Handbook of Service Business
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Handbook of Service Business

Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation

Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels

Service business accounts for more than 75 per cent of the wealth and employment created in most developed market economies. The management and economics of service business is based around selling expertise, knowledge and experiences. This Handbook contributes to on-going debates about the nature of service business and the characteristics of service-led economies by exploring disciplinary perspectives on services, services and core business processes and the management of service business. A series of case studies are also provided. The volume pushes back the frontiers of current critical thinking about the role of service business by bringing together eminent scholars from economics, management, sociology, public policy, planning and geography.
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Chapter 11: Service and experience

Jon Sundbo


This chapter explores the experience aspect of services, both as a concept within service management and marketing theory (e.g. Eiglier and Langeard, 1988; Normann, 1991; Gronroos, 2000; Heskett et al., 1990; Vargo and Lusch, 2006) and as a phenomenon that is being theorised in its own right. The topic is approached through Kuhn’s (1970) concept of paradigms, which suggests that a scientific field, including certain research objectives, basic theoretical assumptions and methods, is accepted and used by a scientific community until a new paradigm emerges. The emergence of a new paradigm does not necessarily have anything to do with changes in the empirical world, but it is possible that it may. Primarily, paradigms are theoretical constructions that attempt to provide an understanding of a complex reality by making different, simplified, theoretical assumptions. A paradigm shift is a meta-scientific discussion about social constructivism (Burr, 1995; Hacking, 1999). This shift might reflect, or be triggered by, changes in the studied real or empirical, phenomena, but not necessarily.

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