A1 Journal article (refereed)
Introducing a sensemaking perspective to the service experience (2022)

Kemppainen, T., & Uusitalo, O. (2022). Introducing a sensemaking perspective to the service experience. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 32(2), 283-301. https://doi.org/10.1108/jstp-02-2021-0030

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Kemppainen, Tiina; Uusitalo, Outi

Journal or series: Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

eISSN: 2055-6233

Publication year: 2022

Publication date: 03/12/2021

Volume: 32

Issue number: 2

Pages range: 283-301

Publisher: Emerald

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/jstp-02-2021-0030

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84350


Most recent service experience research considers customers as sensemakers and sensemaking as a focal process in experience construction. Despite this, the sensemaking theory engendered in organization studies has not been applied in the quest for an in-depth understanding of the service experience. This study introduces a sensemaking perspective to the service experience and develops a conceptualization of how customers construct their experiences cognitively through sensemaking.

The service experience literature is dominated by a focus on firms implementing service experiences for customers. This study, in contrast, investigates service experience and its formation from the customers' viewpoint: how service experiences are formed as a part of customers' everyday life and sensemaking processes instead of under service providers' control.

Service experience is characterized as a mental picture – a collage of meanings created by a customer through the sensemaking processes. A sensemaking framework that characterizes service experience formation and its four seminal dimensions, including the self-related, sociomaterial, retrospective and prospective sensemaking, is introduced.

This article contributes to the service literature by introducing a new theoretical lens through which the service experience concept can be investigated and reframed.

Keywords: customer service; customer experience; customer orientation; meaningfulness; empathy

Free keywords: Service experience; Sensemaking; Conceptual study; Customer perspective; Empathic service design

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2022

Preliminary JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-13-12 at 14:27