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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Vilnai-Yavetz, I., A. Rafaeli and C. Shapira (2020): Service Professionals and Managerial Control: Institutional, Employment, and Personal Segmentations, Services Marketing Quarterly, 41(3), pp.256-272

AbstractFor service professionals, work is a central life interest, raising questions about the effectiveness of managerial controls. We examine reactions of professionals (676 physicians) to imposed managerial controls in the form of a time clock. The main contribution of this study is its demonstration that segmenting professionals can help unravel reactions to management controls. All professionals are sensitive to external control measures that threaten their organizational status, but the institutional working context (far more than individual-level employment arrangements or demographics) determines the extent of these reactions.

Link: [Google]


Gilboa, S., I. Vilnai-Yavetz, V. Mitchell, A. Borges, K. Frimpong and N. Belhsen (2020): Mall experiences are not universal: The moderating roles of national culture and mall industry age, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 57(), pp.102210

Faced with rising competition from innovative retail channels, the primary competitive advantage of shopping malls lies in the unique set of experiences they can provide. A widely accepted assumption in the mall literature is that the contribution of mall experiences to equity and loyalty is stable, positive, and universal. Here shoppers from four countries (England, France, Israel, and Morocco) reported their mall experiences (seductive, social, and recreational). These experiences impact loyalty through mall equity differentially in each country. National culture and mall industry age moderate positive mall outcomes, challenging previous assumptions about standardization across countries as the best approach to mall management.

Link: [Google]


Battistella-Lima, S., T. Veludo-de-Oliveira and E. Barki (2020): Symbiotic relationships in educational services for vulnerable adolescents, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.819-831

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether and to what extent different forms of symbiotic relationships (named mutualism and collaboration) within a usage centre lead to different levels of value in use for its resource integrators. This study focusses on the educational services provided in deprived neighbourhoods to potentially vulnerable adolescents. Design/methodology/approach: This study applies a two-phase sequential exploratory mixed-method design. The first phase included a qualitative study that involved both the focal (the students) and peripheral resource integrators (the students’ parents) of a Brazilian educational institution that had exceptional results. The qualitative findings were used to build a comparative multi-group survey with four subgroups in which 530 peripheral resource integrators participated. Findings: A mutualistic educational institution in which the participation of students’ parents is mandatory creates more value in use than collaborative institutions in which parental participation is optional. In the context of educational services for vulnerable adolescents, value in use is echoed in the coexistence of families, greater caring about the students, and the encouragement from the adolescents’ positive beliefs about education and respectful relationships with others. Social implications: Initiatives aimed at addressing social issues regarding children or adolescents in situations of vulnerability will achieve better results if their families are contemplated and involved. Originality/value: This study is the first to empirically test Kleinaltenkamp et al.’s usage centre framework (2017). In so doing, the study advances the understanding of how the interdependence of actors in the usage processes leads to value creation for vulnerable populations.

Link: [Google]


Gardiazabal, P., C. Bianchi and M. A. Saleh (2020): The transformational potential of Latin American retail experiences, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.769-783

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate if retail services have a transformative potential to improve the well-being of customers in a Latin American market. Transformative studies have been conducted mostly in developed countries, and consumer well-being in a Latin American supermarket context has not been addressed previously. Specifically, this study aims to understand if customer satisfaction with a supermarket experience in Chile leads to positive customer well-being. Additionally, it is examined if customer well-being influences firm outcomes, such as customer loyalty, word-of-mouth (WOM) communication or retailer equity. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual model was developed, and data was collected through an online survey from 866 customers of a large supermarket chain in Chile. Hypotheses were tested with structural equation modeling. Findings: The findings of this study support all the hypotheses of the model and confirm that customer satisfaction has direct and indirect effects on customer loyalty and other firm outcomes through customer well-being. Research limitations/implications: This research is among the few studies in the academic literature that considers retail experience and well-being outcomes for supermarket customers in a Latin American context. Limitations derive from the cross-sectional nature of this study. Practical implications: There are implications from this study contributing to the literature on customer retail experience, in terms of the potential to transform supermarket shopping in a Latin American country. This is particularly relevant in Latin America as the extent to which for-profit organizations acknowledge their relevancy of the individuals’ well-being is still at its infancy. Social implications: This research provides empirical support to the importance of not only looking at traditional measures such as WOM, equity and loyalty but looking into the impact services have for customers’ life and well-being. Originality/value: This study contributes to the services literature and addresses a gap in it by exploring the transformative potential of supermarket shopping on customer well-being and in turn the role of customer well-being in retail firm outcomes. The findings also contribute in considering Chile, a Latin American context that has been overlooked in the transformative services studies. This provides managerial implications for domestic and global companies that offer grocery retailing for consumers in this region.

