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Students, scholars, and service research

Featured Events | Dec 16, 2016 |

Panel moderator and past, current, and future editors of the Journal of Service Research: Jay Kandampully, Michael Brady, Mary Jo Bitner, Kay Lemon, A. Parasuraman, and Roland Rust.

Suppose you’d like to get a new phone, but you can’t decide between an iPhone 7 and an iPhone 7 Plus. You won’t buy the phone’s case before you figure out which type of phone you’re purchasing, because one size does not fit all.

The same principle applies in research.

As panelists explained in last week’s Panel on Contemporary Methodologies for Service Research—part of the international Let’s Talk About Service conference, held in the United States for the first time at Fordham—researchers must start with the problem or issue they are interested in and look for the best data on that issue. Only then can they determine the best method for presenting and describing the data.

img_4902This was a recurring theme in the discussion, moderated by Jay Kandampully, professor at Ohio State University. The panel brought together five former, current, and future editors of the Journal of Service Research for the first time.

Panelists were Mary Jo Bitner, professor, Edward M. Carson Chair, and co-executive director of the Center for Services Leadership, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University; Michael Brady, Carl DeSantis Professor and marketing department chair, Florida State University; Kay Lemon, Accenture Professor, Carroll School of Management, Boston College; A. Parasuraman, professor, University of Miami; and Roland Rust, Distinguished University Professor and David Bruce Smith Chair in Marketing, Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland.

They shared their significant research experience, best practices, and advice with PhD students just starting out in the world of service research.

“It’s all about helping each other get the best research to advance the field,” says Sertan Kabadayi, associate professor and marketing area chair at the Gabelli School of Business and organizer of this year’s event.

The workshop was fully hands-on, allowing PhD students to interact with current researchers through multiple discussions and a dedicated collaborative activity. Students and scholars also connected through social events including a visit to the Top of the Rock observation deck at Rockefeller Center.


Founders of Let’s Talk About Service and this year’s organizer: Bart Larivière, Annouk Lievens, Wafa Hammedi, and Sertan Kabadayi.

Originally created in Europe four years ago, the fifth installment of Let’s Talk About Service was brought to the United States to bring together different perspectives. Workshop founders are Wafa Hammedi, associate professor, University of Namur; Bart Larivière, associate professor and founder and executive director of the Center for Service Intelligence, Ghent University; and Annouk Lievens, professor and chairman of the marketing department, Antwerp University.

“It’s not just about learning how to do research,” Larivière says, “but about learning how to shape a community.”

This supportive atmosphere was echoed in the panelists’ suggestions to avoid a one-size-fits-all research approach. Every researcher has the chance to contribute something new to the field, they said. As Bitner reminded participants, “Your fresh perspective can be your best friend.”

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