Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a concept of service system well-being by presenting its collective conceptualisation and ten key domains. Design/methodology/approach: Service system well-being domains were established using multi-level theory and a qualitative case study research design. To validate the domains initially developed from the literature, 19 in-depth interviews were conducted across two case studies that represented the service systems of a hospital and a multi-store retail franchise chain. A multi-stakeholder approach was used to explore the actor’s perspectives about service system well-being. Key domains of service system well-being were identified using deductive categorisation analysis. Findings: The findings found evidence of ten key domains of well-being, namely strategic, governance, leadership, resource, community, social, collaborative, cultural, existential and transformational, among service system stakeholders. Research limitations/implications: Service system well-being is a collective concept comprising ten domains that emerged at different levels of the service system. The propositions outlined the classification of and interlinkages between the domains. This exploratory study was conducted in a limited service context and focussed on ten key domains. Practical implications: Service managers in commercial and social organisations are able to apply the notion of service system well-being to identify gaps and nurture well-being deficiencies within different domains of service-system well-being. Originality/value: Based on multi-level theory, the study is the first to conceptualise and explore the concept of service system well-being across multiple actors.
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