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Showcasing the diversity of service research: theories, methods and success of service articles.

Benoit, Sabine, Scherschel, Katrin, Ates, Z, Nasr, L and Kandampully, J (2017) Showcasing the diversity of service research: theories, methods and success of service articles. Journal of Service Management, 28 (5). pp. 810-836.

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Purpose of the paper:

This study aims to make two main contributions: (1) showcase the diversity of service research in terms of the variety of used theories and methods and (2) explain (post publication) success of articles operationalized as interest in an article (downloads), usage (citations), and awards (best paper nomination). From there, three sub-contributions are derived: (1) stimulate a dialogue about existing norms and practices in the service field, (2) enable and encourage openness amongst service scholars, and (3) motivate scholars to join the field.


A mixed method approach is used in combining quantitative and qualitative research methods while analyzing 158 Journal of Service Management articles on several criteria such as their theory, methodology, and main descriptive elements (e.g., number of authors or references) and then using automated text analysis (e.g. investigating the readability of articles, etc.).


The results show that the Journal of Service Management publishes a large variety of articles with regards to theories, methods of data collection, and types of data analysis. For example, JOSM has published a mixture of qualitative and quantitative articles and papers containing firm-level and customer-level data. Further, the results show that even though conceptual articles create the same amount of interest (downloads), they are used more (citations).


This article presents many descriptive results which do not allow for making inferences toward the entire service research discipline. Further, it is only based on one service research journal (Journal of Service Management) through a 5 year span of publication.


The results have a number of implications for the discipline that are presented and discussed. Amongst them are that: (1) the discipline should be more open towards conceptual articles, (2) service research shows an imbalance towards theory testing, (3) there is more potential to work with transactional data, and (4) writing style should be more accessible (i.e. readable). Originality: This article is the first to conduct an in-depth analysis of service research articles to stimulate dialogue about common publishing practices in the Journal of Service Management and to increase the openness of the field.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Ates, Z
Nasr, L
Kandampully, J
Date : 5 December 2017
DOI : 10.1108/JOSM-05-2017-0102
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2017 Emerald Publishing
Uncontrolled Keywords : Service Research, Publishing, Theories, Methods, Article Success
Depositing User : Melanie Hughes
Date Deposited : 05 Sep 2017 10:00
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 18:56

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