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.
For more information about the alert system methodology go here
For all previous alerts go here
Ooms, W. and R. Piepenbrink (2021): Open Innovation for Wicked Problems: Using Proximity to Overcome Barriers, California Management Review, 63(2), pp.62-100
Open innovation is a viable strategy to solve wicked problems. However, the complexity of these types of problems renders the management of open innovation initiatives (even) more difficult. How can managers make open innovation for complex or even wicked problems work? This article examines case studies of open innovation initiatives adopting a health care service innovation. It uses the proximity framework to identify several ways in which open innovation barriers can be overcome despite their complexity. The case study findings show how partners leverage their differences to the benefit of service innovation in the face of wicked problems.
Nguyen, P., X. Wang, X. I. Li and J. Cotte (2021): Reviewing Experts’ Restraint from Extremes and Its Impact on Service Providers, Journal of Consumer Research, 47(5), pp.654-674
This research investigates reviewing experts on online review platforms. The main hypothesis is that greater expertise in generating reviews leads to greater restraint from extreme summary evaluations. The authors argue that greater experience generating reviews facilitates processing and elaboration and enhances the number of attributes implicitly considered in evaluations, which reduces the likelihood of assigning extreme summary ratings. This restraint-of-expertise hypothesis is tested across different review platforms (TripAdvisor, Qunar, and Yelp), shown for both assigned ratings and review text sentiment, and demonstrated both between (experts vs. novices) and within reviewers (expert vs. pre-expert). Two experiments replicate the main effect and provide support for the attribute-based explanation. Field studies demonstrate two major consequences of the restraint-of-expertise effect. (i) Reviewing experts (vs. novices), as a whole, have less impact on the aggregate valence metric, which is known to affect page-rank and consumer consideration. (ii) Experts systematically benefit and harm service providers with their ratings. For service providers that generally provide mediocre (excellent) experiences, reviewing experts assign significantly higher (lower) ratings than novices. This research provides important caveats to the existing marketing practice of service providers incentivizing reviewing experts and provides strategic implications for how platforms should adopt rating scales and aggregate ratings.
Packard, G. and J. Berger (2021): How Concrete Language Shapes Customer Satisfaction, Journal of Consumer Research, 47(5), pp.787-806
Consumers are often frustrated by customer service. But could a simple shift in language help improve customer satisfaction? We suggest that linguistic concreteness—the tangibility, specificity, or imaginability of words employees use when speaking to customers—can shape consumer attitudes and behaviors. Five studies, including text analysis of over 1,000 real consumer–employee interactions in two different field contexts, demonstrate that customers are more satisfied, willing to purchase, and purchase more when employees speak to them concretely. This occurs because customers infer that employees who use more concrete language are listening (i.e. attending to and understanding their needs). These findings deepen understanding of how language shapes consumer behavior, reveal a psychological mechanism by which concreteness impacts person perception, and provide a straightforward way that managers could help enhance customer satisfaction.
Blut, M., C. Wang, N. V. Wünderlich and C. Brock (2021): Understanding anthropomorphism in service provision: a meta-analysis of physical robots, chatbots, and other AI, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, (), pp.1-27
An increasing number of firms introduce service robots, such as physical robots and virtual chatbots, to provide services to customers. While some firms use robots that resemble human beings by looking and acting humanlike to increase customers’ use intention of this technology, others employ machinelike robots to avoid uncanny valley effects, assuming that very humanlike robots may induce feelings of eeriness. There is no consensus in the service literature regarding whether customers’ anthropomorphism of robots facilitates or constrains their use intention. The present meta-analysis synthesizes data from 11,053 individuals interacting with service robots reported in 108 independent samples. The study synthesizes previous research to clarify this issue and enhance understanding of the construct. We develop a comprehensive model to investigate relationships between anthropomorphism and its antecedents and consequences. Customer traits and predispositions (e.g., computer anxiety), sociodemographics (e.g., gender), and robot design features (e.g., physical, nonphysical) are identified as triggers of anthropomorphism. Robot characteristics (e.g., intelligence) and functional characteristics (e.g., usefulness) are identified as important mediators, although relational characteristics (e.g., rapport) receive less support as mediators. The findings clarify contextual circumstances in which anthropomorphism impacts customer intention to use a robot. The moderator analysis indicates that the impact depends on robot type (i.e., robot gender) and service type (i.e., possession-processing service, mental stimulus-processing service). Based on these findings, we develop a comprehensive agenda for future research on service robots in marketing.
Henderson, C. M., L. Steinhoff, C. M. Harmeling and R. W. Palmatier (2021): Customer inertia marketing, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 49(2), pp.350-373
Inertia might secure consumers’ continued patronage, but it also can stunt potential expansion. By examining the psychology underlying inertia, this research informs managers about whether to engage inertial consumers proactively. In the proposed conceptual model, an inertia mindset orients a customer toward status quo consumption. This mindset emerges from dual sources, and each source consists of a behavioral and a psychological component. Specifically, the behavioral consistency of prior consumption activates an inertia mindset by prompting a psychological inclination to minimize thinking; the magnitude of prior consumption leads to inertia by evoking an inclination to minimize regret. Complementary survey and field studies offer support for the proposed model and reveal that a proactive loyalty reward can reinforce inertia based on regret minimization but disrupt inertia based on thinking minimization. Even well-intentioned marketing initiatives thus might be ineffective or detrimental, depending on the source and strength of inertia already present in the customer.
