2017 Council Activity Report

This report was presented at the 2017 Reser conference in Bilbao Spain

Council composition

  • Patrik Ström (PS), (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)
  • Markus Scheuer (MkS) (RWI Essen), Germany
  • Céline Merlin Brogniard (CM) (University of Lille France)
  • Marie Christine Monnoyer (MCM)(Université de Toulouse Capitole France)
  • Maria Savona (MS) (SPRU, UK)
  • Pedro Costa (PC) (Lisbon University Institute)
  • Lars Fulgsang (LF) (Roskilde University)
  • Tiziana Russo Spena (TRS) (University of Naples “Federico II” Italy, organizers of 2016 conference)
  • Luna Leoni (Roma University)
  • Alexander Schletz (AS) (Fraunhofer IAO, Stuttgart)
  • Gisela di Meglio (GM) (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)
  • José Luis Navarro-Espigares (JLN) (University of Granada)
  • Laurentiu Tachiciu (LT) (Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest)
  • Risto Rajala (RR) (Aalto University)


Council meetings and communication with members

In the last twelve months Council has worked on a number of activities. Four tele-meetings of the Council and one face-to-face meeting (Bilbao, just before the annual conference) were carried out in the period. The planned face-to-face meeting that was intended to be held in Brussels was not possible due to very busy schedules of the council members.

The Council has informed the RESER members about its activities via the website and the minutes. Mailing lists and databases were updated again this year, and most information flows were restricted just to associates with their association fees regularized. A digest version of minutes is regularly updated on the website, while more comprehensive versions are sent periodically to registered members. RESER website has been assumed as the main repository of information of RESER and its main channel of circulation of information amongst members and with broader services research community. Consequently it has been very actively updated by our Webmaster prof. Marie Christine Monnoyer and used as main communication tool to members (in parallel to other resources such as mailing lists and digital social media). More active response of RESER members and their provision of relevant news to feed the website are very welcome and would benefit all members.


In September 2017 the RESER was composed of approximately 180 individual members and three institutional members. In 2015, Mondragon Innovation and Knowledge (from Basque Country, Spain), joined Fraunhofer IAO (from Germany), VTT Technical Research Centre (from Finland), as the third RESER institutional member.


The conference in September 2016 was very successful and the team had put up a highly interesting program with not only academic session, but also tracks in collaboration with industry. The outcome has been the proceedings and various publication outlets.


In line with recommendations at the GA in Naples the Council has identified the following priority actions that were carried out in 2016-17:

a) Collaboration with the organization of the 2017 annual conference, in Bilbao.

The council actively collaborated with the local organizing committee in Bilbao and Estibaliz Hernandez has been on the council as the local represent.

The council was involved in the suggestion of keynote speakers and thematic sessions, as well in the support to the organization of practical issues, both related to the conference itself and the publishing opportunities. The relation with practice and the promotion of conversation between practitioners and researchers was assumed as one of the priorities of the conference.

As in precedent years, RESER council and the organization of the conference worked together in order to assume the conference a special floor to increase the cooperation strategy with other institutions and services networks, and to increase the visibility of RESER.

In this sense, it was possible to have again a REDLAS special session/track, centred on the issue of services in Latin America and developing countries. As it was difficult to have direct support from the organization of the conference this year due to financil constraints, improved support was given by RESER council to this.

Two grants (2 RESER founders award for best paper) for supporting PhD students (500+300 euros) were available for the conference, as in precedent year. This includes the participants in the Docoral Coloquium, which took place in parallel with the conference. Papers with just one author (the student, without the superviser) were elegible. A discussion was on the possibility to extend the award to a PhD student with a co-author. A small sellection committee composed by 3 council members, Marie Christine Monnoyer, Maria Savona and Gisela di Meglio, analysed the proposals and the annoucement of the winners is made at the conference dinner.

