Call for Papers

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The Journal of Consumer Affairs announces a Special Issue on

"Emerging Technologies and Consumer Well-Being"

Submission deadline: May 31, 2025

Special issue editors:
Jie G. Fowler, Valdosta State University
Suzanne C. Makarem, Virginia Commonwealth University
Tae-Young Pak, Sungkyunkwan University,

Since the establishment of the transformative service research (TSR) stream, there has been a growing focus among scholars and practitioners on comprehending ways to enhance consumer well-being and societal welfare. Transformative service settings such as healthcare, hospitality, and finance involve high levels of interpersonal provider-customer contact and necessitate the active engagement and empowerment of customers, which can be impeded by imbalanced power dynamics. Using emerging technologies, such as AI, robotics, and self-service technologies (SSTs) in such services will profoundly influence consumer interactions with providers, their overall service experience/consumption journey, and their well-being outcomes. Nevertheless, our understanding of this impact still needs to be improved.

While researchers have focused on consumer perceptions and adoption of emerging technologies, more research is needed in areas such as the value co-creation potential of service robots and SSTs, customer engagement in AI-enabled interactions, and service encounters blending technology with human interactions. Additionally, using such technologies as service robots or AI-enabled chatbots raises concerns around trust, disclosure, and value co-destruction. These concerns are particularly relevant when they are perceived as indistinguishable from humans or as intrusive, when they replace human service providers and frontline employees, or when they lead to consumer disengagement. The social and ethical implications of using these technologies and their impact on consumer well-being require further examination.

This special issue seeks to address the existing gaps in the literature by investigating the influence of emerging technologies on customer experiences and well-being in a wide variety of contexts.

Areas of consideration include but are not limited to:

Customer experience journeys with emerging technologies in transformative service contexts

  • Consumer emotions during encounters with emerging technologies throughout the service journey
  • Role of new and emerging technologies in customer experiences of service failure and recovery
  • Consumer socialization and consumer roles during interactions with robotic service providers
  • Impact of AI and Robotics on consumer participation and value co-creation in extended and complex services

Consumer impact of emerging technologies in digital finance

  • AI-powered chatbots and consumer financial behaviors
  • Personalized recommendation from financial applications and financial decision-making
  • Efficacy of AI-generated financial advice and its impact on financial well-being
  • Robo-advisors and potential behavioral biases in financial decision-making
  • AI-based technologies and financial capability and well-being
  • Impact of emerging technologies on financial literacy, financial education, financial inclusion, and financial well-being

Consumer well-being and emerging technology in services encounters

  • Impact of wearable devices and mobile apps on consumer health behaviors and outcomes
  • Use of Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) in enhancing service experiences and consumer well-being outcomes
  • Role of AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants in providing personalized support during highly stressful service touchpoints
  • The effect of virtual service provision, such as telemedicine and virtual coaching services, on access to services and on the physical and emotional well-being of underserved populations

Societal well-being and ethical considerations for the use of emerging technologies

  • Consumer trust of AI and robotics use in service encounters and the role of disclosure
  • AI and algorithmic bias and its implications for vulnerable consumers, especially in financial services
  • Societal concerns about consumer safety, privacy, and public services access given data collection by new and emerging technologies, including health monitoring technologies and biometric and facial recognition technologies
  • Ethical considerations of the use of new and emerging technologies in high-risk complex and extended services such as healthcare emergency services and law enforcement
  • Ethical considerations of using AI in finance, including issues of bias, transparency, and the potential for manipulation

Authors can contact the special issue editors to discuss the fit of other potential topics.

Submission Window: February 1-May 31, 2025

Submission Criteria

We seek high quality theoretical and empirical research that contribute to the understanding of consumer experiences and outcomes resulting from the use of emerging technology in extended and complex services. We encourage authors to apply mixed research methods for data collection and analysis.

Original articles are research focused and may be empirical or conceptual. Original articles must make substantive contributions to the current state of knowledge. Priority is given to articles that yield new insights into issues from the perspective of consumers and inform stakeholders who can enhance consumer well-being. JCA uses double-blind reviews; manuscripts that are not desk rejected will be read by at least two reviewers and an Associate Editor.

Manuscripts based on empirical research may use quantitative and/or qualitative data from a variety of sources, including experiments, surveys, interviews, and/or administrative datasets. Empirical articles must be grounded in theory, demonstrate best practices of rigorous research in the selected methodologies, and make clear the contributions of the research. Quantitative manuscripts must be oriented toward hypothesis development and testing and make a clear conceptual argument.

Conceptual manuscripts must focus on new ideas and frameworks that advance the understanding of consumer well-being. They must be grounded in existing literature and include conceptual arguments to persuade the reader of the importance and validity of the ideas and/or frameworks. A conceptual paper may, but is not required to, report empirical research.

Full manuscripts to the Special Issue may be submitted online through Scholar One Manuscripts at Style guidelines and publishing requirements can be viewed online at