Learning from Pandemics Past and Present


For Service Theory and Practice, Special issue of the Journal of Service Theory and Practice; Deadline 1 Aug 2020

Author: Laszlo Sajtos

Special Issue of the Journal of Service Theory & Practice on

Learning from Pandemics Past and Present for Service Theory and Practice

Like 1918, 2020 will be remembered as the year of a global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented because it has led to massive economic, human and social crises. Its impact is being felt in every country on earth, unlike smaller, but more common, epidemics such as SARS, MERS and Ebola.

Governments around the world continue to escalate and enforce measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus, including quarantine, isolation and distancing, immigration and travel restrictions, and strict limitations with respect to exercise and public gatherings such as wedding and funerals. Many service industries, including arts, sports, leisure, hospitality and travel have had to suspend operations, stand down their workforces, require compulsory leave, or force employees to work from home. On top of this, supply chains are disrupted by delays due to quarantine, lack of workforce or breaches in contracts.

In light of this situation, the Journal of Service Theory and Practice (JSTP) calls for papers to understand pandemic crises and their implications for service organizations. Among others, we are inviting conceptual and empirical papers that shed light on any of the following issues:

  • What has this pandemic taught service providers? How can they better future proof themselves to pandemics?
  • How can service employees reclaim their bargaining rights and involvement in corporate decision making following the economic fallout from the pandemic?
  • How can service providers enhance the safety net for high risk service employees?
  • How does the pandemic stimulate human creativity and ingenuity in service?
  • Winners and losers. What are the implications of the political categorization of services as essential vs. non-essential?
  • How have business models for service changed in response to the pandemic and what is their likely fate once the pandemic is over?
  • How has technology helped to alleviate or attenuate the impact of the pandemic?
  • How are customers changing their scripts in their interaction with services and how do they recalibrate their spending to maintain well-being?
  • How are vulnerable populations disproportionally impacted and what can be done to mitigate this?
  • How is the meaning of service contracts and guarantees changing? What factors determine whether force majeure clauses hinder or help service providers?
  • How is the status of service workers (e.g., health care workers and supermarket employees) impacted by the virus and what are the implications of this to customer interactions?
  • How can service providers help serve their community and society in the time of crises? What is the role of corporate social responsibility during a pandemic?

Articles should not exceed a word limit of 8000 words (all-inclusive) and must make a contribution to theory and practice. The deadline for submission is 1 August, 2020. Each

paper will undergo two rounds of reviews, after which a final decision will be made. The

special issue will be published in early 2021.

The authors of the accepted manuscripts will be invited to present their paper at an online

webinar in late 2020.

All papers should be submitted via the online editorial system


Feel free to send your queries to the special issue editors: Associate Professor Laszlo

Sajtos (l.sajtos@auckland.ac.nz), Professor Liliana Bove (lbove@unimelb.edu.au),

Professor Eileen Bridges (ebridges@kent.edu) or Associate Professor Jonas Holmqvist