Link: [Google]


Giraldo, M., L. Garcia-Tello and S. W. Rayburn (2020): Street vending: transformative entrepreneurship for individual and collective well-being, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.757-768

Purpose: This study aims to explore the lived experience of vendors as they enact street vending practice that emerges as transformative entrepreneurship and service where they live and work. Design/methodology/approach: This research qualitatively explores street vending in a multi-cultural, multi-local study to understand how these businesses operate to positively impact individual, collective and societal well-being. Findings: This research reveals street vending is a creative, transformative entrepreneurial activity that improves individual and collective well-being. The research exposes multiple forms of habitual and transformative value delivered by vendors, resulting in improved eudaimonic and hedonic well-being that ripples out from vendors to families, communities and society. Research limitations/implications: A framework of street vending practice is provided to guide service designers and policymakers as they seek to support street vendors as they move from informal to formal and from survival to growth business modes. Originality/value: This research extends existing conceptualizations of transformative entrepreneurship beyond prior focus on economic transformation and prior limitations of transformative entrepreneurship to business in growth modes.

Link: [Google]


Kabadayi, S., G. E. O’Connor and S. Tuzovic (2020): Viewpoint: The impact of coronavirus on service ecosystems as service mega-disruptions, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.809-817

Purpose: This paper aims to synthesize the widespread economic impact of the outbreak of COVID-19 and presents a new concept, service mega-disruptions (SMDs), which refers to fast moving market disturbances at a massive scale caused by a pandemic. The purpose of this paper is to offer a framework to recognize the impact of SMDs on service ecosystems and a call to action for service researchers in light of the COVID-19 outbreak. Design/methodology/approach: This paper presents an overview of massive market disturbances that is observed across multiple service sectors based on current news reports. It then develops themes for timely and actionable research for service scholars. Findings: The outbreak of COVID-19 demonstrates that both service industries and the service research community face a new reality, something that we are not well-prepared to handle. A new framework is needed to understand the impact of such virus outbreaks, and current service marketing concepts need to be re-investigated from a new perspective. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the literature and service research community by addressing the phenomenon of SMDs by curating a framework and collection of research themes to understand what we observe and what we need to learn to do better in the future.

Link: [Google]


Kumar, D. S., K. Purani and S. A. Viswanathan (2020): The indirect experience of nature: biomorphic design forms in servicescapes, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.847-867

Purpose: This paper aims to introduce the concept of biomorphism (i.e. indirect experience of nature) in servicescape designs and validates its impact on consumer responses. Using the stimulus-organism-response (S-O-R) framework, this study explores the relationship between biomorphic servicescape designs and the servicescape preference. Further, it explains how biomorphic designs can help users to get better connected with the servicescapes by introducing the mediating role of attention restoration and place identity (emotional and cognitive), as explained by attention restoration theory. Design/methodology/approach: Two empirical studies were carried out to test the hypothesised relationships: an exploratory pre-experimental design with one-shot treatment using 200 images as stimuli and 3,680 responses; and a 3 × 2 factorial design with three-dimensional images with about 654 responses for three service contexts chosen a priori: fashion retail, restaurant and hospital lobby. Findings: This study conceptualises the role of biomorphism – elements that mimic natural forms – in servicescape designs and establishes that, akin to natural elements, the indirect experience of nature in servicescapes also has a positive influence on attention restoration, perceived place identity and servicescape preference of the consumers. This implies that the effects similar to that of a biophilic servicescape can be achieved through servicescape elements that mimic natural forms. Originality/value: Extending the idea of biophilia, this research adopts the concept of biomorphism from architecture and environmental psychology domains and introduces biomorphic servicescape designs, which could be more practical at times compared to biophilic servicescapes. It establishes the influences of biomorphic servicescape designs on consumer preferences. Grounded in the S-O-R model, it further explains this relationship through mediating effects of attention restoration and place identity. Being new to marketing and management domains, this research may trigger a series of research studies on biomorphic service environment designs, with desirable implications for services marketing and services operations functions.

Link: [Google]


Kuppelwieser, V. G. and P. Klaus (2020): Viewpoint: a primer for inclusive service marketing theory, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.749-756

Purpose: This viewpoint sheds light on an as yet underrepresented consumer group. Considering impaired consumers in our theories would not only change these theories’ meaning but also add variance. These theories would therefore develop from a specific case theory to a broadly acceptable and applicable theory. Design/methodology/approach: As a viewpoint paper, this work relies on previously published literature and highlights exemplary shortcomings in the servicescape and customer experience theory. Findings: The paper specifies shortcomings in the current theory development and application. While service marketing scholars consistently consider the normal and representative consumer, changing the customer groups will lead to a broader understanding of consumer behavior. Originality/value: This paper not only highlights impaired consumers’ different needs and expectations, but also discusses the difference between impairment and disability. Given this distinction, the paper calls for further research on such consumers.

