Sustainability in Service Research

Sustainability in Service Research

Sustainability – a relevant subject to service research?

Chabowski et al. (2011) have shown that during the last 51 years only a few articles on sustainability have been published in the top marketing and management journals. Besides, most of the articles concentrate on products and not on services. Therefore, in this paper we address the following research questions: Is sustainability a relevant subject in service research? If so, how has it developed within the last years and what are the main topics, journals, and authors? In order to answer these questions a bibliometric analysis is conducted applying a coupling analysis and co-citation analysis. First results show that research topics are diverse, similar topics as in management and marketing research are addressed and no real focus can be detected.


Zimmermann, Salome / Fließ, Sabine (2017): Nachhaltigkeit als Gegenstand der Dienstleistungsforschung – Ergebnisse einer Zitationsanalyse, in: Büttgen, M. (Hrsg.), Beiträge zur Dienstleistungsforschung 2016, Wiesbaden, S. 139-163.

Fliess, Sabine: Sustainability – a relevant subject in service research? Results of a bibliometric analysis; conference paper; QUIS – The 14th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in management, June 18-21, 2015. Shanghai, China.

Sustainability in Tourism Research

In Progress

Sustainability Strategies of Service Providers

Sustainability in the Banking Industry

Corporate sustainability (CS) is referred to as a company’s responsibility and commitment to ensure its long-term viability while simultaneously contributing to ecological and social welfare. It has been proved to positively impact firm’s performance, its reputation as well as customer satisfaction and customer purchase intentions. Yet, in order to realise these positive effects a strategic approach towards CS is necessary. However, research on sustainability strategies for service providers is scant. Therefore, in a first step it is aimed to conceptualise sustainability strategies. Second, we focus on the predominant CS motives that drive a service provider to implement a sustainability strategy and ask for the impact of the identified motives on the extent of CS activities. To yield a more sophisticated understanding of how service firms develop and implement sustainability strategies, we conduct several qualitative research projects.Particular emphasis is placed on the institutional context of the companies. The perspective of institutional logics (Friedland & Alford, 1991) serves as a theoretical foundation.


Zimmermann, Salome (2019): Same Same but Different: How and Why Banks Approach Sustainability. In: Sustainability 2019, 11, 2267.

Zimmermann, Salome (2019): Klimastrategien im Bankengeschäft. In: Zeitschrift für Führung + Organisation, Jg. 88, Nr. 05, S. 331-337.

Zimmerman, Salome / Fliess, Sabine (2018): Controversy in the banking industry – how banks respond to the fossil fuel divestment movement, in: Proceedings of 34th EGOS Colloquium – Surprise in and around Organizations: Journeys to the Unexpected, July 2018, Tallinn, Estonia.

Zimmermann, Salome; Fließ, Sabine (2017): Approaching Sustainability – a Typology of Strategy Content. An exploratory analysis in the banking industry, in: Proceedings of EURAM 2017 – Making Knowledge Work, June 2017, Glasgow, UK.

Zimmermann, Salome; Fließ, Sabine (2016): Strategizing for sustainable services? An exploratory analysis in service businesses, in: Proceedings of 19th Intl. Symposium Ethics, Business and Society, July 2016, Barcelona, Spain.

Zimmermann, Salome; Fließ, Sabine (2015): Strategizing for Sustainability?! A linguistic network analysis of sustainability reports, in: Proceedings of QUIS - 14th International Research Symposium on Service Excellence in Management, June 2015, Shanghai, China, pp. 65-74.

Sustainable Consumer Behaviour

Justifications of Sustainable Consumer Behaviour

In Progress

BWLDLM | 13.08.2021