Towards Innovation with Care
New Horizons in the Economics of Innovation series
Edited by Lars Fuglsang
Chapter 2: Innovation and Involvement in Services
Jon Sundbo INTRODUCTION This chapter will discuss innovation in services and employees’ and managers’ involvement in the innovation process, which means that the top management takes care of employees and managers. Service is a production which requires the involvement of employees and managers in the innovation process because it is what could be called a “broad” organizational process. By this I mean that it is a process that involves the total organization and not only a small group of researchers. Involvement in service innovations is not an advantage, it is a must. Care, which means awareness of the employees’ wellbeing and behavior and attempts to improve these, is, therefore, a prerequisite for service production. “Service” is a broad category (see Illeris, 1996, for a deﬁnition) which is generally deﬁned as the solving of problems that cannot be solved by the customer himself by use of a tool, a commodity. Services includes physical services such as cleaning, transport, operating hotels, knowledge services (for example education, consultancy, banks, real estate agency and personal services), health care services (for example hospitals), social services (for example social security and advice), psychotherapy and hairdressing to name but a few. In the chapter I will, on the basis of earlier empirical studies, discuss theoretically how the innovation process in services can be conceived. First I will discuss the nature of innovation in services and present an overview of the literature on innovation in services. Then a model of the innovation process is introduced and...
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