b) PhD Colloquium

The PhD colloquium, held in parallel to the conference. PhD Course was designed to take place during the day immediately precedent to the conference. A permanent discussion on the model, schedule and related funding issues about the PhD Colloquium was held throughout the year, as several contingencies were occurring. The council found important that the PhD colloquium should keep the characteristic of having no fees for the participants. Council decided if needed to support this year’s organization with an amount of 1000 Euros in order to cover some small expenses (coffee breaks, etc). After an ongoing monitoring of the level of demand of the course, an analysis was made defining a reasonable minimum number of participants in order to keep financial equilibrium and a pedagogical and scientific level of quality, essential to attract the students in the long term (assuming a minimum number of 10 students for the realization of the colloquium). The discussion on this will be followed for further editions, considering such number is also important to improve the number of participants in the conference, each year.

c) Publications

The local conference organization and the council has initiated the possibility for publication. The development of alternatives, include trying to find a pallet of 3-4 journals in different disciplines, different countries (Anglo-Saxon, French, Latin America), different knowledge areas, in the scope of RESER interests, which would be open to accept special issues, not necessarily in an annual basis, or the publication of a RESER book series with a established international publisher, for instance, were discussed.

The opportunity of having a pre-selection of papers in each conference, around specific thematic lines by conference organizers or other members would be interesting to be explored, even if on an occasional basis, for specific themes or episodic special editions. Collaboration of all RESER members would be appreciated on this. The link to the RESER brand (by the authors themselves, and by those special editions), could be further explored, as well as the possibility of linking the journals at the webpage, provide information in RESER’s webpage, and enhancing a symbiotic relation in terms of visibility for each part. There is also the possibility of having special issues (more or less related to the conferences) launched by RESER members in different Journals (as individual researchers, more than RESER as organization), in parallel to a more comprehensive approach to each conference (for instance, in a book format). The two approaches could be complementary: the book as a continuation of precedent strategy (providing long term RESER publication as brand), and special issues in exploring new opportunities and specific sub-fields. The book can be crucial to keep the importance of cross disciplinary research that marks RESER. There is an ongoing discussion with Edward Elgar about a series connected to the conference and RESER.

Possibility of publishing of conference papers

There are connections with several journals for potential publications. RESER has established already some relation, that could offer possibility for quick review, and publishing quick some papers of the RESER conferences (ERSEM[1] European Review of Service Economics and Management), Anfitheatru Economic, Journal of Inspirational Economy, Revue d’Economie et de Management de l’Innovation), other possibilities to establish more permanent links are being studied for this and for the next years (e,g Eurasia Business Review). (September 21-22)

Publication of proceedings/ and availability on RESER webpage.

Naples proceedings will be available online.

Editing Books; RESER publishing series with Edward Elgar

There is a possibility of preparing a book with Edward Elgar. It is a more broad possibility, to have a book each year, stablishing a “RESER book series”.

d) PhD Mobility Grant and Small Research Grant

In the sequence of the decision of the GA, RESER had available in the budget for 2017 (such as in precedent years), 3000 euros for the PhD Mobility Grant and 5000 euros for the Small Research Grant (besides 800 for Founders Award, for best doctoral student’s papers in the conferences).

Concerning the PhD Mobility grant, it has been launched as a way of enhancing cooperation, networking and mobility in line with the goals of RESER. The idea was to support the possibility for PhD student mobility among the different research environments. The support should enable shorter or longer stays at a partner university within the RESER network. This could cover cost up to 3000 Euro. A call should be launched during the autumn, after the annual conference.

Concerning the small research budget, it has been traditionally designed to support research initiatives that include at least three different research environments. In total, the application could cover costs up to 5000 Euro and if possible be connected to a mobility grant. The council has been discussing the possibility of having more flexible timeline for sending in application on a running basis. No research grant was given during 2017. The council needs to further work on the grant strategy and awareness.

