The Naples Forum on Service has reached its fourth edition and, after the success of its past experiences (see www.naplesforumonservice.it) is about to start its 2015 experience with inspiring scientific premises. For the 2015 Forum, we move from islands to the heart of the city of Naples, in a charming cultural and historic venue; the historic city centre is the largest in Europe and is listed by UNESCO as a Wold Heritage Site. The Naples Forum is an effort to stimulate Paradigm 3 research, communicate it and speed up its progress (for a brief article on the paradigms, see Gummesson, 2012). Paradigm 1 (pre-1970s) where service was not at all on the agenda in marketing and management research and education. Paradigm 2 (1970s-2000s) when service research grew exponentially with seminal contributions from Northern Europe, France, UK, USA and other countries with goods/services differences in the center but lacking syntheses and unifying theory. Paradigm 3 (2000s-) when service research moved its focus from differences to commonalities and interdependencies between goods and services. It also moved from the supplier value chain to the value network of all stakeholders (“balanced centricity”) and service (in the singular) became the output irrespective of input. The roles of suppliers and customers have also changed through the recognition of cocreation of value with resource integration with customer-to-customer interaction (C2C) or more broadly as actor-to-actor interaction (A2A). In the core of Paradigm 3 is the recognition of complexity. Service systems are enormously complex – it is not sufficient to study the relationship between just a few variables. The new millennium brought with it openings to address complexity and take a more systemic view. Service-Dominant (S-D) Logic contributed a initial higher-level service theory of the best contributions of the past and showed directions for the future. Service Science started from practitioner experiences and challenges our way of designing and implementing service systems. Network Theory and Systems Theory have been deployed to address complexity, with applications like Many-to-Many-Marketing and the Viable Systems Approach (VSA). These developments form the 3 Pillars of the Naples Forum. With them it is motivated to label our current economy a Service Economy. The transition to Paradigm 3 is developing – but it takes time and effort. Service research got under way 40 years ago and it is only now that we are beginning to sense the full picture of our economies as complex networks of service systems with a mission to enhance value for consumers, citizens, businesses and society as a whole. The following sections offer brief reviews of the characteristics of the 3 Pillars ending with reference to some recent publications on each of them.
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