Guest editorial: a new dawn for qualitative service research

Lars Witell*, Maria Holmlund, Anders Gustafsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientific

12 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to highlight the role of qualitative research in service research. This study discusses what qualitative research is, what role it has in service research and what interest, rigor, relevance and richness mean for qualitative service research.
Design/methodology/approach: This study examines the most common qualitative research methods and discusses interest, rigor, relevance and richness as key characteristics of qualitative research. The manuscripts in the special issue are introduced and categorized based on their contributions to service research.
Findings: The findings suggest that the amount of research using qualitative research methods has remained stable over the last 30 years. An increased focus on transparency and traceability is important for improving the perceived rigor of qualitative service research.
Originality/value: This special issue is the first issue that is explicitly devoted to the qualitative research methodology in service research. In particular, the issue seeks to contribute to a better use and application of qualitative research methodology.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 14.02.2020
MoE publication typeB1 Journal article


  • Customers and Relations
  • 512 Business and Management
  • interviews
  • qualitative research
  • ethnography
  • case study research

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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