Qualitative Digital Methods to Advance Service Theory and Practice


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Key deadlines:

Opening date: 15th June 2023
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 30th January 2024   



Netnography encourages a broadened view of service experience and has often been incorporated into service dominant logic approaches viewing service as the supportive process through which value is ultimately created for customers. Netnography has been utilized to study online spaces that reveal rich information about customers’ value creation processes, and thus offers unprecedented opportunities for future service research. Topics including consumer and employee experiences, consumer tastes and behaviors, brand communities, the consumption of experience, consumer identity, brand activism, anti-consumption, brand management, authenticity, influencers, co-creation, and e-word of mouth have all been usefully researched using netnography. Interest and application of netnography in the field of service management and service marketing is steadily increasing. As Heinonen and Medberg (2017, 657) wrote, netnographic research has “many promising applications” and “can offer service researchers unprecedented opportunities to access naturalistic online data”. 

The purpose of this special issue is to explore the potential for netnography to help build service theory and practice in a world where service increasingly has multiple digital touchpoints. The issue will focus on netnography but will also encompass complementary methods and technologies such as mobile ethnography, online interviews, immersive technologies, and the metaverse.


List of topic areas:

  • Netnography for understanding consumer and employee service experiences;
  • Netnography and the influencer economy and services;
  • Netnographies of online consumer activism in service contexts; 
  • Netnography for cultural and contextual understandings of value co-creation and service innovation; 
  • Netnography and digital customer journey mapping for services; 
  • Netnography, customer satisfaction, word-of-mouth and loyalty; 
  • Using netnography to study service information systems; 
  • Qualitative digital methods to study sensitive topics and vulnerable populations in service contexts; 
  • Netnography in/for the metaverse   

Submissions Information:

Submit your paper here!


Full paper submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.

Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.

Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 

Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.


Guest Editors:

Robert Kozinets, University of Southern California, USA, [email protected]

Ulrike Gretzel, University of Southern California, USA, [email protected]