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Journal Articles Journal of Services Marketing Year : 2020

A critical analysis of service ecosystems research: rethinking its premises to move forward

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Abstract

Purpose This study aims to examine the development of service ecosystems literature and its four premises as follows: the characterization of service ecosystems as loosely coupled systems, the existence of shared institutional arrangements among actors, the occurrence of resource-integrating interactions among actors and value co-creation as the stated purpose of service ecosystems. Design/methodology/approach With a systematic literature review, the paper identifies and analyzes 98 articles on service ecosystems. An examination and a cross-check of the central elements of the articles reveal gaps and limitations in the analysis of service ecosystems. These results lead to the formulation of four propositions and suggestions for further research. Findings The four premises of service ecosystems are constrained by overly optimistic perceptions that prevent theoretical advancements. These premises overlook possible tight coupling; power asymmetries; divergent interpretations of institutions and institutional arrangements; divergent interpretations of actors’ resource-integrating actions, intentions and abilities; and the co-destruction of value. Four propositions are formulated to address these challenges. Research limitations/implications The shortcomings reflect the systematic literature review, which only covers a specific area of the extant knowledge base, namely, English-language articles published in peer-reviewed international journals. Originality/value This study extensively and critically investigates the premises of service ecosystems for the first time, proposing a more holistic, dynamic and realistic understanding of them. In so doing, it paves the way for renewed conceptualizations of service ecosystems.
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Dates and versions

hal-03144270 , version 1 (17-02-2021)

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Mekhail Mustak, Loic Plé. A critical analysis of service ecosystems research: rethinking its premises to move forward. Journal of Services Marketing, 2020, 34 (3), pp.399-413. ⟨10.1108/JSM-02-2019-0084⟩. ⟨hal-03144270⟩
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