Call for Papers

CfP special issue on "Service research in the digital era"

Submission deadline: May 31, 2024

Guest Editors

* Cristina Mele, University of Napoli Federico II, Italy, cristina.mele(at)
* Francesco Polese, University of Salerno, Italy, fpolese(at)
* Jim Spohrer, International Society for Service Innovation Professionals, USA, spohrer(at)
* Bård Tronvoll, Inland Norway University, Norway and Karlstad University, Sweden, bard(at)


The digital transformation characterizing business and society has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. The vast amount of online information facilitates data access and gathering, trend analysis, prediction, and prescriptions, and supports informed decisions. On the one side, actors have been strengthened in their decision-making capacities thanks to the prompt and easy access to a wide range of sources such as online databases, academic journals, online communities, social media, and search engines. On the other side, the conceptualization of service and service research (Ostrom et al., 2021) needs to adapt and adhere to the fact that companies, communities, businesses, and society are in an era of significant change due to artificial intelligence (Kaartemo and Helkkula, 2018; Adam et al., 2021; Spohrer et al., 2022), augmented reality, intelligence augmentation (Barile et al., 2021), the internet of Things, blockchain solutions (Russo-Spena et al., 2022), industrial automation and servitization (Sklyar et al., 2019). In other words, technology can enable value co-creation (Akaka and Vargo, 2014; Breidbach and Maglio, 2016; Mele et al., 2023) in multiple directions, not always through market sustainable behaviors.

Markets can be interpreted as service ecosystems (Vargo and Lusch, 2016), a perspective that frames a deep understanding of value co-creation dynamics between actors, also between human and non-human actors (Polese et al., 2022). Diverse actors’ knowledge, intentions (Taillard et al., 2016), and awareness of institutional arrangements and emergent properties (Vargo et al., 2023) can give rise to market emergence (Akaka et al., 2021), market multiplicity in terms of multiple perspectives (Kjelleberg et al., 2006), purposive actions to create, maintain and change institutional arrangements market shaping (Baker et al., 2022) and, definitely, market viability (Polese et al., 2020). The spread and adoption of technological advances, thus, generates opportunities and innovations that continually challenge markets, stimulating unforeseen emerging situations and contexts and new service platforms for service research opening up numerous exciting research streams.

Central issues and topics

Possible topics of submissions include, but are not limited to:

  • Service research and digital transformation
  • Human-machine interactions and robots in value co-creation
  • Technologies as enablers of market emergence and transformation
  • Technologies and market shaping and market viability
  • Phygital customer journey and metaverses
  • Service research in complex industry settings (e.g., Industry 4.0)
  • Business models to manage networks and service systems
  • Emergence and institutionalization in service eco-systems
  • Application of service-dominant logic to networks and markets
  • Advances in combining network theory and service science


Electronic Markets is a Social Science Citation Index (SSCI)-listed journal (IF 8.5 in 2022) in information systems. This call is open for all contributions but also invites selected papers from the Naples Forum on Service ( We encourage original contributions with a broad range of methodological approaches, including conceptual, qualitative, and quantitative research. Please also consider position papers and case studies for this special issue. All papers should fit the journal scope (for more information, see and will undergo a double-blind peer-review process. Submissions must be made via the journal’s submission system ( and comply with the journal's formatting standards. The preferred average article length is approximately 10,000 words, excluding references. Instructions, templates, and general information are available at If you would like to discuss any aspect of this special issue, you may either contact the guest editors or the Editorial Office.


Service, emergence and transformation, digitalization, technology

Important deadline

* Submission Deadline: May 31, 2024


Adam, M., Wessel, M., & Benlian, A. (2021). AI-based chatbots in customer service and their effects on user compliance. Electronic Markets, 31(2), 427-445.

Akaka, M. A., Vargo, S. L., Nariswari, A., & O'Brien, M. (2021). Microfoundations for macromarketing: A metatheoretical lens for bridging the micro-macro divide. Journal of Macromarketing, 43(1).

Akaka, M. A., & Vargo, S. L. (2014). Technology as an operant resource in service (eco) systems. Information Systems and e-business Management, 12, 367-384.

Baker, J. J., Storbacka, K., & Brodie, R. J. (2019). Markets changing, changing markets: Institutional work as market shaping. Marketing Theory, 19(3), 301-328.

Barile, S., Bassano, C., Piciocchi, P., Saviano, M., & Spohrer, J. C. (2021). Empowering value co-creation in the digital age. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, (ahead-of-print).

Breidbach, C. F., & Maglio, P. P. (2016). Technology-enabled value co-creation: An empirical analysis of actors, resources, and practices. Industrial Marketing Management, 56, 73-85.

Kaartemo, V., & Helkkula, A. (2018). A systematic review of artificial intelligence and robots in value co-creation: current status and future research avenues. Journal of Creating Value, 4(2), 211-228.

Mele, C., Tuominen, T., Edvardsson, B., & Reynoso, J. (2023). Smart sensing technology and self-adjustment in service systems through value co-creation routine dynamics. Journal of Business Research, 159, 113737.

Kjellberg, H., & Helgesson, C. F. (2006). Multiple versions of markets: Multiplicity and performativity in market practice. Industrial Marketing Management, 35(7), 839-855.

Ostrom, A. L., Field, J. M., Fotheringham, D., Subramony, M., Gustafsson, A., Lemon, K. N., Huang, M.-H., & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2021). Service research priorities: managing and delivering service in turbulent times. Journal of Service Research, 24(3), 329-353.

Peters, L. D., Nenonen, S., Polese, F., Frow, P., & Payne, A. (2020). Viability mechanisms in market systems: prerequisites for market shaping. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 35(9), 1403-1412.

Polese, F., Barile, S., & Sarno, D. (2022). Artificial Intelligence and Decision-Making: Human–Machine Interactions for Successful Value Co-creation. In The Palgrave Handbook of Service Management (pp. 927-944). Cham: Springer International Publishing.

Russo-Spena, T., Mele, C., & Pels, J. (2022). Resourcing, sensemaking and legitimizing: blockchain technology-enhanced market practices. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, (ahead-of-print).

Sklyar, A., Kowalkowski, C., Tronvoll, B., & Sörhammar, D. (2019). Organizing for digital servitization: A service ecosystem perspective. Journal of Business Research, 104, 450-460.

Spohrer, J., Maglio P.P., Vargo, S.L., & Warg, M. (2022). Service in the AI Era: Science, Logic, and Architecture Perspectives. Business Expert Press.

Taillard, M., Peters, L.D., Pels, J. and Mele, C. (2016), The role of shared intentions in the emergence of service ecosystems, Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 2972-2980.

Vargo, S. L., & Lusch, R. F. (2016). Institutions and axioms: an extension and update of service-dominant logic. Journal of the Academy of marketing Science, 44, 5-23.

Vargo, S. L., Peters, L., Kjellberg, H., Koskela-Huotari, K., Nenonen, S., Polese, F., Sarno, D. & Vaughan, C. (2023). Emergence in marketing: an institutional and ecosystem framework. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 51(1), 2-22.

Vargo, S. L., Koskela-Huotari, K., Baron, S., Edvardsson, B., Reynoso, J., & Colurcio, M. (2017). A systems perspective on markets–Toward a research agenda. Journal of business research, 79, 260-268.