Revisit: The Future of Retail Frontline Management


Special issue of Journal of Retailing; Deadline 1 Apr 2018

Journal of Retailing
Special Section: The Future of Retail Frontline Management

Manuscripts are being solicited for an upcoming Special Section of the Journal of Retailing devoted to “The Future of Retail Frontline Management.”

Organizational frontline research (OFR) is broadly defined as the study of interactions and interfaces at the point-of-contact between an organization and its customers that promote, facilitate, or enable value creation and exchange (Singh, Brady, Arnold, and Brown 2017). This Special Section seeks to draw on prior research on the future of retailing (e.g., Grewal, Roggeveen, and Nordfält 2017), while adding a deliberate OFR lens to identify new challenges and opportunities retailing organizations, managers, and/or customers face.

We welcome novel research that addresses traditional variables associated with retailing and OFR (e.g., self-reported customer data and objective purchase data), as well as less considered variables that impact retail firms and their customers (e.g., visual data, geolocation data). Because of the relevance of and dynamics in the retailing sector, studies that include actual marketplace data (e.g., field studies) are strongly encouraged. Below is a list of possible topics that could fit this Special Section:

  • Frontline employees’ interactions with customers in different spaces (in-store, online, chat, email, social media)
  • How to effectively manage frontlines for the best customer experience
  • How co-creating/co-producing with the frontline can create/destroy value for customers
  • Using data and technology to create more efficient and effective frontline experiences
  • Human versus artificial employees in retailing
  • Capturing and modeling customer-retailer interactions across multiple interfaces and touch points

Submission Requirements and Information

Inquiries can be directed to the Special Section Guest Editors: Martin Mende ( and Stephanie Noble (

Submissions guidelines and the online submission system can be found at

Papers will undergo the same review process as regularly submitted papers. In the submission cover letter, authors should indicate that they would like their paper considered for this Special Section.

The submission window for manuscripts is March 1 – April 1, 2018


Grewal, Dhruv, Anne L. Roggeveen, and Jens Nordfält (2017), “The Future of Retailing,” Journal of Retailing, 93 (1), 1–6.

Singh, Jagdip, Michael Brady, Todd Arnold, and Tom Brown (2017), “The Emergent Field of Organizational Frontlines,” Journal of Service Research, 20 (1), 3-11.