Revisit: Hot Topics in Service Research


Update on Hot Topics in Service Research IV, Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK, 13 Sep 2012; Deadline now 20 Aug

HOT TOPICS IN SERVICE RESEARCH IV – Transforming Service Research
9.00am-6.00pm on September 13th 2012
Manchester Business School, MBS East, Booth Street East, Lecture Theatre B3
The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

One of currently most talked about articles is Ostrom et al. (2010) “Moving Forward and Making a Difference: Research Priorities for the Science of Service” in the Journal of Service Research. Enlarging on this theme, renowned researchers who have a strong reputation in the service field will discuss their views at the fourth Hot Topics in Service Research together with participants from Manchester Business School (MBS) and other institutions.

Hot Topics IV is a research workshop consisting of 5 tracks. Each track will have up to 7 participants working together during the day. The participants will discuss the topic of the specific track and develop a research agenda, and may also develop ideas for a joint research project and publication. In the late afternoon, the track chairs will then present the ideas discussed during the day to the final plenary meeting. This promises to be a lively and thought-provoking event with contributions from many aspects of contemporary service research in the US, Australia, Europe and the UK.

The research workshop is free to attend (buffet lunch and other refreshments provided), however, in order to take part in this event, interested academics should submit a 500 word position statement with the following information:

Which track would you like to be in? Why would you like to be in this specific track? What research have you conducted in area of your chosen track?

Please send this to until August 20th. Successful applicants will be informed by August 25th.

Overview of available tracks

Track 1 – "Sustaining a sustainable lifestyle”

Brief Overview: This track discusses how marketers can help consumers and firms to live a sustainable life and firms to develop products and services allowing consumers to do so.

At the heart of this is innovation and adoption for firms and policy issues for policy makers.

Track leader: Professor Tor W. Andreassen is Professor in Marketing at BI Norwegian Business School. Dr. Andreassen’s research interests are frontline employees’ contributions to value equity, customer (dis)satisfaction, technology and services, service innovation, customer relationship management and its financial implications. Dr Andreassen’s research has been published in leading journals such as: MIT Sloan Management Review, Marketing Science, Journal of Marketing, Quality & Quantity, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Public Sector Management, Journal of Service Research, Journal of Services Marketing, European Journal of Marketing, and Journal of Service Industry Management. He is s regular columnist in a leading Norwegian business magazine.

Track 2 – “Transforming the delivery of health care services”

Brief Overview: One of the critical issues facing almost every country is the ability to effectively deliver health care services. Identifying more efficient and effective methods to do so has the potential to have significant positive impacts on the health of the population and via that a potential reduction in the cost of health care. The purpose of this session will be to discuss various ways in which service marketing scholars can aid health care providers in doing a better job of delivering health care. Topics can include things such as patient/physician interactions and how health care professionals can do a better job ensuring patients understand and follow prescriptions as well as how the emerging service science field can enhance the efficient production of health care.

Track leader: Dr. Thomas L. Baker is an Associate Professor of Marketing in the Department of Marketing at Clemson University. His research interests are primarily in the area of Services Marketing and Social Media. Dr. Baker’s research has been published in leading journals including the Journal of Marketing, Journal of Retailing, and Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Dr. Baker was recently President of the Society for Marketing Advances and Chair of the Services Marketing Special Interest Group (SERVSIG) of the American Marketing Association.

Track 3 – “Improving consumer and societal welfare by enhancing the access, quality, and productivity of service”

Brief Overview: Service consumers are often vulnerable (Baker, Gentry and Rittenburg 2005) in that they often lack a degree of control and agency. Service consumers are often disadvantaged, most especially with regard to expertise and decreased knowledge in comparison to the service provider. The transformational effects experienced by consumers may be intended, unintended, or even unknown by the service organizations that contribute to their creation. Examples of these consequences include consumer felt- or actual discrimination, service employee dissatisfaction and attrition, and the inefficiencies and financial costs of delivering service. Given the macro-focus of this topic, discussions will be inclusive of the collective consumer in addition to the individual consumer. These consumer collectives might be the family, communities, nations, and other consumer subgroups. Including a focus on collective consumers gives rise to a discussion of the tensions between collective well-being and individual well-being.

Track leader: Dr Sterling Bone is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University. His research interests are in customer feedback management; vulnerability of resource-constrained entrepreneurs; discretionary judgment in risk-based decision making; individual differences among consumers and customer contact personnel (i.e., service employees and salespeople). Dr Bone has published in journals such as Journal of Service Research, Psychology & Marketing, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Journal of Applied Management and Entrepreneurship and Journal of Consumer Behaviour.

