AIRSI 2019

Call for papers

Motivation and Aim of the workshop

As with previous technology-based revolutions (e.g. industrial, digital), the implementation of automated and computerized forms of interaction (e.g. artificial intelligence (AI), robots) in business is having an important impact on economies and employment, among other aspects. Automation will not only replace manual jobs, but also those involving analytical, intuitive and empathetic skills (Huang and Rust, 2018). In a further and more challenging step, automation has been recently used to interact directly and physically with customers in frontline services, which is shaking up service delivery and customer-firm relationships. For instance, banks are increasingly using AI based Financial Technology (FinTech) as a key element in their strategies (Jung et al. 2018); in some branches of the Bank of Tokyo (Marinova et al., 2017) the Nao robot collaborates with bank tellers, AI is progressively employed to analyze large amounts of data to facilitate complex business decision-making, the LoweBot guides customers through Lowe’s stores and responds to their questions (Rafaeli et al., 2017) and chatbots are increasingly used for customer service (the Bank of America use a chatbot named Erica to answer basic banking questions [Rosman, 2018]).

The use of automated forms of interaction in services is an innovation that may affect customer choices (e.g., Van Doorn et al. 2017) as well as productivity and profitability. As a result, there is an increasing awareness on the part of firms that they need to develop service automation, so that they can achieve a competitive advantage by better approaching the current market transformation in the short and medium term. However, although the use of robots for product transportation has clear benefits, the results of robots operating in social settings and replacing human interactions (such as in services) are less clear.

In spite of increasing interest, recent contributions to this emerging field are mainly theoretical; consequently, there is a need to confront experts’ predictions with evidence obtained from the use of automation in frontline services. The aim of this special issue is to deepen and broaden the current understanding of the use of automated forms of interaction in services (e.g. AI, service robots, chatbots, etc.) by focusing on their effects on value creation, relationship outcomes, customer reactions and other related aspects. We welcome submissions focused on varied service environments (health, education, banking, tourism and hospitality, etc.), from different disciplinary backgrounds, such as sociology, psychology, marketing and management, among others. We particularly welcome multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary papers and studies using evidence based on data from any part of the globe. All theoretical and methodological (both qualitative & quantitative) approaches are equally appreciated.


This conference will consider both theoretical and empirical papers, working papers, and extended abstracts for review, and ideas for special session proposals are welcome. Successful authors will present their papers at the workshop and all competitive papers accepted for the conference will be reviewed for the special issue of the Services Industries Journal. It is compulsory to attend the workshop in order to submit the manuscript to the special issue. Furthermore, selected competitive papers, subjected to double-blind review process, will be considered for publication in another special issue of the Spanish Journal of Marketing-ESIC (SJME).

Extended abstracts (up to 1,000 words), work in progress (up to 4,000 words) or full paper (up to 6,000 words) are welcome.


  • 15 April 2019

    Submission deadline

  • 26 April 2019

    Accepted manuscripts

  • 10 June 2019

    Early registration (295 €, 395 € after)

  • 8-9 July 2019


Special issue timeline

Full papers submission: 20 October 2019
When submitting your paper, please indicate your interest in participating in the Special Issue of  “Automated forms of interaction in services: current trends, benefits and challenges”

Topics of Interest

Topics of interest for the special issue include, but are not limited to:

