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Service recycling and ecosystems: an intriguing similarity

Service recycling and ecosystems: an intriguing similarity PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to introduce the practice of service recycling. There is an end of life to every product. At this stage, recycling is one option: it is the process of converting waste materials into new products or raw materials. There is also an end of life to every service, which generally coincides with the end of service delivery. However, services are not made of materials or components that can be recovered or converted, so can they be recycled? If the concept of product recycling is something well established, then that of service recycling has not yet been sufficiently investigated.Design/methodology/approachThis paper introduces the perspective of service recycling, analyzing the modalities in which a service can be recycled by using an analogy with natural ecosystems. Some examples are also proposed to support this new vision.FindingsThis paper purports to formalize the practice of service recycling: recycling a service means recovering all the intangibles and tangibles resulting from the provision of a service that still may have a residual value. This practice may potentially lead to an increase in profits.Originality/valueAlthough there are several examples of close relationships between two (or more) different services in which one of the two benefits from the externalities of the other, the concept of service recycling has not yet been structurally defined, and the authors believe that interesting perspectives of research may follow from its formalization. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png international Journal of Quality and Service Sciences Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1756-669X
DOI
10.1108/IJQSS-03-2016-0017
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to introduce the practice of service recycling. There is an end of life to every product. At this stage, recycling is one option: it is the process of converting waste materials into new products or raw materials. There is also an end of life to every service, which generally coincides with the end of service delivery. However, services are not made of materials or components that can be recovered or converted, so can they be recycled? If the concept of product recycling is something well established, then that of service recycling has not yet been sufficiently investigated.Design/methodology/approachThis paper introduces the perspective of service recycling, analyzing the modalities in which a service can be recycled by using an analogy with natural ecosystems. Some examples are also proposed to support this new vision.FindingsThis paper purports to formalize the practice of service recycling: recycling a service means recovering all the intangibles and tangibles resulting from the provision of a service that still may have a residual value. This practice may potentially lead to an increase in profits.Originality/valueAlthough there are several examples of close relationships between two (or more) different services in which one of the two benefits from the externalities of the other, the concept of service recycling has not yet been structurally defined, and the authors believe that interesting perspectives of research may follow from its formalization.

Journal

international Journal of Quality and Service SciencesEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 21, 2016

References