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.