  • What are the efficiency benefits of using particular automated forms of interaction in services?
  • What are the key factors (e.g. customer-based, service-related, technology-related…) influencing value creation through the use of automated forms of interaction?
  • Is the use of automated service interactions more effective for retaining existing customers and attracting new customers?
  • What are the main benefits and limitations of using a particular automated form of interaction in services?
  • What type of services (B2B vs. B2C…) are most likely to benefit from automated service interactions?
  • What type of service tasks or activities are more appropriate for automated forms of interaction?
  • What is the influence of automated service interactions on customers’ frontline experiences and relationship outcomes (i.e. satisfaction, loyalty, engagement, profitability…)? What constructs (e.g. technology readiness…) moderate or mediate these relationships?
  • What are the main customer reactions and perceptions about particular automated forms of interaction?
  • Do customers trust automated forms of interaction?
  • Are there any differences in the aforementioned relationships depending on the kind of automation? What kind of automation is preferred by customers?
  • What are the main customer attributions to the introduction of service automation and how do they affect customer-provider relationships?
  • How will automated service interactions affect employment and relationships with other actors?
  • What service robot design is more appropriate?
  • What is the role of the physical appearance (i.e. anthropomorphization) and social cognition (i.e. warmth, competence…) of service robots?
  • How should service failures be managed in automated services?
  • To what extent does the technology make customers feel the presence of another social entity (automated social presence)?
  • How is AI affecting decision-making processes, data analysis, financial investments?
  • Do automated forms of interaction progressively improve performance in specific service tasks? How is this machine learning process perceived by customers?
  • What are the main ethical aspects arising from automated service interactions?
  • What privacy concerns arise from the use of AI to analyse customer data?
  • Progress on service automation and use of AI in specific services such as banking, hospitality and tourism businesses, retailing, etc.
  • Adoption of particular automated forms of interaction in services. Specific applications such as: new drone or robotized delivery options, financial robo-advisors, chatbots for communicating with customers, robots delivering room service in hotels, big data analysis based on AI, etc.

Submission Guidelines

The authors are welcomed to submit full paper, working paper or extended abstract in the AIRSI2019. Email for submission and additional contact details:

An electronic copy in Microsoft Word should be sent by email no later than April 15.

The submitted papers will be reviewed by the Committee of the conference.

Upon acceptance, the authors agree the following:

  1. To return the manuscript (abstract) in correct format and time to be included in the conference proceedings.
  2. At least one author will present the manuscript at the conference and will register (by May 15).
  3. In case that an author presents more than one manuscript, each manuscript will require the registration of a different coauthor.

Manuscript preparation

Please follow The Service Industries Journal guidelines for authors, available here.


1. General guidelines

AIRSI2019 accepts the following kind of manuscripts:

  • Extended abstracts: a typical extended abstract will generally not exceed 1,000 words excluding tables, figures and references. The extended abstract should include keywords at the beginning and the list of relevant references at the end. While writing your abstract, please consider covering the research objectives and questions, the research method, results or findings and originality of paper.
  • Working papers: a working paper will generally not exceed 4,000 words. However, these papers, which are still work in progress, are expected to cover a short literature review, main research questions, methodological frame or preliminary results of research in order to get constructive feedback during the presentation.
  • Full papers: a full paper will generally not exceed 4,000-6,000 words excluding tables, figures and references. Full papers that greatly exceed this will be critically reviewed with respect to length.



  • Download extended abstract template here
  • Download working paper template here
  • Download full paper template here
  • Download the General template characteristics here


For all manuscripts

Manuscripts are accepted only in English. Any consistent spelling style may be used. Please use single quotation marks, except where ‘a quotation is “within” a quotation’.

The authors of a paper should include their full names (name and surname), affiliations and email addresses and type of manuscript (abstract, working paper or full paper).

Non-discriminatory language is mandatory. Sexist or racist terms should not be used.


For working papers and full papers

Working papers and full papers should be compiled in the following order: title; author names and affiliation details; abstract; keywords; main text; acknowledgments; references; appendices (as appropriate).

Unstructured abstract of 150-200 words are required for all working papers and full papers. The abstract should be comprehensible without reference to the text. The main findings and new and important aspects of the study should be emphasized.

Each manuscript should have between 6 and 8 keywords.

Section headings should be concise and numbered sequentially, using a decimal system for subsections.


2. Figures and tables

Figures and tables must be in the main text.

All figures and tables must be numbered in the order in which they appear in the paper (e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2, Table 1, Table 2). In multi-part figures and tables, each part should be labelled (e.g. Figure 1(a), Figure 1(b), Table 1(a), Table 1(b)).

Line drawings, maps, charts, graphs, diagrams, photos, etc. should all be labelled as figures.

It is in the author’s interest to provide the highest quality figure format possible.


3. Endnotes

These should not be used unless absolutely essential. If included they should be kept to a minimum, and numbered separately on separate sheets.


4. Style guidelines for all manuscripts

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