Broadening and Reinvigorating the Service Discipline to Reduce Human Suffering and Improve Wellbeing

Call for papers for: Journal of Services Marketing

Key dates/deadlines

September 30th, 2021 – Submission deadline
2022 volume 36(6): Estimated Publication


Today, the planet Earth and humanity are facing profound problems that create suffering and diminish human experience and wellbeing. Given the centrality of service to human experience, the service discipline has a great potential to serve humanity by studying ways to reduce such suffering, elevate human experience and improve well-being. Yet, this potential needs to be discovered and explored (Fisk et al., 2020). The goal of elevating the human experience can be achieved by reaching out to other academic disciplines and fields and collaborating with researchers in those fields to broaden the service discipline (Russell-Bennett and Rosenbaum, 2019). Service researchers and the overall service discipline can draw on many different sources for research inspiration, and it is the diversity of sources that may yield innovative and impactful research. For the service research discipline to make major scientific advances and reduce human suffering and improve wellbeing, there is a need for collaborations with scholars from other disciplines that are human facing (Fisk et al., 2020).  Theories and frameworks within other disciplines like ethics, humanistic management, linguistics, refugee studies, political science, queer studies and many others could provide new tools, lenses and insights for service scholars that help them in their inquiries to reduce to human suffering and elevate human experience. More importantly, such opening up to other disciplines and synthesis of their accumulated knowledge with the service literature could broaden and reinvigorate service discipline itself.  As we “seek to be at the forefront of generating current and interesting knowledge that benefits academics, practitioners, communities and, hopefully, mankind” (Russell-Bennett and Rosenbaum, 2019, p.1), the Journal of Services Marketing provides a great platform for such multi- and trans-disciplinary collaborations that lead to broader and reinvigorated service discipline.

This special issue aims to broaden and reinvigorate the service discipline by inspiring service scholars to look beyond the service discipline in their exploration of how to reduce human suffering, elevate human experience and improve well-being. Using theories, frameworks and concepts from other disciplines and applying them in a service context and a discussion of how they contribute to service discipline and broaden its horizons will be a requirement for papers to be included in the special issue.  We have a preference for an authorship team that comprises scholars from both the services discipline and other disciplines as well as a combination of scholars and practioners. 

The guest editors welcome a range of different types of paper including systematic reviews and empirical papers. For instance targeted reviews of the scientific literature from other disciplines, which make a contribution to our understanding of the topic of interest and highlight significant gaps that require the development of new interdisciplinary theory, research methods, and empirical work. The guest editors are also interested in new, contradictory work that challenges existing service theories and highlights the impact of service on consumers, service firms, and society’ well-being. The guest editors further encourage submissions based upon collaboration with nonprofit organizations, the business community, and governmental agencies, highlighting how services can be useful in providing solutions to the profound problems, and make positive impact on both consumers and societal well-being.

This special issue is an initiative of SERVCOLLAB, an international group of researchers seeking to collaborate on ways to reduce human suffering and improve wellbeing worldwide.

JSM has a 2019 impact factor of 3.195 (Clarivate analytics) and CiteScore of 4.8 (Scopus). JSM ranks #15 out of top 20 journals in marketing (source: 2020 Google Scholar), #42 out of 195 journals in the “Marketing” category (source: 2020 Journal Citation Reports) and is a Q1 (quartile 1) on the 2020 Scimago rankings.


The following topics and more would be suitable for this special issue and must include theories, frameworks, and concepts from other disciplines:

  • Cross cultural research in service inclusion
  • The role of services in minimizing the destructive impact of future pandemics
  • Support of service systems for collective and societal wellbeing
  • Role of services in public health management
  • Developing sustainable services
  • Developing scientific measures of service inclusion
  • Interactions between governments and public policy makers and service providers
  • Extending and refining conceptualization of wellbeing in service context
  • Developing systems for service inclusion
  • Providing services to vulnerable consumers
  • Designing inclusive services for refugees
  • Using inclusive language in services
  • Build a new service “language” to better serve humanity
  • Role of services in developing human resilience
  • Role of intersectionality on human suffering and wellbeing
  • Role of services in fight with climate change



All submissions should be made to the special issue identified on the ScholarOne Online Manuscript submission system To be considered for publication, the article must be prepared according to the requirements on the Emerald website. Manuscripts must not exceed 40 double spaced pages (9,000 words), including the abstract, references, tables and/or figures. Manuscripts should use Times New Roman 12-point font, with 1 inch margins surrounding each page of text. All submitted manuscripts should not have been published, accepted for publication, or be currently under consideration elsewhere. Manuscripts should follow the style guidelines available on the Journal of Services Marketing home page at:

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.  Potential contributors can contact the JSM Special Issue Editors to discuss their ideas for a paper prior to submitting a formal proposal. Please direct any questions about the submission process, or any other administrative issue, to the JSM Editorial Office: [email protected]

Guest editors:

Sertan Kabadayi 

Fordham University

140 West 62nd St. Rm. 402

New York, NY 10023 USA

[email protected]


Rodoula H. Tsiotsou

University of Macedonia

Marketing Laboratory MARLAB

156 Egnatia Street

Thessaloniki, 54636, Greece

rtsiots[email protected]


Anderson, Laurel, Amy L. Ostrom, Canan Corus, Raymond P. Fisk, Andrew S. Gallan, Mario Giraldo, Martin Mende, Mark Mulder, Steven W. Rayburn, Mark S. Rosenbaum, Kunio Shirahada and Jerome D. Williams (2013), "Transformative service research: An agenda for the future," Journal of Business Research, 66 (8), 1203-1210.


Anderson, L., Spanjol, J., Jefferies, J.G., Ostrom, A.L., Nations Baker, C., Bone, S.A., Downey, H., Mende, M. and Rapp, J.M. (2016), “Responsibility and well-being: resource integration under responsibilization in expert services”, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 262-279.


Boenigk, Silke, Raymond Fisk, Sertan Kabadayi, Linda Alkire, Lilliemay Cheung, Canan Corus, Jörg Finsterwalder, Aaron A. Kreimer, Nadina Luca, Mansour Omeira, Pallab Paul, Marcos F. Santos and Nina Smidt (2021), "Rethinking Service Systems and Public Policy: A Transformative Refugee Service Experience Framework," Journal of Public Policy & Marketing (Forthcoming). (


Brennan, C., Sourdin, T., Williams, J., Burstyner, N. and Gill, C. (2017), “Consumer vulnerability and complaint handling: challenges, opportunities and dispute system design”, International journal of consumer studies, Vol. 41 No. 6, pp. 638-646.


Dickson, T.J., Darcy, S., Johns, R. and Pentifallo, C. (2016), “Inclusive by design: transformative service and sport-event accessibility”, The Service Industries Journal, Vol. 36 No. 11-12, pp. 532-555.


Dietrich, T., Trischler, J., Schuster, L. and  Rundle-Thiele, S. (2017), "Co-designing services with vulnerable consumers", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 663-688.


Fisk, Raymond P., Linda Alkire, Laurel Anderson, David E. Bowen, Thorsten Gruber, Amy L. Ostrom and Lia Patrício (2020), "Elevating the human experience (HX) through service research collaborations: introducing ServCollab," Journal of Service Management, 31 (4), 615-635.


Fisk, R.P., Dean, A.M., Alkire, L., Joubert, A., Previte, J., Robertson, N. and Rosenbaum, M.S. (2018), “Design for service inclusion: creating inclusive service systems by 2050”, Journal of Service Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 834-858.


Fisk, Raymond P., Laurel Anderson, David E. Bowen, Thorsten Gruber, Amy L. Ostrom, Lia Patricio, Javier Reynoso and Roberta Sebastiani (2016), "Billions of impoverished people deserve to be better served: A call to action for the service research community," Journal of Service Management, 27 (1), 43-55.


Hogreve, J., Wünderlich, N.V., Chowdhury, I.N., Fleischer, H., Mousavi, S., Rötzmeier-Keuper, J. and Sousa, R. (2019), “Overcoming vulnerability: channel design strategies to alleviate vulnerability perceptions in customer journeys”, Journal of Business Research.


Johns, R. and Davey, J. (2019), “Introducing the Transformative Service Mediator: value creation with vulnerable consumers”, Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 33 No. 1, pp. 5-15.


Nasr, Linda and Raymond P. Fisk (2019), "The global refugee crisis: how can transformative service researchers help?," The Service Industries Journal, 39 (9-10), 684-700.


Rosenbaum M.S., Edwards K.L., Malla B., Adhikary J.R., and Ramírez G.C. (2020). Street harassment is marketplace discrimination: The impact of street harassment on young female consumers’ marketplace experiences, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 57, 1-10.


Rosenbaum, Mark S., Canan Corus, Amy L. Ostrom, Laurel Anderson, Raymond P. Fisk, R.P.,  Andrew S. Gallan, Mario Giraldo, Martin Mende, Mark Mulder, Steven W. Rayburn, Kunio Shirahada and Jerome D. Williams (2011), "Conceptualisation and Aspirations of Transformative Service Research," Journal of Research for Consumers (19), 1-6.