Freeman, M., N. Savva and S. Scholtes (2021): Economies of Scale and Scope in Hospitals: An Empirical Study of Volume Spillovers, Management Science, 67(2), pp.673-697
General hospitals across the world are becoming larger (i.e., admitting more patients each year) and more complex (i.e., offering a wider range of services to patients with more diverse care needs). Prior work suggests that an increase in patient volume in a hospital service is associated with reduced costs per patient in that service. However, it is unclear how volume changes in one service affect the costs of the other services in the same hospital. This paper investigates such volume-cost spillover effects between elective and emergency admissions and across specialties, using condition-level panel data comprising all acute hospital trusts in England over a period of 10 years. We provide evidence that increased elective volume at a hospital is associated with an increase in the cost of emergency care (a negative spillover). Furthermore, for emergency admissions, we find evidence that increased emergency activity in one specialty is associated with lower costs of emergency care in other specialties (a positive spillover). By contrast, we find no evidence of spillover effects across specialties for elective admissions. We discuss the implications of these findings for individual hospital growth strategies and for the regional organization of hospital systems. This paper was accepted by David Simchi-Levi, operations management.
Huang, N., Z. Yan and H. Yin (2021): Effects of Online–Offline Service Integration on e‐Healthcare Providers: A Quasi‐Natural Experiment, Production & Operations Management, (), pp.1
E‐healthcare platforms start to integrate medical services across online and offline channels, where providers can perform online consultations, schedule patients’ offline visits, synchronize relevant medical records, and finally, answer online inquiries regarding follow‐up and recovery anytime and anywhere within one operations management function (i.e., online–offline service integration). In this study, we seek to quantify the effects of online–offline service integration on the e‐healthcare providers’ demand and reputational outcomes, noting that it is not altogether clear how the service integration function will affect the providers who adopt such a function in e‐healthcare platforms. Leveraging a quasi‐natural experiment on an e‐healthcare platform, we conducted difference‐in‐differences analyses in tandem with a variety of matching strategies, including propensity score matching and look‐ahead propensity score matching. Furthermore, we explored the moderating roles of provider‐specific characteristics. Our results reveal a set of robust and interesting findings: (i) e‐healthcare providers, on average, experience increases in online demand and decreases in offline demand post online–offline service integration; (ii) the service integration function also improves the professional reputation of participating providers; (iii) the impact of channel integration on the outcomes is weaker for providers with lower (vs. higher) professional titles; and (iv) the providers who specialize in treating chronic (vs. acute) diseases experience greater increases in online demand and reputational outcomes, yet insignificant changes in offline demand. This work contributes to related prior literatures on healthcare operations management, e‐healthcare, and online–offline channel integration, offering design implications for the service operations of e‐healthcare platforms.
Khuntia, J., R. Mayya, S. Mithas and R. Agarwal (2021): Managing Cellphone Services for Customer Satisfaction: Evidence from the Base‐of‐the‐Pyramid Markets, Production & Operations Management, 30(2), pp.438-450
This study investigates how value‐added services (VAS) and customer care services (CCS) moderate the association between satisfaction with the core telephone service and overall customer satisfaction in base‐of‐the‐pyramid (BOP) markets. We propose that customers respond to VAS and CCS differently due to variations in price evaluations of these services. We further examine how the interactions among the service dimensions may differ for local and global telephone providers. We used an archival dataset from a survey of more than 3200 cellphone customers across 34 providers in seven South Asian countries that include India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Maldives to test our conjectures. We find that satisfaction with VAS negatively moderates the relationship between core connection satisfaction and overall satisfaction, and satisfaction with CCS positively moderates the relationship between core connection satisfaction and overall satisfaction. Furthermore, the positive and negative interaction effects are stronger for global vs. local providers. We discuss contributions and managerial implications of the findings.
Yang, M., V. S. Jacob and S. Raghunathan (2021): Cloud Service Model’s Role in Provider and User Security Investment Incentives, Production & Operations Management, 30(2), pp.419-437
Cloud computing can be viewed as an e‐business in which the cloud provider sells a range of information technology services and operations over the Internet to firms. Security is a major concern for firms that move to the cloud. The security of a cloud is the joint responsibility of the cloud provider and cloud users. However, the extent to which the provider and users can affect cloud security through their efforts depends on the cloud service model. In this study, we develop a game‐theoretical model to study the impact of the cloud service model on provider and user incentives to exert security effort. Our results show that for a given service model, an increase in the user loss from a security breach induces users to exert more security effort. However, if the provider’s service cost is low, the provider profitably free rides on the enhanced user incentives to exert security effort by diminishing his effort. Analogously, the cloud provider is able to profitably free ride on users’ enhanced incentives to exert security effort when the user population is more homogeneous in terms of either cloud valuation or loss from a security breach, depending on the service cost. Our results also have implications for how a cloud provider could possibly target a particular cloud service model to specific user groups based on their characteristics and likelihood of security loss.
Zhou, S., Y. Ding, W. T. Huh and G. Wan (2021): Constant Job‐Allowance Policies for Appointment Scheduling: Performance Bounds and Numerical Analysis, Production & Operations Management, (), pp.1
We consider the classical appointment scheduling problem that does not have a session length constraint. The decision is to determine job allowances to minimize total expected weighted costs of waiting times of jobs and idle times of the service provider. In particular, we study a simple yet effective scheduling policy—the so‐called “constant” policy, which allocates a constant job allowance for each appointment. Prior studies on appointment scheduling suggest a “dome”‐shaped structure for the optimal job allowance over the planning horizon. This implies that job allowance does not vary significantly in the middle of the schedule sequence, but varies at the beginning as well as the end of the optimal schedule. We show that an even simple scheduling policy—the constant policy, is asymptotically optimal thus provide theoretical justification for such a widely used policy. Using a dynamic programming formulation, we express each job’s waiting time as the maximum of a random walk, which allows us to bound the performance gap between the constant policy and the optimal schedule based on classical results on D/G/1 queues. We derive an explicit upper bound for the performance gap when either of the following conditions holds: (i) the server idling cost is relatively small compared to the job waiting cost, and (ii) the number of appointments is sufficiently large. We also extend this result to a more general setting with multiple service types. Numerical experiments show that the constant policy is near optimal even when the number of appointments is small or when the server idling cost is moderately large, which complements our theoretical results. Our result provides a justification and strong support for the constant policy under certain mild conditions. Moreover, with minor modifications, the constant policy can be adapted to more general scenarios with patient no‐shows, or with heterogeneous appointment types.