A more flexible instrument was proposed in which a Small Research Grant for a small research project could include (or be articulated with) the circulation of a Phd student. This would imply a set of general requirements (to be available to all institutions that are RESER members; Minimum of 2 teams, 1 PHD student; Funding: 5000+3000 euros; Within these limit, proposals can be very flexible – e.g, 1, 2, 3 students, 1 month, 15 days, etc.), and specific requirements (need to have a research proposal; need to present a paper at the RESER conference; need to have a small report, at the end, available in the website, possibility of organizing a specific session within the next RESER conference).

A draft of new regulation is being developed by council members.

e) Relation with REDLAS

The deepening of the relation with REDLAS (The Latin American and Caribbean Network on Services Research) was pursued, as stablished in the last GA. The collaboration of RESER with REDLAS is reported as being a positive experience with high potential in the future. Maria Savona continued developing her function as “bridge” between the two associations, working with a REDLAS startup group, in a systematical way, in line with RESER action plan (improving aims such as mobility and research cooperation).

A REDLAS track was included in the organization of Bilbao conference through a track. The Council maintains a support fund for REDLAS participants, which should be managed by the association, of one thousand euros, and have also decided to support the registration of 2 to 4 REDLAS members in the conference.

REDLAS conference 2017 will take place in San Jose (Cost Rica), September 21-22. If needed the RESER council is committed to support the conference.

f) Visibility of RESER

Following the GA recommendations on the need to improve visibility of RESER, engaging more with other areas of society, and organizing sessions of dissemination in other conferences, etc., several initiatives were developed. The council has also discussed how to interact more with other organizations such as the EU. This relationship should be reinforced with the new Commission. This is a relationship that will further be explored in the coming year. RESER has also been engaged in discussion with CEN/CENELEC on taking part in the work on standardization of services within Europe. This has been initiated by the European Business Services Roundtable.

Suggestions for improving relations with other service networks have been discussed by the council, in the sequence of GA recommendations. The possibility of setting up RESER sessions at other association conferences was discussed and some suggestions put forward. Organizing other Special Sessions in our conference in the future is also a possible way to interact with other organizations.

During the year RESER has been able to be part of sessions at the AAG meeting in Boston, with a session on the Services in the Green Economy. A special session was also held within the Conference on Serviceology in Vienna.


a) Webpage management

RESER webpage have been actively used and updated, all through the year. The main challenge now is to have a continuous flow of information from the members, in order to keep the webpage updated and attractive to visitors. Several improvements were achieved, mostly with PhD´s students’ information (providing monthly profiles of diverse PhD students and information about their thesis), but there is the need of more information, particularly showing the regular activity of members. Other challenge is to stablish again more efficient and quick links to conference papers after each conference, overcoming the difficulties stablished by journal publishers during publication process. This is an important concern as the availability of papers is useful for both students and researchers (even if temporary, previous to the publication of the same paper in a journal or book).

The council has initiated work on the possibility to move the website into a new system. This work is headed by Alexander Schletz. This work has been completed during the year and the new website is ready to be launched. Alexander will also take over as the webmaster after Marie-Christine Monnoyer.

The work with social media is headed by Luna Leoni and the council has discussed how to make this work more integrated into the long-term strategy.

All RESER members are encouraged to submit information to the Council that they want to publish on the web. With the extensive database on member teams the RESER website is a platform that enables members to connect with other members more easily when building teams for projects or looking for partners for developing other ways of cooperation. Information should be sent to website manager (marie-christine.monnoyer@univ-tlse1.fr) or posted at RESER LinkedIn Group.


Jose Luis Navarro has been the RESER treasurer and has helped the organization to enhance the efficiency of financial issues. The financial situation of RESER is presented in the accounting report.

Apart from increasing individual membership the council is also committed to increase the number of institutional members.


a) Conferences 2018 (Sweden) and 2019

The council analysed and accepted the proposal received from a team from Göteborg, (Sweden) for the organization of 2018 conference. The proposal of date is 20-22 September. RESER will offer to local organizer proponents’ support in terms of articulation with 2017 Conference Organizing Team and all council activity.

