University of Oulu

Gölgeci, I., Ali, I., Ritala, P. and Arslan, A. (2022), "A bibliometric review of service ecosystems research: current status and future directions", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 37 No. 4, pp. 841-858.

A bibliometric review of service ecosystems research : current status and future directions

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Author: Gölgeci, Ismail1; Ali, Imran2; Riitala, Paavo3;
Organizations: 1Department of Business Development & Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark
2School of Business & Law, Central Queensland University, Australia
3School of Business & Management, LUT University, Finland
4(Department of Marketing, Management & International Business, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2022
Publish Date: 2021-08-18


Purpose: Service ecosystems are becoming an important domain of joint value creation and resource integration, and the literature in the field is burgeoning. The recent growth in the literature warrants consolidating the findings of the existing literature, summarizing the recent development and identifying avenues for more impactful future research on the topic. This study aims to map the service ecosystems research domain and synthesize insights by integrating qualitative content analysis with quantitative data analysis.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses algorithmic bibliometric review (quantitative) with VOSviewer and R-package and content analysis (qualitative) on 119 service ecosystems papers published between 2003 and 2020.

Findings: The bibliometric analysis uncovers the critical research domains, knowledge trajectories, influential authors and journals and author networks in the field. The content analysis identifies the four most important research themes (value creation, change triggers, strategic and entrepreneurial action and institutional embeddedness and agency) and provides an integrative view of the dynamics among these themes. The authors also find the need for more empirical and theory grounded research around these four themes. Furthermore, based on the review, the authors discuss the disciplinary identity of the service ecosystems field and suggest interesting future research opportunities, along with ideas for useful empirical approaches and theoretical extensions.

Originality/value: This study’s comprehensive analysis offers an overview of the evolution and identity of the service ecosystems research and identifies several promising opportunities for future research on service ecosystems.

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Series: Journal of business & industrial marketing
ISSN: 0885-8624
ISSN-E: 2052-1189
ISSN-L: 0885-8624
Volume: 37
Issue: 4
Pages: 841 - 858
DOI: 10.1108/JBIM-07-2020-0335
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited. The final authenticated version is available online at