Balakrishnan, J. and Y. K. Dwivedi (2021): Role of cognitive absorption in building user trust and experience, Psychology & Marketing, (), pp.1
The growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and its applications in business has proliferated in recent years. Businesses have started adopting various technology practices relevant to automation and AI, and research investigating this phenomenon is becoming increasingly important. Taking this as a cue, the present research investigates the effect of human‐to‐machine interaction and human‐to‐human interaction towards cognitive absorption and its subsequent effect on trust, experience, and continuation intention in the context of services. The study built a 3 × 3 factorial design with automated chatbots (machine interaction) and service executives (human interaction) used as a stimulus in the experiment. Data collected from 410 respondents were analyzed using structural equation modeling to test the proposed hypotheses. The findings indicated that human‐to‐machine interaction influences cognitive absorption more positively compared to human‐to‐human interactions. The study results also provide evidence for the role of the trust, experience, and technology continuation intention in a technology background rooted in human‐machine interactions. The present study adds a valuable contribution to the existing literature relevant to human‐to‐machine interaction, cognitive absorption, trust, experience, and continuation intention. The study also provides valuable inputs to technology and marketing managers.
Kunkel, T., D. Lock and J. P. Doyle (2021): Gamification via mobile applications: A longitudinal examination of its impact on attitudinal loyalty and behavior toward a core service, Psychology & Marketing, (), pp.1
Organizations increasingly use gamification to engage with, and influence, consumers’ attitudes and behaviors. In this article, we present findings from a longitudinal, mixed‐method research design that (1) examined the extent to which game design elements created by a third‐party app lead to increased attitudinal loyalty toward core service providers and (2) sought to explain the underlying processes that invoke attitudinal change. Behavioral data collected from app users indicated that knowledge‐focused affordances positively influenced consumer loyalty and explained 11.3% of the variance in attitudinal change. Follow‐up interviews revealed that Rewards, Competition, Sense of Achievement, and Gaining Knowledge were representative of consumers’ motives for using the app, and Engagement and Identity explained how using the gamified application influenced users’ attitudinal loyalty toward the core service. Overall, we contribute to knowledge about how gamified affordances can be used to add value to consumer experiences, both in relation to the gamified consumption experiences, and the focal brand that is serviced by a third‐party app.
Holmqvist, J., L. M. Visconti, C. Grönroos, B. Guais and A. Kessous (2020): Understanding the value process: Value creation in a luxury service context, Journal of Business Research, 120(), pp.114-126
Value is an important part of the service literature, which increasingly recognizes that value cocreation is a process. The literature on the entire value process remains limited, however, with a lack of empirical evidence on how value is (co)created and what the different activities of service providers and customers are. Addressing this situation, we analyze the joint and separate activities of both the service provider and the customers in the value process. Using an ethnographic case study approach, we combine observations and interviews with managers, service employees, and customers to identify five stages of the value process and offer three main contributions. First, we show that service providers have roles extending beyond mere value cocreation. Second, we describe how customers create value independent of the provider. Third, we extend previous research on customer value-in-use by our focus on escapism as an important part of customer value in luxury services.
Osei-Frimpong, K., G. McLean, A. Wilson and F. Lemke (2020): Customer coproduction in healthcare service delivery: Examining the influencing effects of the social context, Journal of Business Research, 120(), pp.82-93
• Social context influence customer participation in service coproduction. • Social context influence customer’s adherence to medical instructions. • Customer role clarity mediates the effects of social context on service coproduction. • Provider-customer orientation moderates the relationship between customer role clarity and service coproduction. • Customer health condition-type does not present different effects on their coproduction behaviours. This study furthers our understanding of service coproduction by examining some pertinent antecedents and the consequent effect on customer adherence to medical instructions in healthcare service delivery. Through a cross-sectional quantitative survey design, data collected from 594 healthcare customers were analysed through structural equation modelling using AMOS 23. The findings indicate significant influences of social context on participation in service coproduction and adherence. Additionally, the mediating effect of customer role clarity on social context (nature of interactions, access to healthcare information, service climate) and coproduction are established. This study also determined moderation effects of provider-customer orientation on the coproduction process. Further, customer health condition-type (acute or chronic) does not present different effects on their coproduction behaviours. From a social cognitive theoretical perspective, this study has established that customers’ coproduction behaviours are motivated by the social system in relation to the social context.
Kang, C. and D. B. Wooten (2020): The Presenter’s Paradox in customer service interactions, Journal of Business Research, 120(), pp.94-102
This study examines the Presenter’s Paradox in the context of customer–server interactions. Our findings from four studies suggest that, in response to service predicaments, restaurant servers frequently exhibit two tendencies that are misaligned with the preferences of their customers: they offer uninformative explanations to avoid revealing information that conveys an unfavorable impression, and they manage impressions on behalf of coworkers that cause service predicaments. These efforts lead to behaviors that do not satisfy the information needs of customers and result in less favorable financial outcomes (e.g., lower tips) for servers. This study contributes to the knowledge on impression management and customer service interactions.
Hasan, R., B. Lowe and D. Petrovici (2020): Consumer adoption of pro-poor service innovations in subsistence marketplaces, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.461-475
Despite some extant research on innovation adoption in subsistence marketplace contexts, little is known about subsistence consumers and how they evaluate so-called pro-poor innovations. This research identified six existing, empirically tested, and well-cited innovation adoption models and collected data on them within a subsistence context. Extending existing research, data was collected across two separate and distinct pro-poor services targeted at the subsistence segment, and structural models were compared based on mediating relationships. This research contributes to the subsistence marketplace literature by providing guidance about how antecedents within these models affect subsistence consumers’ evaluations of pro-poor service innovations in this increasingly important context. The research provides novel practical and theoretical insights through the development of new, testable hypotheses in the area and explores the effect of service type and geographic area (urban versus rural).
