Value of social robots in services: social cognition perspective

Martina Caic, Dominik Mahr, Gaby Odekerken-Schröder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Purpose – The technological revolution in the service sector is radically changing the ways in which and with whom consumers co-create value. This conceptual paper considers social robots in elderly care services and outlines ways in which their human-like affect and cognition influence users’ social perceptions and anticipations of robots’ value co-creation or co-destruction potential. A future research agenda offers relevant, conceptually robust directions for stimulating the advancement of knowledge and understanding in this nascent field.
Design/methodology/approach – Drawing from service, robotics and social cognition research, this paper develops a conceptual understanding of the value co-creation/destruction potential of social robots in services.
Findings – Three theoretical propositions construct an iterative framework of users’ evaluations of social robots in services. First, social robots offer users value propositions leveraging affective and cognitive resources. Second, users’ personal values become salient through interactions with social robots’ affective and cognitive resources. Third, users evaluate social robots’ value co-creation/destruction potential according to social cognition dimensions.
Originality/value – Social robots in services are an emerging topic in service research and hold promising implications for organizations and users. This relevant, conceptually robust framework advances scholarly understanding of their opportunities and pitfalls for realizing value. This study also identifies guidelines for service managers for designing and introducing social robots into complex service environments.
Keywords Social cognition, Elderly care, Value co-creation and co-destruction, Social robots in services, Warmth, Competence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463–478
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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