Diary of the 10th year Naples Forum on Service

The 10th years edition was held on 4–7 June 2019 at the superb Hotel Regina Isabella – an expansion of the historic Queen Isabella Baths built on the ancient Greek-Roman ruins that overlooks the sea –in Lacco Ameno, Ischia (Naples).

Since its foundation in 2009, the Naples Forum on Service has become a key event for the community of service academics and practitioners, focused on three main pillars: the service-dominant (S-D) logic, service science, and network/systems theory. Due to the increasing complexity characterizing modern economies and societies, the Naples Forum on Service’s goal is to encourage an integrative perspective in service research, while facilitating networking and co-authorships among participants

During this last edition, a substantial debate has revolved around value proposition, value co-creation, resource integration, customer experience, engagement, practices, markets, service systems, and ecosystems. Starting from that, service scholars have addressed the need to develop more complex frameworks and meta-models able to enrich classical arguments in marketing, and take a more in-depth approach valorizing different perspectives.

On June 4th a doctoral workshop was held at the Hotel Regina Isabella. The event was co-chaired by Christoph F. Breidbach (The University of Melbourne), Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University), Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II), and Francesco Polese (University of Salerno).

3 keynote speakers for the three pillars – Stephen L. Vargo (University of Hawaii) for Service-Dominant logic, Marialuisa Saviano (University of Salerno) for Viable Systems Approach, and Paul Maglio (UC Merced) for Service Science – gave their presentations and insights to the PhD students and curious other participants. Then, doctoral students had the opportunity to present their dissertation projects and obtain feedbacks and wise comments for improving their studies from excellent mentors such as Anu Helkkula (Hanken School of Economics), Ingo Karpen (RMIT University), Elina Jaakkola (Turku School of Economics, University of Turku), Kaj Storbacka (University of Auckland Business School), Matthew Alexander (University of Strathclyde), Janet McColl-Kennedy (The University of Queensland), Jodie Conduit (University of Adelaide), Helge Löbler (Leipzig University), and Suvi Nenonen (University of Auckland Business School).

Later that day, a welcome aperitif was served to incoming attendees in Negombo, in a kind- of wild rustic terrace adorned by fresh vegetables. The sun set and the Mediterranean food made it a perfect venue to start conversing and networking.

On June 5th, in their opening speech, Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II) and Francesco Polese (University of Salerno) welcomed participants introducing numbers and events of the macro programme. A video letter of Evert Gummesson (Stockholm University): inspired participants throughout the rest of the event. A video on the past editions of the Forum and one of the first interviews to Bob Lusch (University of Arizona) where played to set the stage to the visions for the futures by two keynote speacher: Stephen L. Vargo (University of Hawaii), the co-innovator of the S-D logic, proving updates about this mindset and Jim Spohrer (IBM Almaden Research Center), father of Service Science, provoking the audience by telling that it has been solved.

Parallel sessions covering multiple critical topics followed. In addition, a special parallel session on The future of health chaired by Janet McColl Kennedy (The University of Queensland) with Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II), Daniela Sangiorgi (Polytechnic University of Milan), Mark Spurrell (Alliance Manchester Business School), Roberta Massi, Maurizio Venturi, and Antonio Greco  was held.

After a short break in magnificent Lacco Ameno with its stunning cliffs overlooking the sea, the conference dinner took place at Hotel Regina Isabella, offering traditional food and local wine, along with the beautiful sea view and a jazz musician playing during an astonishing sunset.

June 6 started with outstanding parallel sessions, who gave fresh insights into the frontiers in service research and suggested a new research agenda.

Moreover, a special session on the Handbook of Service Science was driven by Jim Spohrer (IBM Almaden Research Center) with Kelly Lyons (University of Toronto), Paul Maglio (UC Merced), Daniela Sangiorgi (Polytechnic University of Milan), Yuriko Sawatani (NUCB Business School).

The plenary Session on Market shaping and Innovation given by Suvi Nenonen (University of Auckland Business School) and Kaj Storbacka (University of Auckland Business School) highlighted the main findings and open issues of the Market Shaping group of researchers.

The Plenary session on the Future service technologies – with Werner Kunz (University of Massachusetts Boston), Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II), Daniela Corsaro (IULM University of Milan), Jay Kandampully (The Ohio State University), Mohamed Zaki (University of Cambridge) and Gianluca Meardi (Executive Partner, Digital Strategy & iX Lead at IBM) – discussed whether or not we are prepared for the next chapter in service. Indeed, technological advances represent both a challenge and an opportunity for growth in unexpected realms.