Nguyen, J., C. Ferraro and S. Sands (2020): Similarity over difference: How congruency in customer characteristics drives service experiences, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.592-603
Customers are critical actors in the service ecosystem, with their presence and interaction influencing service delivery and consumption. The interactions between customers in service settings can play an important role, with fellow customers having the potential to impact a focal customer’s service experience, evaluations, and subsequent outcomes. Yet research on customer-to-customer interactions within the service encounter is limited. This research has examined the effect of congruency (incongruency) in fellow customer characteristics on focal customer outcomes across two studies. In study one, congruence in customer characteristics is shown to be a critical aspect of the service experience that can affect focal customer outcomes. In study two, status enhancement is shown to plays an important role, enhancing the effect of congruent fellow customer characteristics and mitigating weaker focal customer outcomes that result from incongruent customer characteristics. Importantly, these findings differ by the level of service consumption involvement. Findings present important implications for managers and frontline employees. In particular, regarding the importance of understanding, and potentially managing, congruency in customer characteristics; which can allow favorable responses to the service experience.
Chen, K., J. Chen, W. Zhan and P. Sharma (2020): When in Rome! Complaint contagion effect in multi-actor service ecosystems, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.628-641
This paper explores the process by which other customers’ complaint behavior influences the focal customers’ complaint intentions in response to a service failure affecting multiple customers. The authors use social information processing theory to argue that the other customers’ complaint behavior has a positive effect on the focal customers’ complaint intentions, which they refer to as ‘ complaint contagion effect’. Next, they posit mediating role of anger and moderating effects of social identification with other customers, perceived credibility of the other customers, and the focal customers’ prior relationship with the service provider in this process. Four experiments confirm the presence of complaint contagion effect and show that the complaint contagion effect is stronger for focal customers with high social identification with others, high perceived credibility of other customers and weak prior relationship of focal customers with the service providers.
Sharma, I., K. Jain and A. Behl (2020): Effect of service transgressions on distant third-party customers: The role of moral identity and moral judgment, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.696-712
Service failure studies have paid little attention to the role of the other customers or bystanders present in a service setting. Using a mixed method approach, the current study examines the effect of visible service transgressions on distant third-party customers in a shared service territory. A netnography study reveals that a distant third-party customer is most affected by service transgressions that are unethical, that is violating the prescriptive norms of social and human behavior, and can lead them to engage in negative e-Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) against the transgressor. To reaffirm these findings, a conceptual model is proposed based on moral identity theory, moral judgment, distrust, and moral reasoning choice to explain the effect of ethical service transgression on distant third-party customers’ intentions to engage in negative eWOM and brand avoidance. The study highlights the strategic significance of the other customers in a triadic setting for firms and contributes theoretically to the research on ethical service transgressions, moral identity, and third-party customers.
Ho, M. H.-W., H. F. L. Chung, R. Kingshott and C.-C. Chiu (2020): Customer engagement, consumption and firm performance in a multi-actor service eco-system: The moderating role of resource integration, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.557-566
This study aims to understand how e-commerce firms can operate more effectively within the context of a multi-actor service eco-system by examining the factors contributing to their firms’ performance. Due to their multidirectional information and business exchanges through the worldwide internet cloud these firms are often characterized by network-based operations and collaborative systems. We investigate how multiple participants, namely employees, business partners, focal and fellow customers, social media communities and technology, interact with each other and how these multi-actor exchanges influence firms’ performance. Based on a total of 288 weekly data collected from a leading e-ticketing service provider from January 2013 to December 2018 in Taiwan, our empirical findings support the service-dominant logic that customer engagement across varied social media communities positively contribute to customer consumption in terms of new customer acquisition and existing customer retention, and further enhances the service firm’s financial performance. Customer consumption is elevated when the firm successfully orchestrates its resource integration by providing better employee service, extending its business partnerships, and incorporating service innovation to improve its service delivery processes and customer database management.
Pinna, R., S. De Simone, G. Cicotto and A. Malik (2020): Beyond organisational support: Exploring the supportive role of co-workers and supervisors in a multi-actor service ecosystem, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.524-534
Customer engagement in a value co-creation processes is an attractive proposition for firms as it closely mirrors consumer needs, encourages their participation in service consumption, improves their perception and reduces uncertainty and risk. This approach emphasizes the centrality of interaction among different actors within an ecosystem. Despite the critical role frontline employees play in customer engagement and relationship processes in a multi-actor system, there is a limited understanding of the role of co-workers and supervisors’ support in addition to organisational support for achieving high levels of employee and consequently customer engagement as well as reducing sales employees’ intention to quit. Using structural equation modelling and analyzing 481 employees’ data from an Italian retail chain, this paper analyses the impact of organisational and social support on employees’ job satisfaction, work engagement and intention to quit. Implications for theory and practice in value co-creation process in a multi-actor system are also discussed.
