Call for Papers for a Special Issue of the Journal of Service Research

Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Consumers

Guest Editors: Hill R., Price L & Bone S

Submission deadline: 1 October 2024

Disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers are at risk of detrimental marketplace outcomes for a range of reasons including physical, mental, emotional, financial, or social circumstances that may be short-term, constantly evolving, or permanent. Providing marketplace equity, value and access to disadvantaged and vulnerable persons is of paramount concern. Scholarship has greatly expanded and nuanced marketers’ understanding of disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers (Blocker et al 2023; Hamilton et al. 2019; Hill and Sharma 2020). Substantial evidence reveals these consumers face numerous obstacles that can be created, exacerbated, alleviated, or erased by service. Service design, management and delivery critically determine the outcomes realized by disadvantaged and vulnerable consumers. Too often, service encounters discriminate, service designs diminish or restrict access, and realized service quality depends on consumers’ vulnerabilities (Bone, Williams, and Christensen 2016; Basu, Kumar and Kumar 2023). While provision of equitable service can diminish vulnerability, mitigate disadvantage, and deliver value, tailoring service to the diverse character and causes of disadvantage and vulnerability presents numerous challenges.

The purpose of this special issue of Journal of Service Research is to coordinate and extend the scholarship on disadvantaged/vulnerable consumers through a service lens. Please consider the following:
– How do advanced service technologies (e.g., AI, GenAI, robots, AR/VR) facilitate and/or hinder the creation and delivery of service to disadvantaged consumers?
– What service frameworks and methods are useful for identifying detrimental marketplace outcomes and meaningful interventions for disadvantaged consumers?
– What is the overall service experience of disadvantaged consumers? What is their experience of service failure and service recovery?
– How can services be designed and managed for diversity and inclusion?
– Is service performance, in part, a function of characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, physical or mental abilities, and relative affluence? If so, in which way?
– Social service is critical for the well-being of disadvantaged consumers, yet there exist tensions between the consumer, service provider, and complex service system. What are the frameworks and tools to best provide social service to disadvantaged consumers?

Paper Development Workshop @ 2024 Frontiers in Service Conference

We will organize an author workshop at the 2024 Frontiers in Service Conference.

We would like to invite you to a pre-conference event concerning the Special Issue on “Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Consumers” at the Journal of Service Research. This event takes the format of a half-day workshop in which the potential contributors to this Issue will present their original, cutting-edge ideas on the topic. The overall objective of this workshop is to help participants discuss and refine their original work in a way that advances research on disadvantaged/vulnerable consumers through a service lens. We also hope to further develop these potential contributions and to encourage submissions to the Journal of Service Research.

This half-day workshop will be composed of two stages:
1. Introduction and overview of Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Consumers in Service (45 minutes): The co-editors will open the discussion and share expectations about the SI.
2. Roundtable Research Presentations (105 minutes): Small group roundtable discussions about the participants’ papers that target the special issue. Each table will be assigned one co-editor and/or senior scholar to provide comments and different point of views. This workshop will take place June 27 or 28 as part of the 2024 Frontiers in Service Conference. You need to register for this event to participate. We expect authors to be physically present at Frontiers and will not facilitate online presentations.

The exact timing of the workshop will be communicated with the acceptance of the submission. Authors interested in presenting their work should submit a proposal to the special issue team. Proposals should be submitted as a single Word or PDF file. The cover page should provide the full name, title, affiliation, and email address of each author. The proposal should include the following sections: Abstract, Introduction and Motivation, Methods, and Data, and (Expected) Results. Proposal length is a maximum of 1,500 words excluding tables, figures, and references. Please send your proposal to Sterling Bone before March 15, 2024.

This workshop is organized by the three co-editors of the Special Issue on “Disadvantaged and Vulnerable Consumers” and JSR’s Editor-in-Chief, Ming-Hui Huang, and it is sponsored by JSR.

Important dates:
• Proposal submission deadline: March 15, 2024
• Author notification date: April 15, 2024
• Workshop date: June 27 or 28, 2024
• Special issue submission deadline: October 1, 2024

Special Issue Co-Editors
Ron Hill, American University
Linda Price, University of Wyoming
Sterling Bone, Utah State University