Handbook of Service Marketing Research
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Handbook of Service Marketing Research

Edited by Roland T. Rust and Ming-Hui Huang

The Handbook of Service Marketing Research brings together an all-star team of leading researchers in service marketing to explore many of the hottest topics in service marketing today.
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Chapter 22: Marketing: a service science and arts perspective

Jim Spohrer, Stephen K. Kwan and Raymond P. Fisk


What is marketing and what will it become? The service science and arts perspective on marketing presented in this chapter is closest in spirit to Morgan and Hunt (1994, p. 20, emphases in original): "These global dynamics have resulted in the somewhat paradoxical nature of relationship marketing: To be an effective competitor (in the global economy) requires one to be a trusted cooperator (in some network)." For our purposes in this chapter, we define marketing as an entity "competing for collaborators" and, in turn, serving them and keeping them. How do types of entities in diverse contexts approach this competition? What rules and boundaries govern competitors and collaborators? How and why do rules and boundaries change over time? When do competitors collaborate, and when do collaborators compete? "Coopetition" is real (Bengtsson and Kock 2000), but so what? What difference does a service science and arts perspective on marketing, as "competing for collaborators," make to a marketing professional? More technically, does scale (population size) and level ("knowledge burden") matter a lot or a little? Also, can a balance be struck between the science (that is, function) and the arts (that is, form) perspectives? As we will see, the significance boils down to leadership and the ability to create a compelling vision of the future that resonates with your customers and partners. Marketing is arguably a key part of any number of evolved or designed solutions to human challenges and opportunities.

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