The council has also started thinking on 2019 Conference, and some potential possibilities are being explored. Potential candidates are welcome to contact the council for consideration.

b) Calls for proposals

This is a need for strategic plans for the future. Common research projects (particularly based on EU funding) will be an interesting opportunity for RESER to deep its role in services research. RESER competitive advantages as a long-term stablished and broadly internationally disseminated network were brought up and considered as an important asset to explore. Individual initiative in the mobilization of partners and the development of proposals seem to be a determinant aspect which should be worked out.

Preparation of electoral process

A number of the current council members will leave this year. New members will be elected at the 2017 General Assembly.

Report prepared by:

Patrik Ström

Call for papers 2018

Services in the Age of Contested Globalization

The RESER annual conference 2018 in Gothenburg constitutes the 28th annual platform and meeting place for European researchers and policy makers working on services. RESER is an interdisciplinary European network of social scientists linked by a common interest in service industries and their territorial expression. The annual RESER research conference provides a unique opportunity for the exchange of ideas concerning the cutting edge of service research and is open to all researchers interested in these topics. The 28th annual conference is co-organized by the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg and the Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology.
As in the past, we expect participation by academics and policy makers. Business people and professional associations representing services sectors are also invited to attend.
Since its first international conference in 1990, the RESER research community has sought to identify and explore new service trends in a multidisciplinary context. The RESER conference is interested in studies ranging from the micro to the macro level. Papers that explore the issues related to the main theme with its tracks are especially welcome.
Papers can be conceptual, empirical or methodological. We welcome studies from social, geographical, business, economic, technology, policy and management sciences, and particularly interdisciplinary approaches. Doctoral studies are welcome.
Main theme and tracks of the 2018 conference:

Services in the Age of Contested Globalization

  • Internationalization of services and services in emerging markets
  • Services and regional economic development
  • Digitalization and technology-enabled services
  • Organizing for effective servitization and service management
  • Services and the Green Economy
  • Service innovation in private and public services

The service industry has been an important part of the globalization of the world economy. Several of the sub-sectors such as finance, transportation services, telecom and knowledge intensive business services have enabled economic growth in complex networks around the world. Technological advances have compressed distances, and digitalization has increased the speed of service delivery and business model development in general. Despite increased internationalization of services, the regulatory frameworks for service trade and foreign direct investment have been complex and difficult to agree on. The implementation of the EU internal market for services has been much more difficult to establish than anticipated, and still there are many obstacles remaining.
During the last few years, the era of globalization and facilitation of trade has become contested. Groups within the electorates of many countries are not convinced of benefits generated by globalization of the world economy. Concern has risen over the limits to globalization and that countries such as the USA move towards a more isolationist stance on trade. In relation to the service economy, this development generates a number of interesting questions. What role will service activities continue to play in the world economy, and how are services seen to be a vital part for further economic growth? Understanding the different parts of the service economy and their interconnectedness to manufacturing could be an important vehicle for assuaging the doubt of potential growth. Business model development, services as part of the greening of the economy and digitalization offer new opportunities in the private and public sectors of both mature and emerging markets. The 2018 RESER annual conference aims at discussing the wider development of the service economy within this global setting, focusing on (but not limited to) the following tracks.

Internationalization of services and services in emerging markets

Internationalization of services and services in emerging markets are of great importance for future globalization of the world economy. Regulatory aspects need to be studied in order to understand better how they can facilitate trade and investment within services. Company strategy within various service sectors is another area that needs to be further investigated in relation to the development of specific services and the choice of location. Also, cross-disciplinary attempts at combining management decisions, location and industry development within services have to play a stronger role.

Services and regional economic development

Services and regional economic development has been a key area of research within RESER since the start. In terms of contribution to the GDP and share of employment various forms of service activities have come to be seen as vital for growth. This development cuts across several sub-sectors within services and relates to the interconnectedness between services and manufacturing. Additionally, the cultural and creative industry has become essential for employment in several regions, while also facilitating locational attractiveness.

