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One of the pioneer firms in the leisure cruise industry embarked on a bold idea in 2000 to offer an unregimented experience unlike most cruises. Despite the appeal of the concept from a marketing perspective, the service innovation posed operational challenges, many of which continue to undermine the firm’s competitive position. Using a multi-method empirical approach and interdisciplinary views that draw on research from marketing and operations management, the authors analyze this business case to identify challenges that service firms face when services are developed and managed from siloed functional perspectives. Based on their research findings and guided by the literature, the authors derive a service-systems model to aid service planning and management. The authors further highlight a new organizational form and function for services under the domain of service experience management that is positioned as a means to unify service operations and marketing for delivering on service promises. The authors offer direction for further research on service operations systems and service experience management.


Required Publisher Statement
© SAGE. Final version published as: Kwortnik, R. J., & Thompson, G. M. (2009). Unifying services marketing and operations with service experience management. Journal of Service Research, 11(4), 389-406.
doi: 10.1177/1094670509333595
Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.