High Tech and High Touch: The Future of Human Service

Call for papers for: Journal of Service Theory and Practice

High Tech and High Touch: The Future of Human Service

Guest Editors
Associate Professor Dominique A. Greer, QUT, Australia
Dr Amanda Beatson, QUT, Australia


The nature of services is rapidly evolving, which requires service researchers to be agile in their theoretical and methodological approach to research. As different forms of technology are integrated into service delivery, what does the future of human services look like? With this special issue of the Journal of Service Theory and Practice, in the spirit of SERVSIG 2020 Conference, we aim to break down silos and share knowledge across traditional research boundaries in order to take a multi-disciplinary approach to solving difficult service problems. We encourage submissions that examine the intersection of human and technological elements in services to arrive at innovative or emergent solutions for service practitioners.

Areas of investigation may include (but are not limited to):
•    Adoption and resistance to service innovation (e.g., smart services)
•    Innovation in the service ecosystem
•    Opportunities and challenges in service design, co-design and customer journey mapping
•    Mega-disruptions, service agility and changing service expectations (e.g., COVID-19-related social distancing, technology to support touchless service journeys and experiences operations, remote service provision, customer anxiety and customer non-compliance)
•    Opportunities and challenges of robotics, human enhancement technologies, automated social presence, and artificial intelligence in human services
•    Digital servitisation/digitally connected services
•    Big data analytics for service decisions
•    Enhancing the customer experience and improving customer engagement
•    Enabling service employees and improving service climate
•    Ethical challenges and debates in emerging service contexts (e.g., privacy, data mining, pricing, corporate digital responsibility)
•    Emerging service strategy and enhancing productivity
•    Emergent service methods (e.g., storytelling)
•    Changing consumer (mis)behaviour in services
•    Unintended consequences or failures of service interventions
•    Engaging vulnerable customers in service delivery
•    Transformative service research to improve society

With this special issue, we aim to attract submissions from leading researchers internationally who are working on solving complex service problems. We invite both conceptual and empirical papers with a variety of methodological approaches, including meta-analysis if appropriate. 

This special issue is affiliated with the SERVSIG 2020 Conference, which was due to be held in Brisbane, Australia. We encourage both accepted authors and authors new to the SERVSIG community to submit their full papers for consideration. 

Submission information

Submissions targeting this special issue should be submitted through the JSTP submission system (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/jostp) and will undergo the same rigorous review process as regularly submitted papers. Articles should not exceed a word limit of 8000 words (all-inclusive) and must make a contribution to theory and practice. Potential authors are encouraged to check the author guidelines, found here. The special issue will open for submissions on 1 September 2020 and the deadline for submissions is 1 December 2020. Each paper will undergo two rounds of reviews, after which a final decision will be made. The special issue will be published in late 2021/early 2022. 

Feel free to send your queries to the special issue editors: Associate Professor Dominique A. Greer ([email protected]) and Dr Amanda Beatson ([email protected]).