Link: [Google]


Lee, Y., J. In and S. J. Lee (2020): Social media engagement, service complexity, and experiential quality in US hospitals, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.833-845

Purpose: As social media platforms become increasingly popular among service firms, many US hospitals have been using social media as a means to improve their patients’ experiences. However, little research has explored the implications of social media use within a hospital context. The purpose of this paper is to investigate a hospital’s customer engagement through social media and its association with customers’ experiential quality. Also, this study examines the role of a hospital’s service characteristics, which could shape the nature of the interactions between patients and the hospital. Design/methodology/approach: Data from 669 hospitals with complete experiential quality and demographic data were collected from multiple sources of secondary data, including the rankings of social media friendly hospitals, the Hospital Compare database, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) cost report, the CMS impact file, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society Analytics database and the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care. Specifically, the authors designed the instrumental variable estimate to address the endogeneity issue. Findings: The empirical results suggest a positive association between a hospital’s social media engagement and experiential quality. For hospitals with a high level of service sophistication, the association between online engagement and experiential quality becomes more salient. For hospitals offering various services, offline engagement is a critical predictor of experiential quality. Research limitations/implications: A hospital with more complex services should make efforts to engage customers through social media for better patient experiences. The sample is selected from databases in the US, and the databases are cross-sectional in nature. Practical implications: Not all hospitals may be better off improving the patient experience by engaging customers through social media. Therefore, practitioners should exercise caution in applying the study’s results to other contexts and in making causal inferences. Originality/value: The current study delineates customer engagement through social media into online and offline customer engagement. This study is based on the theory of customer engagement and reflects the development of mobile technology. Moreover, this research may be considered as pioneering in that it considers the key characteristics of a hospital’s service operations (i.e., service complexity) when discovering the link between customers’ engagement through a hospital’s social media and experiential quality.

Link: [Google]


Taiminen, H., K. Taiminen and J. Munnukka (2020): Enabling transformative value creation through online weight loss services, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.797-808

Purpose: This study aims to understand how online weight loss services could help customers achieve a durable change. The particular focus is on exploring the roles of value co-creation and well-being outcomes in reinforcing the transformative value potential, which is argued to be realized as customers’ intentions to continue a healthier lifestyle after the service period has ended. Design/methodology/approach: Data was collected from the participants of an online weight loss service (n = 498), and a conceptual research model was tested using structural equation modelling. Findings: The results imply that compliance with the guidelines and social support are two value co-creation activities that can influence the well-being outcomes of transformative services (i.e. perceived behavioral control and satisfaction with one’s achievements). These well-being outcomes help attain the transformative value potential of online weight loss services. However, the actual weight loss affected the transformative value potential only through customers’ satisfaction with their achievements as a subjective well-being outcome. Originality/value: This study provides insight into the transformative value potential of services in the weight loss context. This study contributes to the transformative service research by focusing on the role of online services in reinforcing a durable change through the co-creation of value and improvements in customers’ well-being.

Link: [Google]


Tikkanen, H. (2020): Characterizing well-being capabilities in services, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.785-795

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to characterize how services present responsibilized consumers with well-being capabilities. This is done by drawing on structuration theory and literatures on responsibilization, social well-being and psychological well-being. Design/methodology/approach: This paper is based on conceptual development and a qualitative interpretive study of value propositions in texts and images on websites of 11 different self-tracking wearables and applications. Findings: This paper introduces the changing–coping–countering characterization to explicate different types of well-being capabilities that are represented in services. These capabilities represent different stances towards structures. This paper proposes and discusses how these capabilities can have different impacts on well-being on individual and collective levels. Research limitations/implications: This study is limited to the perspective of services in a self-tracking context. Further empirical research is needed to investigate well-being capabilities from consumer perspectives. Practical implications: The proposed characterization can help practitioners in becoming more reflexive concerning their value propositions that relate to consumer well-being. This implies becoming aware of well-being discourses that shape and affect service development. Originality/value: This paper provides a novel characterization for understanding the role of services in the context of responsibilization. It contributes to structural perspectives on the role of services in contributing to well-being.

Link: [Google]


Wang, X., H. T. Keh and L. Yan (2020): Customer perceptions of frontline employees’ extra-role helping behaviors, Journal of Services Marketing, 34(6), pp.869-883

Purpose: Frontline employees (FLEs) play a pivotal role in service delivery. Beyond their expected in-role behaviors, FLEs often have to perform extra-role behaviors such as providing additional help to customers. The purpose of this study is to investigate how customers’ power distance belief (PDB) influences their perceptions of FLEs’ warmth and competence when FLEs perform extra-role helping behaviors. Design/methodology/approach: Four experiments were conducted to test the hypotheses. The first three experiments used a one factor two-level (PDB: low vs high) between-participants design. The fourth one used a 2 (PDB: low vs high) × 2 (firm reputation: low vs high) between-participants design. Findings: The results indicate that, compared to high-PDB customers, low-PDB customers perceive greater warmth in FLEs’ extra-role helping behaviors but no significant difference in FLEs’ perceived competence. Importantly, these effects are mediated by customer gratitude. Moreover, these effects are moderated by firm reputation such that customers’ perceptions of FLEs’ warmth and competence are both enhanced when the firm has a favorable reputation. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study is the first to identify the differential effects of PDB on customer perceptions of FLEs’ warmth and competence in the context of FLEs’ extra-role helping behaviors and to reveal the mediating role of gratitude. These findings contribute to the literatures on FLEs’ extra-role behaviors and social perceptions of both warmth and competence.

Link: [Google]