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Transformative Service Research as an Exemplar for Humanitarian I-O Psychology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 August 2017

Mahesh Subramony
Affiliation:
Department of Management, College of Business, Northern Illinois University
Corresponding
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Extract

The focal article (Gloss, Carr, Reichman, Abdul-Nasiru, & Oesterich, 2017) highlights the neglect of individual and societal well-being concerns in I-O psychology theory and practice. A similar concern is currently being articulated within the interdisciplinary field of services (i.e., service management, services marketing, and service science) with the identification of critical underrepresented issues including economic disparities in healthcare, food deserts in poor urban locations, racial-ethnic discrimination in retail, discriminatory practices in lending, lack of access to basic quality-of-life services among poor “base of the pyramid” populations, and the underemphasis of employee and consumer health in service design and delivery (e.g., Fisk et al., 2016; Rosenbaum et al., 2011). Originating in a call for improving consumer well-being through academic research (Mick, 2006), transformative service research (TSR) is now recognized as a key research priority in services (Ostrom, Parasuraman, Bowen, Patricio, & Voss, 2015). Indicators of the scholarly interest in this topic include but are not limited to the following: (a) a seminal article in this research stream (Anderson et al., 2013) has been cited an average of 40 times each year since its publication, (b) multiple special issues have appeared in service-related journals (Journal of Business Research and Journal of Service Research), and (c) special conferences have been organized to examine transformative issues. It can be argued that a humanitarian or POSH agenda in I-O psychology can be informed by TSR while deriving its sustenance from our time tested scientist–practitioner traditions. Some of the key lessons that can be learned from the current trajectory of TSR evolution are discussed in this article.

Type
Commentaries
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2017 

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References

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