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Johan Hultman.

Johan Hultman


Johan Hultman.

”There Can Be Only One?” Towards a Post-Foundational Service Marketing Perspective.


  • Richard Ek
  • Johan Hultman

Summary, in English

The field of service marketing is in a state of flux, questioned from the ‘outside’ as well as from scholars ‘within’ the field. Its very foundation, the service definition, is subject to discussion. Three possible trajectories forward can be noticed among scholars from ‘within’ the field in this discussion; the abandonment of service as a general category, the formulation of a new, more defendable service definition, and the ontological re-framing of service as a perspective. What these trajectories to a lesser or higher degree has in common is an inability to incorporate heterogeneous materialities of services, empirically as well as conceptually speaking. Future service marketing is still imagined as an ontological and epistemological obelisk that should either be secured through a better defense (better definitions) or through an offensive maneuver (the marketing of a new marketing logic).

This paper is a call for an opening-up of the obelisk and offers an alternative, post-paradigmatic approach to service marketing as a new logic or a new paradigm. As an example of an opening towards a post-paradigmatic approach, the perspective of actor-network theory (ANT) in service marketing is introduced. However, the version of ANT presented here is less the ethnographical version with a focus on the heterogeneous networks per se. Rather, we present a version preoccupied with the power/knowledge of actant-rhizome marketing services (stressing the often-neglected liaison between Michel Foucault and Bruno Latour) with ominous disciplinary and surveillance capacities.


  • Institutionen för tjänstevetenskap








  • Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Conference name

US Academy of Management Critical Management Studies Research Workshop

Conference date

2008-08-07 - 2008-08-08