Traditionally, the Journal of Service Research awards are given out during the Frontiers in Service conference. This summer 2023 in Maastricht, the winners for the best paper published in 2022 were announced. Join us in recognising the authors’ contribution to our field, as well as the JSR best reviewer and outstanding associate editor of the year.

Best Paper Award Winners

foto: Philip Driessen – UM SBE – conference Frontiers in Service 2023,

Josina Vink and Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (2022), Building Reflexivity Using Service Design Methods

The transformative potential of service design rests on its ability to enable people to intentionally shape institutionalized social structures. To avoid simply reproducing social structures unconsciously, people need reflexivity—an awareness of existing social structures. Scholars suggest that the use of service design methods can enhance people’s reflexivity. However, the theoretical underpinning of this effect remains unclear, which in turn limits the realization of service design’s transformative potential in practice. In response, using an abductive approach that combines theoretical and empirical inputs, we develop an integrative framework that explains the mechanisms by which service design methods can increase people’s reflexivity. The current study contributes to the evolving service design discourse with an alternative categorization of service design methods, based on their affordances for different modes of reflexivity. The framework also reveals the underlying processes by which the use of service design methods can support people’s work with institutionalized social structures as design materials to enable transformation. This research supports a more thoughtful use and strategic development of service design methods to support transformative aims.

Best Paper Award Finalists

Jens Hogreve, Anja Iseke, and Klaus Derfuss (2022), “The Service-Profit Chain: Reflections, Revisions, and Reimaginations

Over the past 25 years, the service–profit chain (SPC) has become a prominent guidepost for service managers and researchers. In this article, we reflect on and synthesize published research to clarify what researchers have learned about the SPC and what remains less well understood. Based on an in-depth discussion of the field, we present a revised SPC and propose multiple areas in which further research would be worthwhile, such as internal service quality as specific systems of human resource management practices, both employee and customer well-being as additional mediators, different targets of employee and customer loyalty, contingencies, and non-linear and feedback effects. We conclude by reimagining the SPC, and we discuss digital and artificial-intelligence–driven changes to the SPC’s structure. Finally, based on the insights we discuss, we inform scholars of the current state of SPC research and provide a detailed agenda for future research.

Leonard L. Berry, Deanna J. Attai, Debra L. Scammon, and Rana Lee Adawi Awdish (2022), “When the Aims and the Ends of Health Care Misalign

In health care, a high-emotion service, unintended consequences can be especially problematic. People’s physical, psychological, and financial well-being—even their lives—are at stake. As scientific, technological, and demographic changes make health care a much more complex service to deliver, efforts to anticipate, avoid, and correct unintended consequences become more crucial. Using narrative examples and an extensive review of the data and the literature, we explore these efforts in four domains of U.S. health care: (1) the increasingly widespread, often challenging use of electronic health records; (2) the threat to the patient-clinician relationship from a greater, sometimes narrow emphasis on productivity metrics; (3) the culture of medicine’s frequently misguided prioritizing of treatment over true healing; and (4) the overreliance on family caregivers who are often poorly prepared to care for the seriously ill. We then apply lessons from health care’s unintended consequences to non-health-care services and suggest opportunities for service researchers to contribute to improving health care delivery, a service that all of us need.

Best Reviewer Award Winners

Dominik Mahr, Per Skalen, and Yves van Vaerenbergh

Outstanding Associate Editor Award Winners

Jens Hogreve, Ad de Jong, and Jennifer D. Chandler

Previous awards:
– 2018
– 2017
– 2016