Digitalization and technology-enabled services

Digitalization and servitization have made it difficult to rely on clear cut categorizations of offerings. A challenge lies in understanding and analysing value-added activities and how digitalization is a facilitator for growth and restructuring of the service economy – if that remains as a fruitful concept. This can be studied focusing on development and improvement of technology-enabled services, or focusing on a firm at changes induced by digitalization, from either an internal perspective or an external one taking into account a complex web of activities performed by different actors. Knowledge creation can appear at different locations and through globalization be put to work in complex networks. Financial crises reveal the need for sustainable networks if regions and individual firms are to show economic resilience.

Organizing for effective servitization and service management

Servitization and service management in organizations challenge existing organizational structures. For service-led and technology-enabled growth to take place, effective organizational structures that foster innovation and development of services are needed. Typically, the structures are co-created by actors in the wider service network: networks including traditional manufacturing firms, other providers (e.g. internet providers for digital services), as well as customers.

Services and the Green Economy

Services and the Green Economy is another theme that discusses how services can contribute to the sustainable growth of firms and regions. Services contribute to economic development not only in their own right, but also through the integration and knowledge facilitation across industries. This development can also help green growth in fast developing emerging markets. Besides focusing on the level of firms and regions, studies on particular service offerings and their contributions to sustainable development are welcome.

Service innovation in private and public services

The study of service innovation in both private and public services has shown the crucial role of public sector service operations. The execution of new strategic policies to support the economy should recognize the potential for service innovations. This also means that the organization and innovative capability within public sector services have to be improved. There are new challenges to the development of the welfare state as well as its health care and social security systems. Countries need to tackle problems of social sustainability, not least the consequences of an aging population and migratory movements.

Support for PhD students

RESER will financially support the participation of 2 PhD students to the conference.
Based on the full papers submitted, 2 submissions will be selected and their authors will receive a grant of €500 to fund travel, accommodation and conference fees. In order to be eligible for the grant, the PhD student must sign the paper as first author and will have to be in charge of its presentation at the conference.
The grant recipients will be contacted when all authors will receive the notification of acceptance of their papers.

Requirements for abstracts to be submitted:

  • Title of paper
  • Objectives
  • Methodology
  • Expected results

Maximum of two pages for the abstracts! (template will be available on the conference website)

Important deadlines:

  • Submission of abstracts: 31 March 2018
  • Notification to authors of acceptance: 16 May 2018
  • Submission of final texts: 31 August

Conference venue:

School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg,
Visiting address: Vasagatan 1.

Conference fees*:

Deadline Regular fees Students fees
Before 16 July € 480,- € 350,-
After 16 July € 580,- € 350,-

*all conference fees include a one year RESER membership

Call for papers as PDF

You can download the call for papers of the 28th RESER conference here.

Call for papers 2017

RESER 2017 Call for Papers is organized around seven main themes, but welcomes contributions that are close to these areas.

  • City Service
  • Servitization
  • Service ecosystems
  • Service innovation
  • International Perspectives
  • Value creation
  • Methodological challenges in service studies: complexity, pluralism and interdisciplinary

1. City Service

The city is the place where services and, particularly, advanced services, are being specially developed in the last few decades. In this track we want to analyse how to make the city an effective environment for the expansion of this sector. Discussion will be addressed around the following issues: the role of public policies for the development of the sector, service drivers such as knowledge ecosystems, smart city services that can create higher well-being rates for its citizens through a safer, more inclusive, healthier environment and the like.

In this theme, the following topics exemplify the central interests:

  • Smart cities
  • Public service policy
  • Service drivers
  • KIBS in cities
  • Citizens well-being

2. Servitization

Services are acquiring a very important role in the manufacturing industry. The digitalized factory generates, through big data and another new ICT technologies, opportunities to generate new sources of turnover through services that complement and give added value to the product. But, there is a lack of knowledge on how to bring this chance to reality so we want to collect new perspectives, practices, and studies in this field. In general, in this track we would like to collect new perspectives on the growing digitalization of the economy and its impact on the services sector.

