Linda D. Hollebeek, PhD – University of Auckland/NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Elina Jaakkola, PhD – Turku School of Economics, University of Turku
Matthew Alexander, PhD – University of Strathclyde
Marketing, in recent years, is witnessing a paradigm shift where traditional boundaries between the roles of ‘customer’ and ‘provider’ are being blurred, and markets are becoming increasingly interconnected (Carù & Cova, 2015; Brodie, Hollebeek & Conduit, 2016). Specifically, contemporary customers are no longer simply fulfilling passive end user roles in relation to focal firm offerings, but are increasingly making proactive contributions to specific interactions with brands, firms or other stakeholders. As such, customers are increasingly engaged in shaping firms’ offerings, including through interacting with other stakeholders within broader service systems (Alexander & Jaakkola, 2016). Customers’ various activities and behaviors that extend beyond traditional buyer/user roles are captured by the overarching term customer engagement (CE), a concept that has gained increasing traction over the last five to seven years.
Recent advancements in the area of customer/consumer engagement include the development of CE conceptualizations (Van Doorn et al., 2010; Brodie et al., 2011; Alexander & Jaakkola, 2016), measurement instruments (Calder et al., 2009; Sprott et al., 2009; Hollebeek et al., 2014), and insight regarding the role of CE within broader nomological networks of focal conceptual relationships (Leckie et al., 2016) and contexts (Kumar and Pansari, 2015; Brodie et al., 2013). The reciprocal, social and collective nature of engagement have also been recognized, as well as the concept’s contribution to value creation at a systemic level (Chandler & Lusch, 2015; Jaakkola & Alexander, 2014). However, the development of a broader understanding regarding the nature, dynamics and outcomes of CE beyond dyadic (e.g. customer- firm) contexts remains limited to date. Sample research questions include: May the CE conceptualizations and dynamics observed in dyadic settings hold within broader networked contexts and situations? If not, which particular adaptations may be required to generate validity of these models in broader networked or service system-based settings? Does the validity of CE measurement tools developed for focal dyadic, or one-on-one, contexts extend to the multiple actor domain characterizing broader service systems and networks? Given the interactive nature underlying the engagement concept (Brodie et al., 2011), these issues are of particular relevance. In sum, a plethora of research opportunities exists in the area of network- and service system-based engagement, which we seek to explore in this Special Issue.
Special Issue topics may include (but are not limited to):
- How may different actor (e.g. customer, firm, service employee) roles, including self-assigned tasks and responsibilities, serve to affect the emergence, development and outcomes arising from engagement in contemporary networked settings?
- How may big data be used and leveraged to better understand, explain and predict focal actors’ engagement and ensuing behaviors in increasingly interconnected environments?
- In which ways may the strength and density of ties, in addition to network effects serve to affect engagement within broader service systems?
- Which particular types of engagement behaviors are observed in focal networked settings? How do focal engagement cognitions and emotions serve to drive engagement behaviors in particular networked contexts?
- To what extent do engagement-based findings observed in dyadic exchange and relationships hold in broader, networked settings? What are the key engagement-based differences, and their key ensuing outcomes, across dyadic and more elaborately networked contexts?
- What is the role of focal networked environments in driving the development of engagement, and generating particular positively or negatively valenced engagement-based outcomes?
- Which types of conceptual or empirical frameworks can be used to assess the role of specific networked dynamics pertaining to engagement?
Submissions are invited to adopt conceptual, qualitative, quantitative or pluralistic research approaches. All manuscripts must strictly follow the guidelines for the Journal of Service Management, which are available at:
http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/products/journals/author_guidelines.htm?id=josm. The closing date for submission of Extended Structured Abstracts is April 15, 2016 for expected publication in 2017. Structured abstracts should comprise the following headings: Purpose, Design/methodology/approach, Findings, Research limitations/implications, Practical implications, Originality/value, Keywords and Paper type.
Manuscripts must be submitted through the ScholarOne website for the Journal of Service Management – http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/josm. Full instructions on how to use the site can be found on the Author Guidelines page. When submitting your manuscript, please take care to select the correct special issue from the drop down menu on the Manuscript Submission page.
Queries can be directed at the Special Issue Guest Editors:
Linda Hollebeek, PhD, Graduate School of Management, University of Auckland/Center for Service Innovation, NHH Norwegian School of Economics; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elina Jaakkola, PhD, Turku School of Economics, University of Turku; Email: email@example.com.
Matthew Alexander, PhD, Department of Marketing, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– See more at: http://www.emeraldgrouppublishing.com/authors/writing/calls.htm?id=6555#sthash.3JpYIB12.dpuf