Marketing activity is best understood in terms of service-for-service exchange, rather than exchange in terms of goods-for-goods or goods-for-money.

What is Service-dominant logic (S-D Logic)?

At the heart of S-D logic is the identification of service:  the application of resources for the benefit of others as the common denominator of economic (and non-economic) exchange.

Operant resources (knowledge and skills) vs Operand resources (natural resources)

When looking from a S-D logic perspective, service is expressed singularly, as the application of resources for the benefit of others - as the common denominator of economic (and non-economic exchange.

Embracing S-D logic motivates one to view marketing differently. In fact, with an S-D logic lens, we define marketing as:

the process in society and organizations that facilitates voluntary exchange through collaborative relationships that create reciprocal value through the application of complementary resources.
Book: The Service-dominant Logic of Marketing: Dialog, Debate, and Directions

Importantly, this view of marketing has three essential elements:

  • Marketing is not only an organizational process but also a societal process;
  • Marketing emphasizes voluntary exchange and collaborative relationships;
  • Parties obtain value by the application of complementary resources.

Service Ecosystems

Interactions do not take place in isolation, but rather within network of actors, which can be seen at various levels of aggregation (macro, meso, micro).

The he S-D logic identifies the service ecosystem as relatively self-contained, self-adjusting system of resource-integrating actors connected by shared institutional arrangements and mutual value creation through service exchange.


The coordination for value cocreation implies mechanisms for the facilitation of these resource integration and service-for-service exchange activities. North (1990) calls "rules of the game".