Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Services Marketing


Service Ecosystem, Service Encounter, Servicescape, Qualitative Research, Interviews



Given the continuing need to study service marketing adaptations that emerged in the wake of Covid-19, this paper looks at the formation and evolution of purchase groups (PGs) that arose in Indian gated communities during the pandemic and have continued functioning in the post-pandemic marketplace. Not only did these groups act as much-needed interstitial markets during a time of significant external disruption, but they also served as sites of value co-creation with consumers collaborating with each other and with service providers.


Using a phenomenological research approach, we conduct 22 in-depth interviews with Indian consumers and small service providers (SSPs) to gather accounts of how PGs started and evolved with time. Subsequent data coding and analyses are conducted with NVivo 12.


Using the service ecosystem perspective, we illustrate seven distinct themes that capture the nuances of the formation and evolution of PGs. These consist of entrepreneurality, collectivity, and fluidity at the service ecosystem level, hybridity and transactionality at the servicescape level, and mutuality and permeability at the service encounter level.


Our study provides an empirical and theoretically grounded account of a long-term service marketing adaptation that has persisted in the post-pandemic marketplace. This helps us address recent calls for such research while also adding to work on value co-creation in collective consumption contexts and extant discourse on service ecosystems.




This is an accepted manuscript of an article published in Journal of Services Marketing,

Included in

Marketing Commons