Viewpoint: plotting a way forward for service research in and out of Africa

Christo Boshoff, Ogechi Adeola, Robert E. Hinson, Kristina Heinonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to critically evaluate and reflect on the current state of service research in Africa. The purpose is to develop a roadmap to guide future service research in and out of Africa.
This study is a conceptual reflection and in situ observation of service research and practice in Africa.
This study delineates scholarly, policy and managerial pathways for further service research in the African context. Service research in Africa is often experience-based rather than concept-based, and such research is often conducted in close collaboration with the local business community. Theoretical development and empirical exploration through collaboration initiatives among institutions with mutual research interests are encouraged.
Research limitations/implications
This study is a theoretical analysis of service research in Africa. Further empirical exploration is needed to delineate service research priorities and methodological directions so as to balance local needs and global relevance.
Practical implications
Africa represents fertile terrain for experience-based insights regarding financial behavior, ecosystem services and nation branding. Grassroots-level involvement in research represents a key component of managerial relevance.
Social implications
This study highlights the role of service research in and about Africa. The discussion demonstrates that the African Ubuntu values of community involvement and a collectivist orientation can expand the relevance of research from the academic business field to broader society.
This study represents a unique perspective on service research in the African context. In doing so, this paper lays the groundwork for more meaningful participation on the part of African-based researchers in the global service research domain. Experience-based research projects focusing on the empirical starting point complement theory development and serve as useful anchors for theory implementation in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)450-460
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 08.04.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Africa
  • culture
  • ecosystem service
  • financial behavior
  • conceptual
  • Ubuntu
  • empiricism
  • transformative
  • managerial relevance
  • experience-based research
  • Customers and Relations
  • Services Marketing and Philosophy

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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