Consumer engagement (CE) has gained rapidly growing practitioner and researcher interest in recent years (Kumar et al., 2019; Rather et al., 2021), as revealed by its inclusion in the Marketing Science Institute’s Research Priorities since 2010 (e.g., MSI, 2020). Illustrating its growing importance, Gallup Research advocates that engaged consumers, on average, account for 7-23% revenue growth, while disengaged consumers generate an average 1-13% revenue decline (Kumar & Pansari, 2016). Market globalization, economic collapse, increased competition, digital innovation, rise of new technologies, and the global COVID-19 pandemic offers both opportunities and threats for service brands/firms (Flavián et al., 2020; Hollebeek, et al., 2020). The way customers communicate with brands/firms and other customers have changed dramatically due to the growth of social media, smartphones, online/virtual brand communities, virtual, augmented, and mixed reality, and COVID-19 (Flavián et al., 2019; Sheth, 2020). CE represents a strategic imperative, specifically for highly interactive services (Brodie et al., 2011) including retailing (Khan et al., 2019), hospitality (Dewnarain et al., 2021; So et al., 2016), tourism (Rather et al., 2021), healthcare, food and beverage (Jaakkola & Alexander, 2014), entertainment, education, or research (Kumar & Pansari, 2016; Rather & Hollebeek, 2021). Thus, CE is important to stimulate competitive advantage, sales growth, referrals, and stock returns, among others (Pansari & Kumar, 2017).

CE’s definition is also broadly debated. For instance, Kumar et al. (2019, p. 141) define CE as “a consumer’s…volitional investment of focal operant resources (including cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and social knowledge/skills), and operand resources (e.g., equipment) in [their] brand interactions”. While, Brodie et al. (2011, p. 260) view the concept as “a psychological state, which occurs by virtue of interactive customer experiences with a focal agent/object [commonly, a brand] within …service relationships.” In spite of their differences, these conceptualizations share a focus on the consumer’s brand interactions that pervades the CE literature (e.g., Hollebeek et al., 2019; Rather et al., 2018).

Despite the growing interest in CE, a paucity of literature maps the overall body of CE research to-date (Pansari & Kumar, 2017; So et al., 2020), revealing a significant need to monitor the evolution of the field. Despite CE’s rapid surge, most research focusing on specific CE aspects/subsets like (its conceptualization, antecedents, or consequences), rather than intriguing a broader perspective of overall CE literature (So et al., 2020). Further, given the differing theoretical perspectives applied for CE, the area is starting to suffer from theoretical fragmentation (Van Doorn et al., 2010), also generating a need to systematically explore this prosperous literature stream (Rather & Hollebeek, 2021). Further, literature so-far has focused on CE’s positive consequences, it can also produce negative outcomes (Clark et al., 2020), including customer stress, fear, at different stages of customer journey (Sheth, 2020).

The psychological factors include consumers’ emotions, stress, fear, empathy, self-esteem, locus-of-control, and environmental shocks, including current global COVID-19, which affects consumers’ attitudes and behaviors (Ramkissoon, 2020; Sheth, 2020). Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the world is now facing an unprecedented psychological, socio-economic disruptions, and global-health emergency (Hollebeek, et al., 2020). Although firms, customer, and psychological, environmental, cultural, or personal factors have been identified as key customer factors, insights into these CE factors in services remains scarce to-date, and thus being investigated in this special issue.

Based on these observed research gaps, this special issue calls for further conceptualizations and contextualization of CE research across different contexts/markets. This call for papers welcomes conceptual, methodological, quantitative or qualitative, contributions, which provide rich insights in this area. This proposal addresses a timely and contemporary issue on CE in the service industry. Special issue papers may focus on topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Role of different theoretical perspectives (e.g., service dominant logic, social exchange theory, congruity theory, relationship marketing theory) to frame CE.
  • Antecedents and consequences affecting CE in an evolving world.
  • Positive and negative impacts of CE in service contexts during turbulent times.
  • Role of socio-demographic and cultural factors (i.e., age, gender, culture etc.) and CE dynamics.
  • New and innovative methodological approaches to examining CE.
  • Role of digital innovation and technology effecting CE in the service environment.
  • Role of virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed reality, social media, online brand/virtual communities effecting CE.
  • Brand-consumer co-creation and experience affecting CE through the consumer journey differently pre- and post-COVID-19 .
  • Role of psychological factors (e.g., consumers’ emotions, stress, fear, self-esteem, locus-of-control) impacting CE pre-/post-COVID-19 .
  • CE’s crucial cross-border dynamics post-COVID-19.
  • Situations/contexts where CE will be enhanced post-COVID19 .


More information: https://bit.ly/3iR0RBD

Submissions dates: 31 October 2021 to 31 May 2022 (early submissions are appreciated).

Guest Editors:

  • Raouf A. Rather, University of Kashmir (India) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Haywantee Ramkissoon, University of Derby (UK); The Arctic University of Norway (Norway); University of Johhanesburg (South Africa) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Kevin K. F. So, Oklahoma State University (USA) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

logoaem fondoazul1.fwThe Spanish Association of Academic and Professional Marketing



rrsslog.fwconlink.fw Facebook Twitter Instagram

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
More information Ok Decline