Sarkar, J. G., A. Sarkar and M. S. Balaji (2020): The “right-to-refuse-service” paradox: Other customers’ perception of discretionary service denial, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.686-695
• Refusing to serve certain customers lead to positive outcomes among other customers. • Brand relationship quality explains the underlying mechanism. • Social value orientation of other customers determines the effect of service denial. The present study investigated the impact of service denial on other customers’ perception of the service provider in a shared service context. Drawing on other customer perception and brand relationship quality literature, we examined when and how service denial to certain customers (owing to their unfavorable physical appearance, unsuitable behavior, and dissimilarity with the target customer group) impacts other customers’ relational and behavioral outcomes toward the service provider. The results of four studies conducted in restaurant services context suggested that cold brand relationship quality and hot brand relationship quality are the underlying process by which service denial influences other customers’ recommendation intention toward the service provider. Moreover, other customers’ social value orientations (altruistic, egoistic, competitive) moderate the impact of service denial on brand relationship quality. Implications for practitioners are discussed.
van Tonder, E., S. G. Saunders and J. D. Farquhar (2020): Explicating the resource integration process during self-service socialisation: Conceptual framework and research propositions, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.516-523
Little is known about self-service socialisation and the resource integration process that may transpire when customers help other less-skilled customers with self-services. Insight into these matters is important as the process may affect other customers’ skill development and ability to contribute meaningfully to value co-creation in the service ecosystem. Accordingly, this research develops a conceptual framework and four research propositions outlining customers’ resource integration approaches towards other customers during socialisation and service exchange, as informed by their institutions endorsing either self-reliant or compliant practices. Insight is also provided into the extent to which the resource integration approaches (transpiring against the background of customers’ engagement with firms’ self-service resources) may enable other customers to participate in meaningful service exchanges in the service ecosystem. Effectively, the framework advances business understandings of the distinct roles that customers may perform when socialising other customers about self-services.
Kim, K. and M. A. Baker (2020): Paying it forward: The influence of other customer service recovery on future co-creation, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.604-615
Although the presence of other customers is an indispensable part of the service consumption experience, there is little work that investigates the role of other customers in the service recovery process and how this affects multiple actors in the service ecosystem. To address these gaps, this research uses a mixed-methods approach. Study 1 qualitatively content analyzes other customers’ participation in the recovery process. Study 2 tests support receiver’s perception and Study 3 examines the support giver’s perception using two 3 (other customer support: emotional, information, no support) × 2 (employee extra role behavior: in-role, extra role) between-subjects experimental designs. The research extends upon the customer interaction and service failure and recovery literature through qualitative and quantitative analysis of how other customers can support the service recovery process and act as a new type of recovery actor, which affects the service recovery evaluation, citizenship behavior, and behavioral intentions toward the firm.
Peltier, J. W., A. J. Dahl and E. L. Swan (2020): Digital information flows across a B2C/C2C continuum and technological innovations in service ecosystems: A service-dominant logic perspective, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.724-734
• Examines the complex inter-actor communications in a service ecosystem using SDL. • Identifies how digital information flows impact service innovation adoption. • Cocreated information flows directly and indirectly impact telemedicine adoption. • Cocreated information flows help reduce value perception information asymmetry. • Cocreated provider/consumer information has more influence on the service adoption. Value co-creation for service innovations involves integrating inputs from multiple actors within service ecosystems. Traditionally, value co-creation has been considered in light of business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions. The emergence of digital information platforms allowing consumer-to-consumer (C2C) communications is changing how service ecosystems establish and create value for service innovations. In this paper, we develop a Digital Information Flow Continuum that includes B2C, external provider and consumer co-created (B2C/C2C combined) and C2C digital communications. Using Service-Dominant Logic (SDL), we assess the impact digital information flow elements have on the perceptions and usage likelihood for telemedicine (TM) services. We use structural equation modeling to analyze online survey results from 827 health consumers collected as part of a healthcare organization’s TM launch. The results demonstrate that the Digital Information Flow Continuum impacts the acceptance of the TM innovation directly, and indirectly through value perceptions of comparable service quality relative to alternatives and ease of access to care.
Nguyen, S., M. Didi Alaoui and S. Llosa (2020): When interchangeability between providers and users makes a difference: The mediating role of social proximity in collaborative services, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.506-515
• Interchangeability refers to the ability to act as both service provider and service user. • Interchangeability influences collaborative services participants’ trust and participation. • Perceived social proximity mediates the positive effect of interchangeability on trust. • Platforms should encourage their customers to experience both roles whenever possible. This article examines the role of interchangeability between service providers and service users in the context of collaborative services (the exchange of services between peers intermediated by an online platform). Based on the construal level theory, our model proposes the influence of interchangeability on trust and, in turn, on intention to participate, through the mediating effect of social proximity. The results of the empirical analysis, an online survey conducted on 222 accommodation rental participants (both hosts and travelers), confirm the mediating role of social proximity. This research extends the literature on collaborative consumption by examining how interchangeability can impact participants’ attitude and behavior. It also contributes to the construal level theory by suggesting a new antecedent (i.e., interchangeability) of social proximity. Managerial implications are discussed and, in particular, it is suggested that platforms encourage their users to experience both sides of the exchange in order to impact positively future participation.
Datta, P. P. (2020): Hidden costs in different stages of advanced services – A multi-actor perspective of performance based contracts, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.667-685
• Hidden cost drivers of implementing advanced solutions are unearthed. • Multi-actor engagement and hidden cost driver interplay is analysed. • The hidden costs reduce as the actors gain experience to facilitate engagement. • Agency theory and S-D logic are combined to analyse hidden cost drivers. • A set of research propositions developed to guide research and practice. Performance based contract (PBC) is an innovative advanced service strategy for offering product service solutions. PBC aims at increasing customer value and reducing the costs of operations. However, manufacturers incur unquantifiable “hidden costs” while implementing PBC. This paper uses agency theory and service-dominant logic to build a theoretical framework to study the hidden costs of PBCs. The research uses a multiple exploratory case study approach to unravel the drivers of hidden costs during the design, delivery and adaptation phases of PBC. This paper derives findings from five PBCs from the UK defence industry. The analysis reveals four major hidden cost drivers (supplier relations, contract complexity, customer relations, and cost estimation problems) of PBC. The research refines the theoretical framework by linking the hidden cost drivers, PBC life cycle stages and engagement of the service network partners. It develops a set of propositions for guiding future research and managerial practices.
