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Pim den Hertog and Luis Rubalcaba

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Matthijs J. Janssen and Pim den Hertog

Service innovation is increasingly recognized as the (re)design of multidimensional and complex systems. Besides implying the need for comprehensive and validated conceptualizations, this perspective also asks for an enhanced understanding of the interdependencies between the dimensions making up a service and of the strategies to deal with them. Promising in this respect is complex systems theory in the form of NK-models, based on an evolutionary interpretation of innovation. In this analytical structure, new solutions and experiences are regarded as emerging from search processes in a multidimensional design space. By applying NK-logic in the context of services, we advance the multidimensional approach to service innovation. We explore eight qualitatively studied service innovations by mapping each of them on one multidimensional conceptualization. We argue that familiarity with common dimensions, and archetypical modifications therein, might provide valuable guidance to service innovators. Furthermore, our cases provide illustrations of an adaptive search strategy in services.