Elevating the human experience (HX) through service research collaborations: introducing ServCollab

Raymond P. Fisk, Linda Alkire (née Nasr), Laurel Anderson, David E. Bowen, Thorsten Gruber, Amy L. Ostrom, Lia Patrício

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Purpose: Elevating the human experience (HX) through research collaborations is the purpose of this article. ServCollab facilitates and supports service research collaborations that seek to reduce human suffering and improve human well-being. Design/methodology/approach: To catalyze this initiative, the authors introduce ServCollab's three human rights goals (serve, enable and transform), standards of justice for serving humanity (distributive, procedural and interactional justice) and research approaches for serving humanity (service design and community action research). Research implications: ServCollab seeks to advance the service research field via large-scale service research projects that pursue theory building, research and action. Service inclusion is the first focus of ServCollab and is illustrated through two projects (transformative refugee services and virtual assistants in social care). This paper seeks to encourage collaboration in more large-scale service research projects that elevate the HX. Practical implications: ServCollab seeks to raise the aspirations of service researchers, expand the skills of service research teams and build mutually collaborative service research approaches that transform human lives. Originality/value: ServCollab is a unique organization within the burgeoning service research community. By collaborating with service researchers, with service research centers, with universities, with nonprofit agencies and with foundations, ServCollab will build research capacity to address large-scale human service system problems. ServCollab takes a broad perspective for serving humanity by focusing on the HX. Current business research focuses on the interactive roles of customer experience and employee experience. From the perspective of HX, such role labels are insufficient concepts for the full spectrum of human life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-635
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 19 2020


  • Collaboration
  • Human experience
  • Service design
  • Service inclusion
  • Transformative service research
  • Vulnerable consumers
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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