Huang, R. and S. Ha (2020): The effects of warmth-oriented and competence-oriented service recovery messages on observers on online platforms, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.616-627
• Warmth-oriented responses are more likely to increase observers’ perceptions. • Perceptions mediate the effect of service recovery strategy on outcome variables. • The effect of service recovery on perception depends on relationship orientation. The role of fellow customers in webcare remains underexplored in the literature. To address this gap, the current study examines how observers perceive and react to a retailer’s responses to online consumer complaints. Specifically, this work examines reactions to two service recovery strategies rooted in different dimensions of social cognition: warmth-oriented responses, which emphasize a retailer’s friendliness; and competence-oriented responses, which emphasize a retailer’s knowledge about products/services. In addition, the moderating role of the observer’s relationship orientation is examined. Results suggest that, compared to competence-oriented messages, warmth-oriented service recovery messages are more likely to enhance observers’ service perceptions in the online environment, leading to satisfaction with service recovery efforts and positive word-of-mouth intentions (Study 1). Furthermore, relationship orientation serves as a boundary condition in the effect of service recovery strategy on observers’ service perceptions (Study 2).
Holmqvist, J., J. Wirtz and M. P. Fritze (2020): Luxury in the digital age: A multi-actor service encounter perspective, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.747-756
Luxury brands have been reluctant to adopt technology-enhanced multi-actor interactions at the customer interface. This article synthesizes research on luxury and multi-actor interactions in non-luxury contexts to explore how luxury brands can adopt digitally enabled multi-actor service encounters. The literature is further supplemented by interviews with managers in luxury firms. Our findings caution against simply adopting approaches from non-luxury contexts as they risk undermining the luxury service experience. Rather, we develop a set of propositions at the intersections of the physical, digital, and social realms on how luxury brands can adapt the use of digital multi-actor interactions to augment rather than imperil their brand image. Specifically, our propositions help luxury managers to enhance the customer experience through hedonic escapism, strengthen their brand communities, and use digitization to simultaneously provide conspicuous customers with greater visibility and discreet customers with social exclusivity.
McColl-Kennedy, J. R., L. Cheung and L. V. Coote (2020): Tensions and trade-offs in multi-actor service ecosystems, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.655-666
The purpose of this article is to: (1) understand tensions and trade-offs that actors make through activities and interactions in their service ecosystem stemming from differing worldviews; (2) explicate how actors resolve tensions through trade-offs, identifying focal relationships and the relative influence of focal actors; (3) propose a conceptual framework of tensions and trade-offs in multi-actor service ecosystems. Drawing on Institutional Logics and Practice Theory this article provides new insights into multi-actor service ecosystems identifying tensions and trade-offs that actors make with other actors designed to achieve desired outcomes. In a first, authors demonstrate that actors exhibit different forms of focal relationships, with actors’ worldviews influencing roles and practices. Misalignment of worldviews can result in significant tensions. However, reconciling conflicting goals and practices is not always realistic or beneficial due largely to enduring worldviews of focal actors. Practical and theoretical implications are provided with an agenda to guide future research.
Sharma, P., K. Jain, R. P. J. Kingshott and A. Ueno (2020): Customer engagement and relationships in multi-actor service ecosystems, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.487-494
With the growing realization that most service ecosystems consist of interactions among multiple participants, including customers, employees, and others, there are increasing calls for research on the interdependent nature of customer engagements and relationships in multi-actor service ecosystems. This special issue addresses these calls with 22 articles (including three invited articles), classified along five distinct groups, including a) Co-creation, collaboration and socialization among actors, b) Actors’ (dis)engagement, c) role of the ‘other’ actors, d) dark side of multi-actor service ecosystems, and e) emerging trends – digital technologies and others. This editorial begins by reviewing the multi-actor service ecosystems literature to identify some important research gaps. Next, it briefly describes the 22 articles included in this special issue arranged along the above five themes and their major findings. Finally, the guest editors discuss the implications of these findings and some useful directions for future research in this area of growing importance.
Küper, I. and L. M. Edinger-Schons (2020): Is sharing up for sale? Monetary exchanges in the sharing economy, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.223-234
Past research has neglected the question of whether different exchange mechanisms and consumption or service contexts (CSCs) in the sharing economy may lead to different outcomes. The authors develop a novel theoretical framework that proposes that willingness to participate in the sharing economy will be lower if exchange mechanisms and CSCs do not match—that is, if monetary/social exchange mechanisms are applied in hedonic/utilitarian CSCs, taking into account the moderating role of materialism. Moreover, the authors propose that in the sharing economy, monetary exchanges may cause a crowding-out of prosocial behaviors and that this effect will be especially pronounced for highly materialistic individuals. They test their hypothesized framework in three experimental studies that support the theorizing and provide results with important implications for the design of sharing economy offers as well as for society.
Hwang, S., J. Kim, E. Park and S. J. Kwon (2020): Who will be your next customer: A machine learning approach to customer return visits in airline services, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.121-126
• A machine learning approach is employed to predict customer return visits of airline services. • More than 80% accuracy is presented with customer feedback comments. • Sentimental features of the comments are employed in the machine learning model. Returning customer rates are a primary determinant of the success of a service; thus, both the motivations for and hindrances to return visits from customers are extensively investigated. Accordingly, this study aims to estimate the probability of customers’ return visits to airline services using a machine learning approach on the received feedback comments and satisfaction ratings regarding the previous usage of the service. By considering the sentimental features in the comments with seven classifiers, the results show an accuracy of 83.42% for predicting the customers’ return visits. Moreover, a higher word count of feedback written by the customers can lead to a higher degree of prediction accuracy. Based on these results, both the implications and limitations to customer preferences are presented.
