Social Customer Journey


Behavioural and Social Implications of Digitally Disruptive Environment, Special issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change; Deadline 31 Dec 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Yogesh K.Dwivedi

Technological Forecasting and Social Change

Call for Papers

Social Customer Journey – Behavioural and Social Implications of Digitally Disruptive Environment [Short title (VSI): Social Customer Journey]

Deadline for submission: 31 Dec 2021

Background and Motivations

Since the last few decades, consumer behaviour and consequently consumer behaviour research are going through a transition and gradually adapting to the technological advancements and the digitally disruptive environment. However, recent unprecedented developments due to COVID-19 pandemic have completely shaken the businesses and customers alike. This hostile environment has pushed most of the customers to a forced digital experience adoption. Particularly, customers’ channel preferences and their customer journey have seen a significant change that has resulted in high online activity and increased online sales. Though some of these trends may be temporary, many will have more long-lasting effects on daily consumption as well as on social interactions and communications. This pandemic has served as a catalyst to this already fast-changing customer journey; hence, stressed the need to recognise, understand and utilise this transition.

Additionally, digital disruption and transformation have greatly influenced the ways of interaction both at the individual and organizational levels, eventually leading to a notable social change. This change is much more visible in the individuals interacting in the virtual environment. Moreover, this social change does not only affect the society as a whole but also customers at the individual level resulting in several important consequences for consumer research. The relevance of social media websites (SMW), in this regard, is of particular importance as these SMWs play an important role in shaping an individual’s path to purchase. Generally, individuals use SMWs – due to their public nature – to initiate social change or be a part of it (Bhatti et al., 2020). Therefore, the social change due to disruption or accelerated digitisation – as a consequence of this recent pandemic – should be studied and explored to understand how individuals (as customers or members of society) tend to be a part of it.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based technologies, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, and Chatbots are entirely revamping customer experience by replacing social others (Nam & Kannan, 2020). These technologies are changing customers’ behaviours with respect to their individual or group decision making (Shareef et al., 2020). Moreover, emerging social technologies and societal changes have led to new type of  digital influencers which are revamping customer path to purchase into social customer journey (Hamilton et al., 2020). However, the increasing influence of AI-Based technologies, such as Chatbots and Virtual Agents and their integration with social media in forming customer experience throughout their social customer journey demands new behavioural and societal research both from theoretical and managerial perspectives (Duan et al., 2019; Roy et al., 2017).

Recent literature has highlighted academic and managerial issues related to consumers’ switching behaviour towards disruptive technologies  (Kamolsook et al., 2019) and social change; however, there is a clear gap between the amount of research on social customer journey and marketing response (Argo & Dahl, 2020; Bhatti et al., 2020). Especially, the literature has not paced up on the behavioural and social consequences of digital transformation and rapidly changing environment (Ossewaarde, 2019). We expect this special issue (SI) will address these contemporary topics/problems by providing conceptual foundations and offering an exciting roadmap for social change and social customer journey. This SI will address these wide-ranging issues by inviting research ideas – focusing on social change and social customer journey – employing variety of qualitative and quantitative methods, such as case study, empirical, experimental, and theoretical research. We especially encourage studies offering novel research debate in this area rather than the ones offering incremental contributions.

Major themes and issues

Following are some of the suggested topics for the potential contributions to this special issue, but these are not limited to:

  • Significance of digital influencers in social customer journey
  • Digitally disruptive environment and social change
  • Marketing response to behavioural changes due to digitally disruptive environment
  • Individual and organisational level consequences of digital disruption
  • Implications of digital transformation for behavioural and social theories
  • Ethical considerations of digital disruption
  • Consequences of digital transformation for consumer involvement on social networking sites
  • Users’ active and passive engagement in social media platforms
  • Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic for consumer behaviour and social research paradigm, such as automation, behavioural attitude, and social distancing
  • How is the e-commerce and social commerce facilitating customer’s social journey through various stages of marketing funnel?
  • Consumers’ decision making over multi-channel versus omni-channel platforms
  • Cross cultural implications of digital disruption for social change and customer behaviour
  • Issues related to customers engagement through digital and social media marketing
  • Role of showrooming and webrooming behaviours in social customer journey
  • Issues related to trust in virtual agents and source derogation during social customer journey
  • Effects of AI-based digital technologies at various stages of customer journey
  • The association between customers social/ digital identity and online decision making
  • The role of individuals’ cultural orientation and socioeconomic factors in social customer journey
  • Digital and social media strategies and tools to achieve marketing objectives, such as acquisition, conversion, retention, and growth
  • The effects of brand credibility and social presence on customers’ decisions in different stages of the customer journey
  • Effects of virtual agents, such as chatbots in augmenting customers’ virtual experience

Important dates

The timeline of this special issue is as follows:

  • Submission dates: Nov 01, 2020 — Dec 31, 2021
  • Review process: On a rolling basis from Nov 2020 to Jun 2022
  • Possible publication: 2022

Guest Editors

Muhammad S. Akram
Essex Business School, University of Essex, Colchester, UK (Email:

Yogesh K. Dwivedi (Managing Guest Editor)
Emerging Markets Research Centre (EMaRC), School of Management Swansea University Bay Campus, UK (Email:

Mahmud A. Shareef
School of Business & Economics, North South University, Bangladesh (Email:

Zeeshan A. Bhatti
Portsmouth Business School, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK (Email:

Submission guidelines

Kindly submit your paper to the Special Issue category (VSI: Social Customer Journey) through the online submission system ( of Technological Forecasting & Social Change. All the submissions should follow the general author guidelines of Technological Forecasting & Social Change available at


Argo, J. J., & Dahl, D. W. (2020). Social Influence in the Retail Context: A Contemporary Review of the Literature. Journal of Retailing, 96(1), 25–39.

Bhatti, Z., Arain, G., Akram, M., Fang, Y. Y., & Yasin, H. (2020). Constructive Voice Behavior for Social Change on Social Networking Sites: A Reflection of Moral Identity. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 157(May), 120101.

Duan, Y., Edwards, J. S., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2019). Artificial intelligence for decision making in the era of Big Data – evolution, challenges and research agenda. International Journal of Information Management, 48(January), 63–71.

Hamilton, R., Ferraro, R., Haws, K. L., & Mukhopadhyay, A. (2020). Traveling with Companions: The Social Customer Journey. Journal of Marketing, 1–25.

Kamolsook, A., Badir, Y. F., & Frank, B. (2019). Consumers’ switching to disruptive technology products: The roles of comparative economic value and technology type. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 140, 328–340.

Nam, H., & Kannan, P. K. (2020). Digital Environment in Global Markets: Cross-Cultural Implications for Evolving Customer Journeys. Journal of International Marketing, 28(1), 28–47.

Ossewaarde, M. (2019). Digital transformation and the renewal of social theory: Unpacking the new fraudulent myths and misplaced metaphors. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 146, 24–30.

Roy, S. K., Balaji, M. S., Sadeque, S., Nguyen, B., & Melewar, T. C. (2017). Constituents and consequences of smart customer experience in retailing. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 124(2017), 257–270.

Shareef, M. A., Kapoor, K. K., Mukerji, B., Dwivedi, R., & Dwivedi, Y. K. (2020). Group behavior in social media: Antecedents of initial trust formation. Computers in Human Behavior, 105, 106225.