduced for frequent shoppers. Practical implications: Mall managers should try to reduce stress in the management of their customers’ experience. Moreover, they should increase the shopping frequency of their clients by implementing marketing strategies, such as frequency programs and serial concerts, and assist shoppers in reorganizing their shopping goals by implementing organizing tools and new recommendations and suggestions. Originality/value: Given that previous work on shopping stress is scarce, this paper expands the extant literature by analyzing its effects on mall experience and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it shows that these effects may vary depending on shopping frequency and motivation.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-03-2019-0134 [Google]

 

Mattison Thompson, F. and S. Tuzovic (2020): Why organizational loyalty programs cannot prevent switching, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.207-222

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which loyalty programs can prevent switching, and how individual level cultural values impact this. Loyalty programs are designed to create switching costs, which reduce customers’ desire to leave. However, in practice, these programs are often misapplied; that is, most companies inadvertently treat all customers as equal. While ample research has examined the role of loyalty reward programs in facilitating customer loyalty, little is known about the extent to which individual-level cultural values moderate customer loyalty measures of trust and affective commitment and how this impacts the effectiveness of loyalty programs; that is, consumers’ intentions to “stick” with the program or to switch. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a quasi-experiment combined with an extensive survey to collect the data. Findings: Based on data collected from one industrial country and four emerging countries, the results show that loyalty programs do not universally prevent switching behavior. Instead, this study finds that individual-level uncertainty avoidance and collectivist values significantly moderate the effects. Originality/value: This study helps advance the understanding of how international retailers can increase their loyalty program effectiveness and reduce customer switching to competitors.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-10-2019-0387 [Google]

 

Okan, M. and A. B. Elmadag (2020): Witnessing verbal aggression: role of customers’ self-conscious emotions, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.253-268

Purpose: This paper aims to examine the widespread effects of service actors’ verbal aggression on witness customers’ intentions toward the service organizations through their self-conscious emotions. The moderating roles of the witness customers’ empathic tendencies and the source of aggression are also examined. Design/methodology/approach: In two scenario-based experiments and by adopting a multifoci approach, severity of mistreatment (aggression vs incivility vs no-mistreatment) and source of mistreatment (employee-to-employee and customer-to-customer) were manipulated to test distinctive effects of witnessing aggression on self-conscious emotions and intentions. Findings: This study shows that witnessing aggression during service experiences negatively influences customers’ intentions towards the service organization through self-conscious emotions. Moreover, empathic tendencies of customers make these effects more pronounced. It is also shown that witnessing employee-to-employee aggression has a stronger effect on self-conscious emotions and intentions than customer-to-customer aggression. Research limitations/implications: This paper uncovers the distinctive effects of aggressive behaviors of service actors on self-conscious emotions from the third-party perspective. It is also shown that empathic tendencies can be detrimental to service organizations in certain conditions. Practical implications: The results warn service managers against verbal aggression because of its negative effects on witness customers. It is suggested that they should try to clarify the incident and restore justice in front of the witnesses. Originality/value: This paper is one of the first attempts to investigate the distinctive effects of witnessing aggression during service experiences and the roles of self-conscious emotions and emphatic tendencies.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-01-2019-0037 [Google]

 

Prentice, C. (2020): Testing complexity theory in service research, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(2), pp.149-162

Purpose: This study aims to draw on the complexity theory and uses a non-an asymmetrical method – fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) to test the core tenets of complexity theory, namely, asymmetry, equifinality and causal complexity and valence reversals or conjunction with a focus on testing the relationships between service quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. Case outcome forecasting accuracy rather than relationships are tested in asymmetric testing. Design/methodology/approach: Both symmetrical (structural equation modelling or SEM) and non-symmetrical (fsQCA) methods were used to test the proposed relationships (symmetrical testing) and case outcome forecasting accuracy (asymmetric testing). The former was used as a comparison. The study setting was in Australian airports. The data were collected from departure passengers. Findings: The results from SEM and fsQCA differ substantially. The former provides very simplistic findings of variable directional relationships; whereas the latter presents asymmetrical, equifinal and conjunctional relationships regarding service quality, customer satisfaction and behavioural intentions. These findings support the core tenets of the complexity theory. Research limitations/implications: The study findings conform to the complexity theory that indicates relationships between variables can be nonlinear and the same causes can produce different effects. The findings suggest the outcomes of interest often result from combined antecedent conditions rather than a single causal factor. The study confirms that asymmetrical thinking relies on Boolean algebra and set theory principles. Originality/value: This study uses both symmetrical and asymmetrical methods to reveal the nuanced information about the relationship that has been tested primarily using symmetrical methods.

Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JSM-09-2019-0353 [Google]

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