Chapter 14: Inducing User-driven Innovation in Tourism: An Experimental Approach
Flemming Sørensen 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter discusses the potentials of, and the barriers to, user-driven innovation based on the so-called service encounter (Alam, 2006). This is a type of user-driven innovation which develops from ideas or knowledge that are derived, one way or another, from front-office service employees’ meetings with users in the service delivery process. Whereas the service encounter has received much attention in service marketing (Danaher and Mattsson, 1994; De Ruyter et al., 1997), and it has often been stated that innovation is based on customer relations (Kristensson et al., 2008; Alam and Perry, 2002; Alam, 2002), the role of service encounters for user-driven innovation has attracted little interest from researchers. Though some studies have – implicitly or explicitly – dealt with innovation in relation to certain types of service encounters, such studies have mainly concerned so-called ad hoc innovation in knowledge-intensive services (e.g. Gadrey and Gallouj, 1998). Therefore, only limited knowledge exists about how service encounterbased user-driven innovation occurs and how service encounters and front-office employees become efficiently involved in service innovation processes. This is especially so in less knowledge-intensive services such as, for example, many tourism services. Furthermore, at the practical level, user-driven innovation based on service encounters is ‘fuzzy’ and typically involves imprecise rather than formalized innovation procedures (Alam, 2006). This chapter intends, partly, to fill this gap in service innovation research, first by providing a theoretical discussion of the different potentials of and barriers to user-driven innovation based on service encounters, and secondly by presenting...
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