Enabling a service thinking mindset: practices for the global service ecosystem

Linda Alkire, Rebekah Russell-Bennett, Josephine Previte, Raymond P. Fisk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Profound economic, social, political and environmental problems are cascading across modern civilization in the 21st century. Many of these problems resulted from the prevailing effects of rational economics focused on profit maximization. The purpose of this paper is to reframe the mindsets of scholars, firms and public policy decision-makers through enabling Service Thinking practices. Design/methodology/approach: Marketing, service and allied discipline literature are synthesized, and Raworth's (2018) Doughnut Economics model is adapted to conceptualize and construct the Service Thinking framework. Findings: Service Thinking is defined as a just, mutualistic and human-centered mindset for creating and regenerating service systems that meet the needs of people and the living planet. Service Thinking is enabled by five practices (service empathy, service inclusion, service respect, service integrity and service courage). Practical implications: Actionable implications are presented for service ecosystem entities to uplift well-being, enhance sustainability and increase prosperity. Originality/value: Service Thinking practices are shaped by influencing forces (marketing, education and law/policy) and operant service ecosystem resources (motivation–opportunity–ability or MOA), which makes Service Thinking applicable to four economic entities in the service ecosystem: the household, the market, the state and the commons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-602
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Service Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


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