We sat down with Professor Levent Altinay, Editor-in-Chief of The Service Industries Journal, to better understand the Journal, the kind of research the SIJ publishes, how the Journal helps authors to make an impact with their research and where Levent sees the Journal in the coming years. Here is what he had to say.
Firstly, please can you give us a bit of background to the Journal and the kind of research you publish?
- "The Service Industries Journal publishes research that contributes to the development of theory in the areas of management, marketing, human resources, operations management, entrepreneurship, innovation, and financial management; all aim to support best practices in services. We seek to attract papers from researchers whose studies are informed by social sciences such as sociology, psychology, economics, law and politics. Contributions are especially welcomed from around the globe addressing contemporary social, economic, political and environmental issues."
What is your background and how did you join the Journal?
- "I am Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and Research Lead at Oxford Brookes Business School. The core principles of service attracted me to the field; human dimension, experience, satisfaction of consumers and nowadays increasingly the role and contribution of marketing/service to the wellbeing and quality of life of individuals. I served on the Editorial Board of the Journal more than ten years. I also took part in the research capacity development and training activities where the Journal was represented. I have always been keen to encourage scholars to think about their research activities within the scope of global challenges of the world. I strongly believe in the need for marketing/service researchers to take a proactive approach to setting a research agenda that addresses social, economic, environmental, technological and political problems."
- "As the Editor-in-Chief, it is my vision to create a platform for knowledge transfer and scholarship that can collectively advance marketing/service research in these areas but also produce meaningful and impactful research that would be of value to customers, organisations and the community in general. I have therefore set the Journal a vision of turning itself into a global platform for knowledge transfer and scholarship tackling global challenges of the world including the wellbeing of customers, employees and their communities, healthy living, refugee crisis, ageing population, smart services and so on."
What exciting developments have there been with the Journal over the past few years?
- "The Journal seeks to attract papers from researchers whose studies are informed by social sciences such as sociology, economics, law, politics, sociology, psychology. Therefore, we recently expanded the Editorial Board to reflect interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary perspectives. We also publish the titles, abstracts and keywords of the accepted papers in Chinese (Mandarin) to reach out to the Chinese-speaking world more effectively."
- "We publish special issues edited by internationally recognised academics in different services management areas related to contemporary and important issues of our time (e.g., special issues on social wellbeing in service management, refugee crisis and the service sector, informal economy and services, silk road and the service industry, climate change and the service industry; peace through service industries; role of social media in the service industry). Such an approach helps the Journal guide a global research agenda and provides authors the opportunity to influence practice globally."
- "We have created a ‘cutting edge research in progress’ stream and encourage paper submissions from doctoral students. These papers are shorter than full length papers and aim to provide PhD candidates with a publication outlet given that the research meet quality standards such as originality, innovation, rigour in methodological approach and practical relevance."
- "We have set up a Facebook page for the Journal as well as a Twitter account. We use Facebook to create and post blogs on published papers where we showcase research and published papers on behalf of the authors. Our Social Media Editor plays an important role in helping the Journal and its authors promote the cutting-edge research."
What are you seeking to achieve with SIJ in the coming years?
- "The current global political, economic, technological and political developments require us to take a more visionary and broader approach to our service research. Service research can adopt a more responsible approach to advancing our understanding of service transactions through undertaking more social science informed studies and investigating topics of social, economic, political and technological importance. To be able to do this successfully, we will need to work closely more with researchers from different disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, psychology, economics, law, geography and even engineering and technology."
- "We have set the following objectives for the future development and progression of the Journal:
- To publish and promote cutting edge research that is informed by social science disciplines such as psychology, sociology, economics, law and politics addressing the global challenges of the world.
- To attract high quality submissions from emerging economies such as China, India, Brazil, Russia and the Asia Pacific region, whilst continuing to maintain its focus on North America and Europe.
- To provide a platform for cutting edge research that could influence service practice and policy internationally by addressing the needs of consumers, entrepreneurs, organisations, policy makers and communities."
How are you supporting authors from emerging regions while continuing to support authors from regions which have traditionally contributed to the Journal?
- "We have formed a dedicated, internationally reputable team of experts to fulfil the vision of the Journal and achieve its objectives. I have appointed three Strategy Editors to contribute to the formulation of the long-term strategy of the Journal and overseeing its implementation."
- "We have appointed Regional Editors for the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Australia. They take a proactive role of identifying and inviting ‘cutting edge’ and ‘innovative’ research submissions to the Journal. We will soon appoint two Regional Editors for Africa."
- "To assist in the initial screening process for new submissions, I have appointed several Methodology Editors. They are experts in various quantitative data analysis techniques, modelling and experimental research design. They play an instrumental role in helping me to ensure rigour in the review process. Their efficiency is second to none and I am very grateful for their support and contribution to the review process."
How is the Journal trying to make an impact beyond the social sciences?
- "The Journal encourages authors to think about their research ideas and projects in relation to the contemporary, global challenges. It is important to think about the theoretical contributions of their studies. However, what is equally important is to remain meaningful and relevant with what we do and what we produce with our studies. Tackling the complex issues of today’s environment, today’s world requires doing cross-disciplinary and multidisciplinary research."
- "We would welcome studies undertaken in collaboration with engineers, architects and food scientists. We would also welcome studies undertaken jointly with IT specialists. For example, our most recent special issue calls for papers and studies on Automated forms of interaction in services: current trends, benefits and challenges. We would welcome papers from IT specialists, engineers and other specialist areas who could help us understand how robots could be used to gather intelligence as well as offering services in different sectors of the service industries including hospitals, hospitality, retailing, and banking."
Has research published in The Service Industries Journal made an impact beyond academia?
- "We are working to expand the benefits to authors beyond academia. We have set up social media platforms to better showcase the research published in the Journal. We believe the increased awareness this approach generates will help our authors to show the real-world impact of their findings."
Do you help authors get their research into policy documents or news bulletins?
- "Yes. Several articles published in the Journal have been referenced in blogs, news bulletins and policy documents over the years. The Journal is a huge archive of research into services of all types and this means it is drawn on as a great source for policy researchers. SIJ research has been cited in documents from the likes of the World Bank, UK Government, National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), Inter-American Development Bank and the Analysis & Policy Observatory."
Finally, how can authors make a meaningful contribution to The Service Industries Journal?
- "Please send us your high-quality research, informed by the social sciences, no matter whether you’re a doctoral student or an established professor, and no matter where you are based in the world."
- "We want to make this Journal more international in terms of its global reach; more diverse in terms of the scope of the studies published; more interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary in nature; more creative and innovative in terms of content and more impactful and meaningful for the service research community."
- "We therefore invite you to co-create this community of knowledge exchange and scholarship with us not just through submissions of research, but also reviewing papers, editing special editions on innovative topics, meeting with us at various conferences and other platforms, exchanging ideas and giving feedback. We look forward to welcoming you to The Service Industries Journal research community!"
I hope you enjoyed reading my Q&A
Professor Levent Altinay
Oxford Brookes University, UK