Call for paper for a Special Issue in Journal of Service Theory and Practice.

Crafting Immersive Service Experiences: Bridging Fiction and Reality

Guest editors: Malodia S, Kunz W, Shukla Y & Renzi MF

Deadline: 30 November 2024

The aim of this special issue is to explore the transformative influence of immersive technologies on service management. We will examine theoretical and practical aspects of how virtual reality, artificial intelligence (AI), and related technologies redefine service delivery, customer engagement, and experience.

The issue encourages the submission of research that builds and expands on existing service theories in the context of immersive technologies, offering empirical evidence and conceptual insights. It will address the theoretical underpinnings, ethical considerations, and cultural implications of these technologies in services. Furthermore, the issue seeks to uncover how immersive tools can be integrated into service systems to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty, and value creation, thereby enriching the service theory and practice landscape. Finally, aligned with the global commitment to sustainable development, the special issue aims to explicitly connect these advancements with relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals, fostering a dialogue on how immersive technology can contribute to broader societal goals such as innovation, quality education, health and well-being, sustainable cities, and strong institutions.

Studies indicate a burgeoning interest in how virtual and augmented reality, and artificial intelligence are reshaping service delivery, yet comprehensive frameworks for their application are lacking (Batat & Hammedi, 2023; Heller et al., 2020). The pandemic has accelerated digital service adoption, underscoring the relevance of this technology for remote engagement (Silva et al., 2021). With societal implications ranging from increased accessibility to privacy concerns, there is a pressing academic and practical need to explore these technologies’ ethical use and impact on consumer behavior (Butt et al., 2021). This special issue responds to these imperatives, seeking to bridge the theoretical and empirical divide in the application of immersive technologies in service management.

The special issue related to the ICMC 2024 Conference theme Business Transformation through Immersive Technology, the special issue aims to provide a platform for experts, including practitioners, academicians, policymakers, and researchers, to engage in conversations, co-learn, and co-create a healthy ecosystem for the better application of immersive technology, critical understanding of its implications, and envisioning its future.

The special issue call for papers is also an open call and not restricted to conference track submissions only but invites the community of service researchers to submit their latest work on creating immersive service experiences.

List of Topic Areas
– Theoretical frameworks for understanding immersive technology’s impact on service management.
– Applications of VR, AI, AR, and other immersive mechanisms in service delivery and customer engagement.
– Psychological and emotional effects of immersive experiences on consumer behavior and decision-making
– Design principles for creating effective and meaningful immersive service encounters.
– Ethical considerations and privacy concerns related to immersive experiences in service settings.
– Measuring the effectiveness and ROI of immersive experiences in service contexts.
– Investigate the societal impact of immersive technologies, addressing issues of accessibility and inclusivity

Submissions Information
– Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed.
– Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”.

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines
Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 31/03/2024
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30/11/2024

Guest editors
Dr. Suresh Malodia, Associate Professor, MICA, Ahmedabad, India
Prof. Werner Kunz, University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA
Dr. Yupal Shukla, Director, IRSSM (A SERI Initiative), USA
Prof. Maria Francesca Renzi, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy