Service Complexities in Latin American Countries


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The goal of this special issue is to extend the current body of services marketing research by identifying unique and distinct services marketing theories, models, and practices in LATAM (including Central America and the Caribbean. From a broad perspective this special issue seeks to uncover how LATAM services organizations effectively promote and differentiate their intangible service offerings, deliver exceptional customer experiences, build lasting relationships with customers, and drive business growth and profitability that does no harm to people and planet. We aim to demonstrate a global south perspective on services marketing and highlight new knowledge from LATAM that contributes to services marketing in other parts of the world. 

Previous service research has shown that LATAM has a particular service ecosystem (Bianchi, 2022), which remains dependent on relationships between buyers and sellers. (Reynoso and Cabrera, 2019; Giraldo et al., 2020; Del Giudice et al., 2023; Lopez et al., 2024). In addition, LATAM consumers exhibit unique patterns of service usage and adoption (Bailey, et al., 2022; Barrios et al., 2023). Consequently, organizations must consider, adapt, and integrate LATAM values and practices into their service models to succeed in these countries (Jara-Bertin et al., 2014; Mas-Tur et al., 2015). Furthermore, public policies are needed to leverage competitive advantages and overcome the obstacles that hinder the development of LATAM service ecosystems (López et al., 2014), while ensuring that biodiversity and sustainability in the region are not overlooked. 

Currently, services industries are the most powerful economic force in all Latin American (LATAM) countries, accounting for more than 71% of the region's GDP (WB 2024) and 67% of its employment (ILO 2020). The region's services industries are unique and traditional theoretical frameworks and conceptual models that developed elsewhere may not apply to LATAM. Additionally, the region's complexities have created barriers to the growth of service industries; these include high under and unemployment, informal/grey markets, corruption, terrorism, technology skill gaps, gender disparities, discrimination, and a vulnerability to climate change (WB 2024). This special issues therefore aligns with the seven SDG service research themes developed in the JSM SDG special issue (Volume 38 issue 2 2024). Authors are encouraged to align their papers with the relevant service theme from this special issue.

List of Topic Areas

Proposed services marketing topics that focus on service complexities in Latin American countries include: 

  • Digital transformation in services marketing 
  • Unique characteristics of services marketing in Latin America 
  • Customer experience and business outcomes 
  • Best practice examples of services marketing in Latin America 
  • Voices from the global south – what matters in services marketing? 
  • The relationship between FLE decent work for customer outcomes 
  • Service side-hustles in Latin America (black/grey markets) 
  • Ethical and responsible services marketing practices, 
  • Service thinking practices in Latin America – a global south perspective 
  • Service marketing for the benefit of people AND planet 
  • Regulatory compliance and governance for services marketing 
  • Consumer protection and rights in services marketing 
  • Controversial services marketing topics in Latin America 

In November 2024 the guest editors will develop a workshop for authors in Colombia, and online, for authors interested in submitting to the special issue. Authors do not have to attend a workshop to submit, this is only informational.

Submissions Information

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.

Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions: 01/01/2025 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 31/03/2025