From September 7-10, 2016 the Department of Economics, Management and Institutions hosted the XXVI RESER conference with about 150 participants from different continents.

On September 7th, a doctoral workshop took place with the guidance of Prof. Eric Arnould (Aalto University) and Prof. Anu Helkkula  (Hanken, University). Doctoral students gave presentations of their dissertation projects and received feedback as well as insights from senior scholars. Prof. Helkkula and Prof. Arnould  also gave a speech on how to structure a research proposal and thesis.

On September 8th, the conference started in the morning and participants received their conference package from the famous Italian company (and conference sponsorship) Carpisa. The conference has the patronage of Italian Association of Management (SIMA), Italian Marketing Association (SIM), Italian Academy of Business Economics (Aidea), Sinergie (Italian Journal of Management) and other institutions at national and regional levels. Sponsors of the conference also include other primary firms and organizations from different industries: Carano Costruzioni, Consorzio DataBenc, Gelatosità, Harmont&Blaine, RossoPomodoro, RelationatWork and SMSengineering.

On behalf of the conference committee Patrick Storm, RESER President welcomed all participants and acknowledged the opportunity to have the conference in the South of Europe and in Italy, with the hope to widen the RESER community

The co-chairs Tiziana Russo-Spena and Cristina Mele welcomed participants and prompted the need to promote a constructive dialogue as well as cooperation among service scholars from different countries and disciplines for the development of service science.

After the welcome session on Saturday morning, Eric Arnould, Professor of Marketing at the Aalto University Business School, gave a keynote speech on ‘Two Neglected Cultural Constructs for Service Research’, arguing from an anthropological perspective, that service research still adopts a rather mechanistic conception of culture that limits its contributions. Adding enriched cultural constructs to service research creates opportunities to contribute to other conversations. Drawing from two different empirical studies, his intervention addresses two aspects of culture.  One is to do with mutuality or what some might call consociality. These are labels for the binding ties of mutual qualification that affect the service encounter. The other is the cultural templates for action and interpretation. Of necessity, these templates, or heuristics and routines, organize the practices that service researchers gloss as resource integration.

The RESER 2016 Conference was organized around seven main themes concerning:
1) service ecosystems;
2) smart technologies and service innovation;
3) well-being and value (co)creation;
4) service innovation in emerging markets;
5) internationalization and geographies of services;
6) market creation in service research;
7) methodological challenges in service studies.

In the parallel sessions participants heard how important for the current service research is for contributing to broadening scientific conversations about social, business and technology issues. Participants listened to about service ecosystems and well-being as two important social scientific constructs at the basis of the service research in the next future. Speakers told participants about the challenges of new internationalization trends, with a special focus on emerging and developing countries. They also focused on the role of service innovation in emerging markets and how social innovation constructs include new social-business models as well as new practices.

On September 9th, special invited speakers from key leader service firms have animated the debate of the Executive Roundtable focusing on the new emerging technologies of Internet of things (IOT) and Internet of Everything (IOE) and how they are transforming industries, markets and society.

Concerning the social events, the conference welcome and dinner took place at two beautiful locations. On September 8th, the Welcome Dinner was held at Pizzeria Rosso Pomodoro, that offered, Neapolitan pizza in a waterfront setting of the Naples Bay.

On September 9th,The Gala Dinner at lovely seafront Royal Hotel Continental Royal – Sala Posillipo delighted the attendees with an amazing view on Castell dell’Ovo and the tasting of many Neapolitan specialties.

During the Gala dinner the award ceremony took place. The RESER lifetime awards were given to Prof. Jean Philippe from University of Paul Cézanne Aix Marseille and to Prof. Pierre Yves Leo from Aix-Marseille-Université, France, for their achievement in Service Research.

One grant “RESER founders award” for supporting PhD students (500€) was awarded to Michel Becker who won the competition for the best PhD paper presented at the 2016 RESER Conference.

On 10th September, the closing social event at the National Archaeological Museum of Naples provided participants with a breath taking journey into the ancient past of human history

Being the host of RESER has been a great experience. It was great to hear that participants enjoyed the service level and gave us wonderful comments as the following one.

My experience of RESER 2016 in Napoli is excellent! It is not only due the quality of the program, related discussions and social events but also due to the “ease” and high level of event management. Everything well went on so smoothly! I am aware how much effort, collaboration, patience and coordination was put into such undertaking and its outcome.My congratulations first of all to Tiziana  and Christina, but also to the administrative staff and group of students that were always around to help with a smile on their face!