Enhancing theory development in service research

Roderick J.  Brodie, University of Auckland Business School, New Zealand
Anders Gustafsson, Karlstad University

The first International Network for Service Research workshop was held at Karlstad in September 2014.  In total 37 well renowned service researcher centers from 13 countries participated. The purpose of the network was to encourage collaborations across the various research centers. At the workshop there was a collaborative session that focused “Enhancing Theory Development in Service Research”. The session opened with a presentation by Rod Brodie that considered the issue of increasing research contribution by bridging theory and practice. For the reminder of the four hour session the participants were divided into five groups each with five to six participants to plan essays.

Prior to the workshop Anders Gustafsson and Rod Brodie invited five participants to lead the essay writing groups and develop topics. They were given an open invitation about what aspect of theorizing in service research they wished to address. At the session, the essay leaders were presented their topics and the workshop participants self-selected which group they wanted to work with.  In the last hour of the session the groups presented the outlines of their essays to the workshop to get feedback.  In the two months after the workshop each group worked collectively to complete their essays.  Once the essays submitted they were peer reviewed before final submission.