We welcome contributions to the following sub-themes:

  • Servitization in manufacturing context
  • Industry 4.0 in the servitization perspective
  • Service digitalization
  • New digital capabilities
  • ICT based experiences

3. Service Ecosystems

Nowadays, global value chains made up of products and services are increasingly moving the global economy. However, it is not easy to create an effective and efficient process of collaboration between industrial and service companies to tackle this new paradigm. In this track we are very interested in discovering the key aspects that can facilitate this alliance and co-creational process. In addition, service companies are challenged to collaborate with each other in order to create ecosystems to foster new and competitive business models. Finally, there is a third kind of scenario related to how services providers collaborate in a local and international basis with knowledge systems (universities, technology centres…) in order to add value and innovate in their value propositions.

This track addresses the following and related issues:

  • Product Service Systems (PSS)
  • Service networks
  • Governance and viability of ecosystems
  • Knowledge infrastructure for services
  • Sustainability & Financial issues
  • Resilient ecosystems and territorial development

4. Service innovation

Traditionally, innovation has been linked to new product development. But, innovation processes related to services require a new approach and new perspective for service innovation that need to be developed. In this track we are interested in collecting new perspectives and practices on the management of innovation in a service context. More specifically in: business model innovation, monetization strategies of innovative services, or the development of distinctive competitive value propositions. Service innovation is giving rise to many new entrepreneurial initiatives and that is why this track asks about the specific nature of entrepreneurship in a service research context. In this sense, research studies carried out to analyse specifically the entrepreneurial ecosystems are of particular interest.

Bringing together these different perspectives is highly desirable and we therefore welcome papers on the following or related topics:

  • New business models
  • Value proposition development
  • Monetization strategies
  • Social innovation and new forms of service innovations in emerging countries
  • Entrepreneurship & intrapreneurship

5. International Perspectives

Globalization process experienced in the last decades bears a very direct relation with services and the internationalization of services is leading to a new phase of globalization. The internationalization of services, including an increased mobility of capital, people, know-how and other resources, increase the interdependency of economies. This process in turns changes the geography of services and requires an in-depth understanding of how services emergence and locate in certain local, urban, and dense areas. Many studies address the internationalization of services in terms of Foreign Direct Investment; International Trade in Services; Multinational enterprises. Additional research focuses on the spatial aspects and impacts of service development.

Contributions to the following and related issues are thus welcome:

  • Geography of services
  • Services in emerging countries
  • Human Resources
  • Internationalization strategies
  • Trade and foreign direct investment

6. Value Creation

In services, the relationship with the user is a fundamental and absolutely differential aspect. In this track we are interested in contributions throughout the classic process of knowing, relating and co-creating/adapting the service together with the client or final user. Particularly interesting will be the contributions that can be made on customer experience since the latest researches have shown that a proper management of this aspect can be decisive in the competitiveness of companies and/or user satisfaction. Finally, and as is usual in the RESER conference, the papers that tell us about open innovation will also have a relevant space.

Contributions to the following and related issues are thus welcome:

  • Customer knowledge and relationship management
  • Co-creation
  • Customer experience
  • User experience
  • Open innovation
  • User driven innovation

7. Methodological challenges in service studies: complexity, pluralism and interdisciplinary.

The ontological, epistemological and methodological foundations of service studies constitutes a new challenge that scholars are invited to take up to provide directions for ongoing service research.

This track aims at providing evidence of new research approaches based on interdisciplinary and pluralist research approaches. It strives to map out how in the research process different principles, methods, techniques and tools could be integrated to deeper better the understanding of inherent complexity of society. Following topics should be investigated:

  • Pluralist epistemology to service research
  • Practice-based study methods
  • Complexity theory
  • Mixed methods