Critiques, Conflicts and Conceptualisations in Service Research


Submissions Open: 1 September 2022

Proposal Deadline: 31 December 2022

Full Submission Deadline: 31 January 2023


The Journal of Services Marketing will publish a special issue devoted to the identification and exploration of critical issues that will define service research over the next decade. Priority given to generalizable conceptual papers (organization or country specific research is not desired). Reviews that address the totality of the service literature, as well as ones specific to well-defined topical service research streams, are appropriate for the issue. Meta analyses are appropriate, are systematic literature reviews. All submissions should be in line with the editorial mission of the journal, and the interests of its readers. A managerial/strategic perspective is required.


The objective of the special issue is to encourage a critical dialog among service researchers. Encouraging the identification and discussion of alternative perspectives as to what is known, where conflicting perspectives exist, and how the service literature can be advanced, is the explicit purpose of the special issue.  Papers that address the identification of new research propositions, new service constructs, and new conceptualizations for existing constructs are encouraged. In addition, new perspectives relative to the modeling of service exchanges or theories related to the explanation of service exchanges are also strongly encouraged.


The special issue will be devoted to encouraging the critical discussion of service research topics that need to be addressed in order to continue to advance the discipline. Critical thought is too often perceived as a negative, but among academics the free exchange of divergent ideas is necessary to ensure positive growth in the knowledge base that defines a discipline.  The critical thought sought for the special issue is not rooted in the criticism of specific research, but rather in offering alternative or competing perspectives as to the definition, domain, and conceptualisations of constructs, the development of new theoretical explanations of service exchanges, and the identification of innovative propositions to guide service research and practice. The intent is to foster the identification and discussion of issues that are fundamental to the continued development of the service literature. In selecting papers for publication, a major emphasis will be on the perceived ability of the authors’ work to generate future discussion, and research.


Papers that use bibliometric analysis or systematic literature review that focus on descriptive analysis will not be considered.  For this issue, bibliometric studies and systematic literature reviews need to adopt a critical approach to the domain area with the purpose of the paper to identify gaps, problems, weaknesses and issues.  The paper should include a conceptual framework and emphasize future research with a substantial proportion of the paper on Where to from here.


About JSM

JSM has a 2020 impact factor of 4.466 (Clarivate analytics) and CiteScore of 5.9 (Scopus). JSM ranks #12 out of top 20 journals in marketing (source: 2021 Google Scholar), #72 out of 285 business journals and #18 out of 69 journals in the “Marketing” category (source: 2021 Journal Citation Reports) and is a Q1 (quartile 1) on the 2020 Scimago rankings. For author guidelines visit the JSM website


Potential Topics

A non-exhaustive list of topics to be covered in this special issue include:

  • Co-produced service quality
  • Attribution of Social Responsibility in Service Provision: Distinctions Between Goods Centric and Service Centric Experiences
  • Transformative service research: do we need to update definitions, conceptualizations and frameworks?
  • Supply Chain Issues in the Provision of Services
  • The role of Engagement in Automated/Robotic Service Provision
  • The role of Service Innovation Strategies
  • The Role of Service in Value Creation Throughout the Customer Experience
  • The Role of Engagement in Service as Experiences Become More Technology-Based
  • The Role of Service in Creating Customer Identity
  • The Role of Service in Creating Customer Satisfaction
  • How Are Such Innovations As AI Likely to Change Service Strategies
  • What Research Methodologies Are Best Suited To Investigate Service Experience Decision Making
  • What Is The Role of Loyalty in Service Decision Making Strategies
  • How Is The Context of Service Decision Making Likely to Change as A Result of Changes in Service Experiences
  • Transformative service research – approaches, constructs and methods.
  • Customer vulnerability – integrating approaches from social science
  • Adapting Queuing Impacts In Theory Based Explanations of The Role of Technological Innovation on Service Decision Making
  • Reviews of the Likely Differing Effects of Innovation Across Different Service industries
  • Meta Analysis of Major Service Strategy Research Constructs
  • Impacts of the Metaverse on Service Decision Making
  • The Role of Service in Future Consumer Decision Making Service
  • The Changing Nature of Service in B2B Exchanges
  • Likely Changes in The Provision of Services: Perspectives From Consumer and Organizational Contexts
  • Are We Overthinking Theory? Is The Core Basis of Marketing Science or Practice?
  • Marketing Emerged From Economics. Are Social Science Confusing or Clarifying the Explanation of Service Decision Making
  • Service Inclusion in New Contexts
  • The Nature of the Service Economy:  Emerging Service Occupational Opportunities
  • Robots Versus Humans: Emerging Research Issues and Effects on Service Occupations - Effects on Customer Satisfaction, Quality Perceptions, and Value Attributions
  • Emerging Target Markets for Human Versus Robotic Service Delivery
  • Emerging Positioning Strategies for Human Versus Robotic Service Delivery
  • How Values Based (Value Congruency) Strategies Can Be Applied to Service Decision Making 
  • Just Because We Can, Should We? Ethical Issues of the Next Decade in the Marketing and Provision of Services.


