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This paper aims to propose an approach to examining the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business, which presents a unique opportunity to study a hitherto-unavailable business scenario.Design/methodology/approachA conceptual framework is suggested to study the ability of a service firm to make adaptations to pandemic conditions based on the nature of its services: namely, the act of production and the type of recipient and the predisposed ability of the customer to accept the service firm’s adaptations to social distancing restrictions. Under this framework, it is demonstrated that service adaptations made due to COVID-19 business restrictions and the customers’ acceptance of them determine whether these changes are likely to become permanent.FindingsA classification scheme is developed to determine four classes of service firms’ adaptations to their normal course of business made under pandemic conditions and suggestions given on how to project which adaptations may persist beyond the pandemic and why.Research limitations/implicationsA conceptual framework grounded on Lovelock classification to present projections needs to be empirically tested.Practical implicationsManagerial insights based on the study and suggestions for research on what business practices are most likely to be permanently changed in a post-pandemic world for services are offered.Originality/valueUsing two of Lovelock’s dimensions pertaining to the nature of production and delivery of the service, four categories are proposed based on two characteristics: service adaptability and customer acceptance. The Technology Acceptance Model 2 (TAM2) model is extended to predict service adaptations, which are most likely to become permanent in a post-pandemic world.
European Journal of Marketing – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 17, 2021
Keywords: COVID-19; Impact of a pandemic on service businesses; Service customers; Spatial proximity; Temporal (s) synchronicity; Technology acceptance model
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