Given the growth and increased complexity in services coupled with a growing but fragmented service research community, the Center for Services Leadership (CSL) undertook an effort to identify a set of global, interdisciplinary, and business-relevant research priorities on the science of service. The overarching goal of this effort is to help guide decisions and investments of academe, business, and government and spur research to advance the field of service globally. Summaries of the two waves of the study, 2010 and 2015 Service Research Priorities, are presented below.

2015 Service Research Priorities study results were published in Journal of Service Research paper entitled: Service Research Priorities in a Rapidly Changing Context (JSR, May 2015). In the paper, co-authors Amy L. Ostrom, A. Parasuraman, David Bowen, Lia Patricio and Christopher Voss, discuss 12 research-priority topics – and 80 related subtopics. With the input from 23 roundtable discussions with academic and industry participants at 19 service centers around the world, the authors identified the research-priority topics and subtopics, which consequently were prioritized by 334 service researchers from multiple disciplines and 37 countries in an online survey. Some of the key findings are spotlighted below:

  1. Improving Well-being through Transformative Service was ranked as the most important priority by the largest percentage of respondents (more than 18%).
  2. Measuring and Optimizing Service Performance and Impact and some of its related subtopics were also rated as highly important, highlighting the need for more service research on outcomes that are relevant to both society and business.
  3. A common theme cutting across priorities and subtopics was a call for research on how to coordinate seamlessly across actors, technology and touch points so as to enhance the customer’s co-creation efforts and overall experience.
  4. Critical role of technology in transforming the service field. Leveraging Technology to Advance Service was conceptualized as a cross-cutting priority because technology has the potential to affect every aspect of service.

*Source: Amy L. Ostrom, A. Parasuraman, David Bowen, Lia Patricio, and Chris Voss, “Service Research Priorities in a Rapidly Changing Context,” Journal of Service Research, May 2015, pp. 127-159
Amy L. Ostrom, A. Parasuraman (2015, May 26) Research Imperatives for Advancing the Service Field. Published by SERVSIG

2010 Service Research Priorities sought broad input from service-minded academics from around the world and in a variety of disciplines as well as service-focused business executives representing an array of industries and organizations. Through in-depth interviews, online surveys, and face-to-face presentations and sessions, the CSL secured input from 318 individuals including 204 academics from more than 15 disciplines and 32 countries and 96 business executives from 25 industries and 11 countries.

For more information about the 2010 project:

Resources To Contact

If you have questions or comments, please contact the CSL at 480-965-6201 or CSL@asu.edu.