Anders Gustafsson, Karlstad University
Claes Högström, Karlstad University
Zoe Radnor, Loughborough University
Margareta Friman, Karlstad University
Kristina Heinonen, Hanken School of Economics
Elina Jaakkola, Turku School of Economics,
Cristina Mele, University of Naples Federico II

Purpose – The aim of this essay is to discuss how service, as an interdisciplinary area of research, can increase its potential for transdisciplinary contributions from the perspective of what signifies intra-, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research.

Design/methodology/approach – The essay first discusses common perspectives on the service concept before presenting a review on what signifies intra-, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary research. The emerging theoretical framework is followed by a discussion on the challenges and opportunities for service research in making interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary theoretical contributions.

Findings – The paper provides a typological framework for understanding intra-, multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary service research and, implications related to how service research contributions can become increasingly inter- and transdisciplinary.

Originality/value – The paper contributes to widening the scope of service research by focusing on how the domain can overcome hurdles and increase its potential for making theoretical contributions that are applicable across and beyond established research disciplines.