Hsieh, J.-K. (2020): The effects of transforming mobile services into mobile promotions, Journal of Business Research, 121(), pp.195-208
• Mobile services in promotions can influence customer loyalty to offline stores. • The research model is based on expectation confirmation and disappointment theories. • Four confirmation and two attitudes are the antecedents of customer loyalty. • Awareness of persuasive intent and message source are moderators. Although practitioners already use mobile devices as a communication channel to reach customers, few studies have explored the factors that can encourage customer loyalty via mobile services. This study focuses on the check-in service, a location-based service that can be integrated into marketing promotions. This study uses expectation confirmation theory and disappointment theory to investigate the relationships between four forms of expectation confirmation, two affective attitudes, and customer loyalty. The data to test the hypotheses were collected from an online survey that provided 485 valid responses. These data were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling. The findings confirm that using mobile services in marketing promotions can lead to customer satisfaction or disappointment and thereby influence word-of-mouth intention and repatronage intention. Our results also suggest the existence of two moderators. Awareness of persuasive intent moderates the relationship between affective attitudes and customer loyalty, while message source moderates the relationship between expectation confirmation and affective attitudes. Our findings contribute to expectation confirmation theory and disappointment theory and have implications for mobile service practitioners.
Langley, D. J., J. van Doorn, I. C. L. Ng, S. Stieglitz, A. Lazovik and A. Boonstra (2021): The Internet of Everything: Smart things and their impact on business models, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.853-863
The internet of everything (IoE), connecting people, organizations and smart things, promises to fundamentally change how we live, work and interact, and it may redefine a wide range of industry sectors. This conceptual paper aims to develop a vision of how the IoE may alter business models and the ways in which individuals and organizations create value. We review literature on networked business models and service ecosystems, and show that a clearer understanding is needed of how the IoE will impact on the ways that organizations go about their business at the micro, meso and macro levels. Combining this with an inductive, vignette-based approach, we present a new taxonomy of smart things based on their capabilities and their connectivity. We derive their implications for business models and conclude the paper with propositions that form a research agenda for business researchers.
Lee, C. M. J., N. Che-Ha and S. F. Syed Alwi (2021): Service customer orientation and social sustainability: The case of small medium enterprises, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.751-760
Social sustainability is an intricate subject with interrelated but distinct components. This paper measures social sustainability as an employee outcome, customer outcome and organizational outcome. To test the strategy-sustainability relationship model, this study examines service customer orientation as the corresponding strategy. Using a sample of 400 SMEs in the service sector, the results show that all the direct and indirect relationships between service customer orientation and the three social sustainability indicators are significant.
Patwa, N., U. Sivarajah, A. Seetharaman, S. Sarkar, K. Maiti and K. Hingorani (2021): Towards a circular economy: An emerging economies context, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.725-735
Circular Economy (CE) and the adoption of its principles globally are more important than ever to sustain the rate of production of goods and services to meet the ever-increasing consumer demand that is burdening the environment and society. This study investigates the adoption of CE principles amongst emerging economies as the challenges faced by these economies are generally different in terms of resource availability, varying government policies and consumer behaviour from those of developed economies. This research presents an empirically validated CE adoption model using a sample of 183 consumer responses. The study highlights the strong influence of factors such as consumer behaviour on the acceptance of remanufactured products and using products as a service to encourage the adoption of CE practices in emerging economies. This research offers businesses, consumers and policy makers insights into measures that have been taken by emerging economies that are in line with CE principles.
Parsons, E., T. Kearney, E. Surman, B. Cappellini, S. Moffat, V. Harman and K. Scheurenbrand (2021): Who really cares? Introducing an ‘Ethics of Care’ to debates on transformative value co-creation, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.794-804
This paper introduces an “ethics of care” lens to the literature on Transformative Services Research (TSR) to understand how service users and providers co-create transformational value and well-being. In considering six food poverty organizations—categorized as market-oriented, faith-oriented, or neighborhood-oriented—the authors argue that the intention behind enacting an ethics of care drives different possibilities for transformative value. The analysis is organized in line with Tronto’s (1993; 2001) phases of caring, and makes connections between values that drive the organization’s work, emerging subjectivities, practices that unfold as a result, and ultimately the value that is co-created. The findings show that caring relations must be considered “in situ,” as an organization’s values and practices are what determine the potential for transformative value.
Hammedi, W., T. Leclercq, I. Poncin and L. Alkire (2021): Uncovering the dark side of gamification at work: Impacts on engagement and well-being, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.256-269
• Gamified work has a negative impact on FLEs’ job satisfaction and engagement. • FLE engagement is a driver of job performance. • Willingness to participate moderates gamified work effects on FLEs’ job satisfaction and engagement. Rethinking the workplace experience as a means for enhancing the well-being of frontline employees (FLEs) represents a key priority for services. The well-being of frontline employees leads to improved performance and better customer service, such that it enhances the firm’s overall competitive advantage and revenue. Therefore, engagement-facilitating technologies that can increase FLEs’ well-being, such as gamified work, hold promise in terms of their effects on job satisfaction and engagement. Using a mixed-method design, including in-depth interviews with FLEs and their managers, and two large field experiments, this research considers two key sectors in which FLEs are critical: retailing and telemarketing. The results highlight the negative impacts of gamified work on employee engagement and well-being, although the willingness of employees to participate in such gamified work moderates these negative impacts. By revealing how gamification affects FLEs’ well-being, job engagement, and job satisfaction, this research provides actionable insights for managers.
Arora, S. D. and A. Chakraborty (2021): Intellectual structure of consumer complaining behavior (CCB) research: A bibliometric analysis, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.60-74
Consumer complaining behavior (CCB) is an important field of research and practice, as it links the streams of service failure and service recovery. Despite extensive work, gaps persist in the understanding of CCB, for its intricate multi-dimensional nature. In this paper, we present a bibliometric analysis of CCB research published since 2000. Specifically, we analyze 729 articles containing 46,134 references, using citation and co-citation analysis. Our study reveals influential works in the CCB domain and identifies their clustering pattern. We supplement the exercise with social network analysis to decipher the centrality features of CCB research. We clarify the scholarly dialogue prevalent in the domain by interpreting the results through the process, valence, and actor perspective. Our review adds to theory by delineating the intellectual structure of CCB research and identifying future research potential. We contribute to practice by suggesting a four-pronged prescriptive approach toward CCB.
