Service Research in Emerging Markets


Business as Usual? Special issue of Journal of Service Theory and Practice; Deadline 1 Nov 2018

Service Research in Emerging Markets: Business as Usual?

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Service Theory and Practice

As a consequence of rapid growth and industrialization, emerging markets (EMs) are the countries which are transitioning from developing to developed markets. These are countries that have embraced major reforms, increased their participation in global business and achieved steady growth are referred to as emerging markets (Ghauri & Cateora, 2014). Emerging markets (e.g. BRICS: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), on the face of it, seem to be moving towards market-based orientation from what were previously relatively closed economies. Precisely because of these opportunities, EMs have become the new battleground for multinational companies. Service industries in these markets are witnessing rapid growth and have become a key value creator in these regions. Reports indicate a higher contribution of services from EMs to the world’s GDP (The World Factbook, 2015), and the importance of services to create more differentiation in the service firm’s offerings.

Managing services in EMs has been a difficult proposition for companies because of a number of concerns such as: (a) changing consumer preferences; (b), availability of different service products; (c) evolving mechanism for engaging with the companies; and, (d) innovative marketing strategies adopted by service firms. Furthermore, EMs have witnessed a big transformation in consumers’ preferences for services as a result of social, cultural, geo-demographic and psychological factors. Growth in disposable incomes is driving an increase in consumers’ spending power and creating demand for new service delivery systems. EMs are characterized by five core characteristics: market heterogeneity, socio-political governance, chronic shortage of resources, unbranded competition and inadequate infrastructure – which makes them radically different from the developed markets (Sheth, 2011). Thus, given these 2 characteristics the long held core assumptions of services marketing are open to scrutiny. Empirical papers with a stronger focus on EMs will provide a stage for important theoretical and practical advances in the field of services marketing in particular and marketing in general (Burgess & Steenkamp, 2013; Roberts et al., 2015). Our special issue adds to previous contributions on marketing in emerging economies. Although there has been some other recent research published on this issue (e.g. Roy et al., 2018; Kumar et al., 2017; Morgeson III et al., 2015), there remains a need for additional conceptual and empirical work in this area in order to advance the field of services marketing in EMs.

Despite their importance to global economies, growing interest and increased opportunity, along with the challenges that come with managing services in EMs, the empirical base with an emphasis on EMs remains fragile. This fragility relates to general services marketing theory and practice where consumer expectations are likely to differ to those in the Western economies.

In this special issue of JSTP we are keen to publish empirical papers that help further our understanding of the marketing of services in EMs. In advancing the empirical base, we are interested in both qualitative (to provide richness of information) and quantitative (to provide generalizability) studies that address some of the topics that we list below:

  1. Managing service experience and smart services in EMs.
  2. Branding of services in EMs.
  3. Transformative services in EMs.
  4. Understanding customer engagement and engagement behaviour in EMs.
  5. Impact of new technologies such as Internet of Things/Internet of Everything, smartphones, broadband, mobile Internet, social media, m-commerce, e-commerce on customers’ attitudes and behaviours of the consumers in services sector in EMs.
  6. Understanding consumer behaviour in services in EMs.
  7. Managing people for service advantage in EMs.
  8. Service failure and service recovery in EMs.
  9. Service design and designing service processes in EMs.
  10. Service innovation in EMs.
  11. Service encounter 2.0 and customers’ role in service delivery in EMs.
  12. Service adoption for entrepreneurs and SMEs.
  13. Service delivery, co-production and co-integration of services.

Submission guidelines

In preparing manuscripts, authors are asked to follow the Author Guidelines available on the journal homepage available here.To submit your paper online you must create an author account at then follow the on-screen guidance which takes you through the submission process.

Major Dates

  • Submissions open: 1st October 2018
  • Last date for submission of papers: 1st November 2018
  • Reviews returned: 1st February 2019
  • Revised papers submitted: 1st May 2019
  • Final papers due: 1st August 2019
  • Expected publication of special issue: Early 2020

For any questions or concerns about this call for papers, please contact any of the guest co- editors whose full details are given below:

Dr Sanjit Kumar Roy
Senior Lecturer, Marketing
UWA Business School
The University of Western Australia
Ph: +61 8 6488 7210 | Fax: +61 8 6488 1014

Dr Harjit Sekhon
Reader in Marketing
Centre for Business in Society
Faculty of Business and Law
Coventry University
Priory Street
Coventry Email:
Ph: +44 24 7688 7688

Dr Bang Nguyen
Associate Professor of Marketing
ECUST School of Business
East China University of Science and Technology
130 Meilong Road, Xuhui District
200237 Shanghai, P.R. China.

Full information on this call can be found here:


Burgess, S.M. and Steenkamp, J.B.E., 2013. Introduction to the special issue on marketing in emerging markets. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 30(1), pp.1-3.

Ghauri, P. and Cateora, P.R., 2014. International Marketing, McGraw-Hill Education, Auflage.

Kumar, V., Rajan, B., Gupta, S. and Dalla Pozza, I., 2017. Customer engagement in service. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science,

Morgeson III Forrest V., Sharma Pratyush Nidhi, Hult G. Tomas M. 2015. Cross-National Differences in Consumer Satisfaction: Mobile Services in Emerging and Developed Markets. Journal of International Marketing, 23 (2), pp. 1-24.

Roberts, J., Kayande, U. and Srivastava, R.K., 2015. What’s Different About Emerging Markets, and What Does it Mean for Theory and Practice? Customer Needs and Solutions 2(4), 245-250

Roy, S.K., Balaji, M.S., Soutar, G., Lassar, W.M. and Roy, R., 2017. Customer engagement behavior in individualistic and collectivistic markets. Journal of Business Research,

Sheth, J.N., 2011. Impact of emerging markets on marketing: Rethinking existing perspectives and practices. Journal of Marketing, 75(4), pp.166-182.

The World Factbook 2015,