Submissions Procedure

There is a two-step process for submissions involving a short proposal emailed to the guest editors and then if invited, a formal full paper submission via the Manuscript Central system.


1. Initial proposal

    1. Documents should be submitted via email to the guest editors ([email protected] and [email protected]) with a cc to the senior co-editor [email protected], by 1 August 2022. The proposal document must contain:


  • A cover page, incorporating the article title, author names and affiliations, and contact   information (not for peer review)
  • An extended abstract of the proposed review article, which clearly states the intended contribution of the article to the field
  • A bibliography, containing the key references that will form the basis of the article. The pages following the cover page should begin by repeating the title of the proposed article. The entire proposal (excluding the cover page) should not exceed 5 double spaced pages, in 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1 inch margins surrounding each page of text.


1.2 Potentially suitable proposals will be reviewed by at least two anonymous reviewers, who are blind to the identity of the author(s). All submissions will be handled by one of The Bi-Annual Review Issue editors and a decision will be sent to the first author as to whether the proposal can proceed to development into a full-length article for further consideration with reviewer feedback.


1.3  Once contributors have been informed that their proposal has been accepted to be developed into a full-length article for further consideration, a timeline for completion will be given by the editors of approximately six months. Full-length manuscripts should not be submitted unless invited following a favorable editorial decision based on a previously submitted proposal document. Any uninvited full-length manuscripts will be desk rejected by the editors.


2. Submission of full Manuscripts

2.1  The full manuscript must be submitted electronically by 31 January 2023 at To be considered for publication, the article must be prepared according to the requirements on the Emerald website. Articles invited for revision must not exceed 40 double spaced pages (9,000 words), including the abstract, references, tables and/or figures. As with initial proposals, full-length manuscripts should use Times New Roman 12-point font, with 1 inch margins surrounding each page of text.


2.2  All manuscripts will be evaluated primarily on the basis of adequate coverage of the research domain, originality in summarizing our understanding of what we know, and what we do not know, and the potential for advancing understanding of the field of services. Other important considerations include the length-contribution ratio, and the quality of written expression.


2.3 All submissions must be original material not under consideration by any other journal or outlet. Authors are responsible for obtaining written permission to reproduce copyright material from other sources. Potential contributors can contact the JSM Bi-Annual Review Issue Guest editors to discuss their ideas for a paper prior to submitting a formal proposal.


Key Dates

1 September 2022 Initial proposal

31 Jan 2023, full submission


JSM Special Issue Editors

J. Joseph Cronin, Jr.                                         

J. Joseph Cronin, Jr., Ph.D.

John R. Kerr Eminent Scholar Chair in Marketing and Service Innovation

Department of Marketing

Florida State University

Rovetta Business Annex

821 Academic Way

P.O. Box 3061110

Tallahassee, Fl. 323105-1110

850.644.7858  - Fax 850.644.4098

[email protected]


Duane Nagel

Duane M. Nagel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Department of Marketing

W. Frank Barton School of Business

Wichita State University

1845 Fairmount Street

Campus Box 84

Wichita, KS 67260


[email protected]