The Gala Dinner, at Negombo thermal park, allowed attendees to appreciate the breath-taking views one more time, as well as many Neapolitan food specialties. The Gala Dinner also hosted the awards ceremony, honoring the following contributors:

ISSIP Career Award: proff. Freund Louis E. (San Jose State University), and Kwan Stephen K. (San Jose State University)
ISSIP Best Paper Award: Warg, M., Zolnowski, A., Frosch, M., Weiß, P. – “From Product Organization to Platform Organization Observations of Organizational Development in the Insurance Industry";
S-D logic award: proff. Francesco Polese (University of Salerno) and Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II)
Best Paper Award Certificate – Category “Network & Systems Theory”:Saviano Marialuisa, Del Giudice Manlio, Pironti Marco, Caputo Francesco “Open Innovation and Industry 4.0: the new frontiers for value co-creation?”
Best Paper Award Certificate Category “ Service-Dominant Logic”:Daniela Corsaro “Sales Transformation and new paths of value co-creation”
Best Paper Award Certificate Category “Service Science” Sawatani Yuriko “Innovation of service system by human- centered design and effectual evolution: Hypothesis development and case verification”
2019 Evert Gummesson Outstanding Research Award: proff. Michael Kleinaltenkamp (Free University of Berlin) and Paul P. Maglio (UC Merced).
Best Ph.D Research Proposal Award: Maria Veronica Torres Pena (University of Melbourne), “Orcherstrating Service Platforms: An Agent-based Modelling Study on P2P Lending Platforms”.

Then, researchers kept on dancing all night long!

On Friday, June 7, a plenary session was hosted by Steve Vargo (University of Hawaii), Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University), Suvi Nenonen (University of Auckland Business School), Linda Peters (Nottingham University Business School), Francesco Polese (University of Salerno), Debora Sarno (University of Naples “Parthenope”) and Kaj Storbacka (University of Auckland Business School). These scholars initiated an interesting interdisciplinary contributions and insights for Service Research around the conceptualization of “Emergence”.

Inspiring plenary sessions followed.

A special session on Culture and Technologies was chaired byAnu Helkkula (Hanken School of Economics) and Tiziana Russo Spena (Univeristy of Naples Federico II) with Eric Arnould (Aalto University), and Jaqueline Pels (Torcuato di Tella University). A plenary on “The Sage Handbook of Service Dominant logic’ by Kaisa Koskela-Huotari (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University) and on ‘Teaching Service Dominant logic’ by Tom Gruen (University of New Hampshire) followed.

Finally, the Forum closed with a stimulating discussion in a plenary session among Christine Leitner (Centre for Economics and Public Administration (CEPA)), Cristina Mele (University of Naples Federico II), Jaqueline Pels (Torcuato di Tella University), Jim Spohrer (IBM Almaden Research Center) and Steve Vargo (University of Hawaii). The debate inspired further discussions with participants in the audience.

As in previous years, being the co-chairs of the 10th Naples Forum provided a fantastic engagement and a highly enjoyable experience. Enthusiastic comments from the participants offer the best evidence of the value co-created through this Forum.

A marvellous video by our friends of SERVSIG

Call for Papers

We invite proposals dealing with themes within one or several of the 3 Forum Pillars: S-D logic, service science, and network/systems theory. We especially encourage submissions with an integrative perspective. The proposals could be theoretical and/or empirical and be based on qualitative and/or quantitative research. In order to submit an abstract, directions are given within the www.naplesforumonservice.it web page.

A purpose of the Naples Forum is to get different generations of researchers together both at the organized sessions and informally during breaks and social events. In the final selection of submissions, both senior researchers and newcomers will be given a chance to present. There will be plenary sessions as well as parallel sessions. In order to increase the number of active participants a special poster session will be organized during the Forum.

Awards for valuable full papers will be attributed to manuscripts advancing knowledge within the three forum scientic pillars: Service Science, Systems Theory and Complexity, Service Dominant logic. Additionally, ISSIP (International Society of Service Innovation Professionals) will grant its best paper award.

Call For Paper


Evening on the swimming pool

Doctoral Workshop


Call for applications


Dr. Christoph F. Breidbach

Dr. Kaisa Koskela-Huotari

Prof. Cristina Mele

Prof. Francesco Polese

Doctoral Workshop - Call for Paper

10th year Naples Forum on Service - Book of paper

10th year Naples Forum on Service - Book of Abstracts (flip)