The service imperative

M J Bitner, Stephen W. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

113 Scopus citations


Services dominate the world's established economies (such as those of the US, Germany, and Finland) and are becoming increasingly important in developing economies, including those of China and India. Yet most companies, national governments, and universities do not put much energy into service research, innovation, or education. This ironic juxtaposition of facts has led us, along with others, to promote a focus on service research and service innovation across companies and institutions. We call this the "service imperative." In this article, we present our view of the service imperative as a burning platform that is giving birth to many hopeful directions for the future of the global economy. We believe that companies and nations that embrace the service imperative will prosper and benefit, as will individuals who do the same. We also contend that widespread embracing of the service imperative can lead to improved quality of life for people worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-46
Number of pages8
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Service economy
  • Service imperative
  • Services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The service imperative'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Bitner, M. J., & Brown, S. W. (2008). The service imperative. Business Horizons, 51(1), 39-46.