Service operations: what's next?
Journal of Service Management
Purpose -The purpose of this article is to present exciting and innovative research questions in service operations that are aligned with eight key themes and related topics determined by the Journal of Service Management (JOSM) Service Operations Expert Research Panel. By offering a good number of such research questions, we provide a broad range of ideas to spur conceptual and empirical research related to service operations. As a result, we hope to encourage the continued creation of deep
... wledge within the field, as well as collaborative research across disciplines that develop and incorporate insights from service operations. Design/methodology/approach -Based on a Delphi study, described in the companion article, "Service Operations: What Have We Learned?," the panel identified eight key research themes in service operations where leading-edge research is being done or has yet to be done (Victorino, et al., 2018) . In this article, we select three or four topics within each theme and propose multiple questions for each topic to guide research efforts. The topics and questions, while wide-ranging, are representative of the many ongoing research opportunities related to service operations. Findings -The field of service operations has many interesting research topics and questions that are largely unexplored. Furthermore, these research areas are not only increasingly integrative across multiple themes within operations but often transcend functional disciplines. This creates opportunities for ever more impactful research with a greater reach throughout the service system and suggests that service researchers, regardless of functional affiliation, can contribute to the ongoing conversation on the role of service operations in value creation. Originality/value -We leverage the collective knowledge of the JOSM Service Operations Expert Research Panel to elaborate on the research themes generated from the Delphi study and put forward novel questions for future study. Recognizing that the number of potential research questions is virtually unlimited, we also provide summary questions by theme and topic. These questions represent a synopsis of the individual questions and can serve as a quick reference guide for researchers interested in pursuing new directions in conceptual and empirical research in service operations. This summary also serves as a framework to facilitate the formulation of additional research topics and questions.