Cruz-Cárdenas, J., J. Guadalupe-Lanas, C. Ramos-Galarza and A. Palacio-Fierro (2021): Drivers of technology readiness and motivations for consumption in explaining the tendency of consumers to use technology-based services, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.217-225
• Consumer behavior in the use of technology-based services is studied. • Hedonic and utilitarian motivations and optimism and innovativeness are predictors. • Hedonic and utilitarian motivations mediate the effects of optimism and innovativeness. • Optimism does not act directly; innovativeness does. • Conclusions are maintained through different technologies/services. This study aimed to identify the way in which the optimism and innovativeness of consumers (drivers of technology readiness) affect their tendency to use technology-based services, an area that merits additional research. The study was conducted in two phases in Quito, Ecuador. In the first phase, three services were selected to be studied: online shopping, online banking, and online music streaming. In the second phase, the hypotheses were tested with a random sample of 754 adults. The results were consistent in the three structural equation models (one for each service). Optimism acts indirectly, through the mediation of hedonic and utilitarian motivations. Innovativeness acts through a similar indirect channel, but it also acts directly. One of the marketing implications of this study is that simply concentrating on consumer attitudes towards technology is not enough, since it is necessary to consider their indirect effects on the tendency to use a service.
Fernandes, T. and E. Oliveira (2021): Understanding consumers’ acceptance of automated technologies in service encounters: Drivers of digital voice assistants adoption, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.180-191
• Drivers of AI digital voice assistants’ adoption in service encounters are examined. • The Service Robot Acceptance Model (sRAM) is validated and extended. • Functional, social and relational elements explain 88% of user acceptance variance. • Customer-robot rapport influence is validated, but humanness may not drive adoption. • User experience and preference for human interactions play a moderating role. Customers increasingly orchestrate their everyday activities with the support of technology, with services increasingly adopting AI-based applications. Yet, research is still in its infancy and has been largely conceptual. Therefore, based on data collected from 238 young consumers, analyzed using PLS-SEM, this study focuses on users’ motivations to adopt intelligent digital voice assistants in service encounters. Findings show that functional, social and relational elements drive adoption, untangle crossover effects between them and reveal the moderating role of experience and need for human interaction. While empirically validating and extending the Service Robot Acceptance Model by Wirtz and colleagues, this study provides evidence that anthropomorphism is not universally positive and adds a new perspective regarding the underexplored role of customer-robot rapport building. The study contributes to a more holistic understanding of digital voice assistants’ adoption and provides managerial guidance on how to successfully implement such technologies.
Jung, J. H., J. J. Yoo and T. J. Arnold (2021): The influence of a retail store manager in developing frontline employee brand relationship, service performance and customer loyalty, Journal of Business Research, 122(), pp.362-372
• Retail store managers have the ability to significantly influence the development of customer brand equity and loyalty through both brand knowledge and the dissemination of strategic information to frontline employees. • A retail sales employee’s perception of leader-member exchange quality, in association with a store manager’s brand knowledge, significantly influences the development of salesperson-brand relationship. • A salesperson’s brand relationship, in combination with strategic knowledge dissemination among store employees, develops salesperson service performance. Retail managers are critical to the effective performance of a firm given their key role of implementing retailer strategy through the behaviors and attitudes that are instilled within frontline employees. Yet, empirical work in retailing rarely attempts to incorporate perspectives of both the store manager and frontline employee, as well as integrating customer-focused outcomes. In this study, based upon predictions of social exchange theory, we present empirical results that provide an integrative view of how leader-member exchange quality influences the development of a frontline employee’s brand relationship, which ultimately influences retail employee performance and customer loyalty/brand equity. The strength of the observed empirical relationships is influenced by contextual factors, including manager brand knowledge and the extent to which strategic information is disseminated among employees. Both theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
Tan, T. M., M. S. Balaji, E.-L. Oikarinen, S. Alatalo and J. Salo (2021): Recover from a service failure: The differential effects of brand betrayal and brand disappointment on an exclusive brand offering, Journal of Business Research, 123(), pp.126-139
Brand managers inevitably have to face service failures and respond to them. Undertaking brand recovery is essential as customers might desire to take revenge or spread negative word-of-mouth if they feel betrayed or disappointed by the brand following the service failure. Thus, it is necessary to understand customer responses to brand recovery, which depend on whether they feel betrayed or disappointed (while related, this paper distinguishes these feelings). This research challenges the conventional wisdom by demonstrating that, after presenting customers with an exclusive brand offering during the brand recovery, brand betrayal predicts a positive brand attitude and brand disappointment predicts a negative brand attitude with the service failure. Further, the brand attitude mediates the positive relationship between brand betrayal, positive word-of-mouth, and the likelihood of recommending the brand to others. Thus, the quick recovery that follows an exclusive brand offering positively impacts on the brand relationship among betrayed customers.
Baek, E. and G.-E. Oh (2021): Diverse values of fashion rental service and contamination concern of consumers, Journal of Business Research, 123(), pp.165-175
Fashion rental service, as a form of collaborative consumption, has gained increasing attention in the fashion industry. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fashion rental businesses need to strategically respond to consumers with heightened contamination concerns. This research aims to understand how diverse consumption values of fashion rental service form attitudes towards the service depending on one’s contamination concerns and predict adoption intentions. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data (N = 270). The findings suggest that functional, economic, and emotional values significantly increase attitudes leading to adoption intentions. Further, contamination concerns moderate the relationships between values and attitudes as well as attitudes and intentions. The findings enrich the literature of collaborative consumption by integrating theories of consumption value and consumer contamination. Furthermore, the results provide managerial implications for strategic communication of FRS to effectively reach consumers depending on their contamination concern.