Track 4 – “Expanding Understanding of Service Innovation”

Brief overview: Martin and Horne (1993 p. 62) state “The process of new service development is not well defined, and does not adhere to conventional empirical mechanisms. Yet, new services come onto the market every day. ’How?’ Remains the critical question”. We add to this by asking, do we really understand what these new services or service innovations are? We live in a society in which more of what is being produced and consumed is service. The service sector for developed countries is normally around 70% and it is steadily increasing. New services are constantly being introduced, new companies are started based on service innovation, and all types of employees are being hired in new service industries. The growth is not only in traditional service sectors; the importance of services is increasing in traditional goods dominated sectors. The question we ask ourselves is; what is a service innovation and how does a service innovation occur?

Based on the frequency and importance, service innovation and not innovation of goods should be regarded as the norm in society and not just a special case. We all know that this is not the case. Innovation of goods is well researched, well established and possesses a high standing in our society. When studying lists of the most important innovations to our society it is full of goods related innovations and they rarely include service innovations.

Track leader: Professor Anders Gustafsson is a professor of business administration in the Service Research Center at Karlstad University, Sweden. He is doing research on issues like; customer orientation, customer satisfaction and loyalty, new service development, service infusion in manufacturing, and management of customer relationships. Dr. Gustafsson has published more than 150 academic articles, book chapters and industry reports. He has published articles in journals such as Journal of Marketing, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Business Research and Journal of Service Research.

Track 5 – “Designing context-specific service systems”

Brief overview: Many of the service systems being built and imagined today combine person-to-person encounters; technology-enhanced encounters; self-service; computational services; and multichannel, multidevice, location-based and context-aware services (Glushko, 2010). Designing effective and efficient service systems that embrace this complexity has emerged as one of the key priorities for service scholarship. This track will foster discussion around the challenges confronting service system designers, and explore the tools and methods that can be used to support service design research. Particular attention will be given to the need for a richer theoretical base to guide service design across different service contexts.

Track leader: Professor Byron Keating is a Professor of Service Management and Director of the Centre for Tourism Research at the University of Canberra. He is also Director of the Service Innovation Lab, a service-focused management consultancy based in Canberra. He has broad ranging research interests in a wide range of service contexts. For instance, his PhD examined the impact of technology on service delivery and consumption in different service settings. The quality of this research was later acknowledged through two international dissertation awards. Professor Keating has also received numerous best paper awards and was recognised in 2009 with an Endeavour Fellowship to work with the National University of Singapore to examine the impact of CSR on service supply chains. He recently received an ARC Linkage Industry Fellowship (2012-2015) to further his work on service experience within Australian cultural institutions.

Professor Keating has published in the Proceedings of the IEEE, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, Journal of Business Logistics, Journal of Computer Information Systems and European Journal of Information Systems.

We are looking forward to welcoming you to this event. See campus map for travel directions:

Some track leaders and colleagues from Manchester Business School will also attend the ‘Experiential Consumption in Context’ workshop hosted by the University of Liverpool Management School (ULMS) on September 14th (10:30am-3pm). Guest speakers are: PD Dr Heiko Gebauer (EAWAG), Professor Steve Baron (ULMS), Dr Philippa Hunter-Jones (ULMS), and Dr Gary Warnaby (ULMS). They present in Session 1 – "Service Implications of Consumption Adequacy". This will then be followed by Session2 – “Experiential Aspects of Arts & Not-for-Profit Marketing” with guest speakers Dr Tony Conway (Salford Business School) and Steve Oakes (ULMS). For further details please contact Dr Gary Warnaby directly (

Travel Information:

A taxi from Manchester Piccadilly station will cost around £5, but there is also a bus service from across the road from the taxi rank.

All the hotels below are within walking distance or a short taxi ride from the venue.

Around £56 per night

Manchester Ancoats
Oldham Street

Manchester Blackfriars
Blackfriars Street


Around £61 per night

IBIS Manchester Charles Street

IBIS Manchester City Centre Portland Street

Premier Inn
Around £66 per night.

The following hotels are listed in the website below:

Manchester City Centre (Portland Street)
Manchester City Centre (GMEX)
Manchester City Centre (Deansgate Locks)
Manchester City Centre (MEN Arena)

Arora Manchester Hotel

Around £84 per night Princess Street

Manchester Portland Thistle

Portland Street Around £91 per night Link:

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