A1 Journal article (refereed), original research

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

Open Access publication

Publication Details

Authors: Golgeci Ismail, Ali Imran, Ritala Paavo, Arslan Ahmad

Publisher: Emerald: 24 month embargo

Publication year: 2021

Language: English

Related journal or series: Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing

Journal acronym: JBIM

ISSN: 0885-8624

eISSN: 2052-1189

JUFO level of this publication: 1

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JBIM-07-2020-0335

Open Access: Open Access publication

Location of the parallel saved publication: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi-fe2021081643347



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.


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.


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.


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.

Last updated on 2021-16-08 at 11:26