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The Service Industries Journal

For a Special Issue on

Beyond the Hype: Redesigning the Anatomy of Service Innovation with Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse

Manuscript deadline
31 August 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Kayhan Tajeddini, Tokyo International University, Japan and Sheffield Hallam University, United Kingdom
[email protected]

Thilini Chathurika Gamage, Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka
[email protected]

Sikandar Ali Qalati, Liaocheng University, China
[email protected]

Sanaz Vatankhah, University of Bedfordshire, UK
[email protected]

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Beyond the Hype: Redesigning the Anatomy of Service Innovation with Artificial Intelligence and Metaverse

Service industries and businesses are increasingly vital in today's globalized manufacturing settings (Singh et al., 2020; Soto Setzke et al., 2023). This has become more noteworthy as services significantly contribute to competitive advantages by incorporating organizational innovations, such as outcome-based contracts, marketing innovations, such as product-service bundles, and green innovations, such as sustainable transportation and renewable energy technology (Tajeddini et al., 2023). However, despite this growing trend, many service industries and businesses struggle to survive as the changing dynamics of the contemporary business landscape threaten those (Kim et al., 2024). The main culprits are the new digital start-ups that capitalize on emerging digital technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), metaverse, and the Internet of things to co-create customer value by enhancing customer engagements compared to the established services incumbents (Soto Setzke et al., 2023). For example, the digital disruptions that began in retailing, such as Amazon and eBay, three decades ago, have completely changed the competitive dynamics of the service industry landscape. As implied, the rapid progression of emerging digital technologies has open up unforeseen new opportunities for companies to create novel digital service innovations that enhance peoples' daily lives and foster new business prospects. This has resulted in a shift in focus from conventional closed product-centric innovation to digitally fostered open service-centric innovation (Opazo-Basáez et al., 2022).

Consequently, digital service innovation is widely recognized as the robust pillar of success in the service sector today (Kim et al., 2024; Soto Setzke et al., 2023). Digital service innovation is a multidimensional and all-encompassing notion involving continuous refinement and development of radically new services utilizing digital technologies that exploit product connectedness to create value by enhancing service provider–customer relationships (Opazo-Basáez et al., 2022). As the world enters the digital era, digital service innovation fostered by AI and the metaverse has become a hot topic and a strategic investment target for service industries and businesses worldwide, aiming to capture the commanding heights of the digital economy. Accordingly, the recently emerged game-chaining businesses that center around the notion of digital service innovation, such as Uber and Zipcar in transportation, Airbnb in hotels and hospitality, AngelList in venture capital, and Castlight Health and Healthgrades in healthcare, represent a growing challenge to well-established conventional service firms (Belezas & Daniel, 2023; Tajeddini et al., 2022).

On the other hand, even though the service sector is not conventionally seen as having a tremendous harmful environmental impact, its detrimental influence cannot be neglected (Wang et al., 2024). It has been studied that the service sector also contributes to heavy carbon emissions and resource depletion in the contemporary business world (Suchek et al., 2021), and this is where the metaverse and AI matter. With their virtual existence, the metaverse and AI present an opportunity for service industries and businesses to redesign the anatomy of service innovations with green features, resulting in green innovations (De Giovanni, 2023; Wang et al., 2024). Consequently, most service firms today regard digitally fostered green innovations as vital in achieving sustainable economic development goals.

Amid these practical enthusiasms, developing and managing digital service innovations have become challenging for most service industries and businesses worldwide (Opazo-Basáez et al., 2022). They struggle to understand how to initiate the digitally fostered service innovations and manage their adoption and diffusion in the face of frequent technological, socio-cultural, environmental, and economic shifts (Soto Setzke et al., 2023). While there is extensive literature on fostering digitally-enabled innovations in the manufacturing sector, it is puzzling that there is still scant theoretical and empirical research on service innovation despite services being recognized as a significant priority for the economic growth of a country (Soto Setzke et al., 2023; Suchek et al., 2021). The service sector requires more rigorous and in-depth exploration, particularly in understanding how the anatomy of service innovation differs from product innovation. Further, there is a particular need to know how the digital capabilities of service industries and businesses can be translated into redesigning the anatomy of service innovations for value co-creation and elevated customer engagement. More explicitly, the extant service management and marketing literature needs theoretical advancement to holistically invigorate our understanding of how the emerging frontier digital technologies such as metaverse and AI reshape the anatomy of service-based industries and businesses, fostering service innovation, elevating customer engagement, and attaining sustainable development goals .

Against this backdrop, we propose this special issue to encourage global scholarship to attend to contemporary issues revolving around redesigning the anatomy of service innovation with AI and metaverse in different service industries and businesses. By doing so, this special issue aims to create a platform for academics and industry practitioners to discuss how the metaverse and AI reshape the anatomy of service-based industries and businesses, fostering service innovation, elevating customer engagement, achieving sustainable development goals, and expanding global reach.

This special issue seeks original and high-quality scholarly submissions focusing on redesigning the anatomy of service innovation with AI and metaverse related research topics from broad areas of service management and marketing. Topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Changing dynamics of the symbiotic relationship between creativity and innovation in service industries with the rapid advancement of frontier digital technologies
  • Harnessing emerging frontier digital technologies for redesigning the materiality of service innovations
  • Unveiling AI and metaverse for redesigning servicescapes and their effects on customer perceptions, behaviors, and culture shifts
  • Fostering collaborative, value-driven service innovation with AI and metaverse for value co-creation and transformational change
  • Exploring the interrelationships among AI, metaverse, and green service innovation in achieving sustainable development goals
  • Introducing digital servitization as an innovative, emerging trend in service management and marketing
  • Bringing open innovations to service industries through frontier technologies
  • Shaping a greener digital world with AI, metaverse, and green service innovations
  • Bridging the service divide through digitally fostered service innovation for a smart future
  • Crafting a creative digital service innovation strategy for sustained competitive advantage.

Submission Instructions

We seek innovative, meaningful, practically relevant, academically rigorous, cross-disciplinary, and theory-focused research papers, covering any aspect of digitally fostered service innovations. Papers can adopt various research methods such as quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods/multi-methods. All papers should demonstrate clear theoretical and managerial implications for managing service innovations.

All submitted manuscripts must be original and should not be under consideration for publication elsewhere. All submissions should be made online to the Service Industries Journal. All papers will be subjected to double-blind peer review in accordance with the journal’s standard evaluation process. The guest editors will make final decisions on publication based on the relevance to the special issue, technical quality, innovative content, and originality of research approaches and results. All submitted manuscripts must fully comply with the Service Industries Journal author guidelines and style requirements.

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