Centre for Service Management

News and Events

8 Mar 2019

CSM Wins Another Award


Congratulations to Professor Thorsten Gruber, Director of the Centre for Service Management. His manuscript entitled "Brave new world: service robots in the frontline" has been nominated by the Editorial Board Members of the prestigious Journal of Service Management and subsequently selected to receive the Robert Johnston Highly Commended Award (First Runner Up)

The paper started discussion on the service sector at an inflection point with regard to productivity gains and service industrialisation similar to the industrial revolution in manufacturing that started in the eighteenth century. Robotics in combination with rapidly improving technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), mobile, cloud, big data and biometrics will bring opportunities for a wide range of innovations that have the potential to dramatically change service industries. The purpose of this paper is to explore the potential role service robots will play in the future and to advance a research agenda for service researchers.

The contribution of this paper is threefold:

First, it provides a definition of service robots, describes their key attributes, contrasts their features and capabilities with those of frontline employees, and provides an understanding for which types of service tasks robots will dominate and where humans will dominate.

Second, this paper examines consumer perceptions, beliefs and behaviours as related to service robots, and advances the service robot acceptance model.

Third, it provides an overview of the ethical questions surrounding robot-delivered services at the individual, market and societal level.

The paper emerged from a Thought Leadership Conference entitled “Theorizing Beyond The Horizon: Service Research in 2050” hosted by “The University of Queensland Business School” and the “Australian National University and that took place in Brisbane, Australia from November 3-5, 2017. Professor Gruber worked in an international team of researchers together with Professor Jochen Wirtz (National University of Singapore), Professor Paul Patterson (University of New South Wales), Dr Werner Kunz (University of Massachusetts Boston), Professor Dr Stefanie Paluch (RWTH Aachen University), Dr Vinh Lu (Australian National University), and Ms Antje Martins (University of Queensland).

Read the full paper here