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Measuring and Improving Productivity in Services

Issues, Strategies and Challenges

Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj

The definition and measurement of productivity in services raises important conceptual, methodological and strategic problems. This book aims to provide a critical review of the main debates on productivity in the domain of services. The first part examines the theoretical consequences of services specificities on the concept of productivity and reviews the attempts to measure it. The second part is devoted to the main determinants of productivity growth and the strategies to increase productivity in service firms and organisations.
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Edited by Jon Sundbo and Per Darmer

Creating Experiences in the Experience Economy focuses on the creation of experience from a business perspective. In doing so, the book establishes a more solid foundation for making better and more complex analyses of experience creation, paving the way for the development of analytically based and innovative experiences in experience firms and institutions. The contributors emphasise that experience creation is not an easy task with a straightforward formula and examine how marketed experiences are constructed, developed and innovated.
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Edited by Ada Scupola and Lars Fuglsang

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Ada Scupola and Lars Fuglsang

The chapter argues that the fields of service, innovation and experience research are still separated, however several studies are emerging at the boundaries between them or establishing linkages among them. This chapter shows that experience and experience industries can be seen as a continuum in relation to service and service industries. At the same time, it is possible to outline two types of integrative perspectives on services and experiences, one that is systemic and one that is practice-based. The first follows from the basic idea that innovation is an interactive process with many actors. The second argues for a unit of analysis called practices, that is, the wider historical conditions of experiences and value creation in order to grasp the complexity of innovation. Furthermore, technological transformation is an important motor of innovation and change in both perspectives.

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Luis Rubalcaba

This chapter provides a theory about integrating service experiences with service innovations. Service encounters lie at the core of this integration. In addition, the chapter illustrates the nature of service innovation in the light of service experiences in terms of connecting people (connectivity to others and self-awareness) and engaging people (trust and freedom). Different social contexts give rise to different service experiences. The hypothesis of this chapter is that the social context is a factor bridging the service experience and service innovation. Human encounters in services are the basis of social and economic building in services. This chapter also reinforces the bridge between service innovations and social innovations.

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Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj

Service innovation studies (SIS) is a relatively young field of research. Its existence is the result of the convergence between two originally independent research trajectories: service studies and innovation studies. Despite its newness, this field is relatively prolific and has already given rise to a number of ‘surveys’. Carrying out our own survey of these surveys, our objective in this chapter is to compile a list of what we consider the 15 major advances made in the SIS field since its advent. These advances can be divided into two groups. The first group reflects changes in recognition of SIS, in the general theoretical perspectives favoured, and in understanding of the fundamental nature of service innovation. The second encompasses advances in innovation modes and advances in institutional and regulation arrangements. The conclusion sketches out a certain number of research challenges to be addressed in the future.

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Marja Toivonen

This chapter discusses four central perspectives to service innovation: managing innovation processes, taking a strategic stance to innovation, promoting user-based and employee-driven innovation, and answering the need for systemic innovations. The chapter shows that Jon Sundbo has contributed in a notable way to research in all these areas. He has introduced the idea of balanced empowerment to emphasize the importance of strategy in the inducement and control of innovation activities. His framework of strategic reflexivity focuses on the top-down processes that integrate distributed novelties. On the other hand, customer encounter–based innovation supplements the picture by analysing the bottom-up processes in which grassroots employees transmit users’ ideas into the organization. The concept of after-innovation points out that the active role of users also continues after the launch. At the broader societal level, Sundbo has participated in the discussion about the systemic nature of innovations by analysing value chain innovations.

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Metka Stare and Dejan Križaj

Research and development methods addressing interconnected products, services and experiences that are of particular relevance in tourism have to be consistently updated. One of the recently proposed approaches relates innovation and experience design aspects with touch points (Experiences through Design, Innovation and Touch points – EDIT). The aim of the chapter is to scrutinize innovations in tourism focusing on recently awarded innovations by the national innovation-supporting mechanism that is recognized by international institutions. Case study analysis serves to evaluate the applicability of the EDIT model for a more holistic understanding of the new realities at the ‘innovation crossroads’ – the contingency this book is targeting. The results of analysis provide deep insight into the innovation process in tourism relevant from the perspective of theoretical advancement and policy design.

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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.

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Jørgen Ole Bærenholdt

The practices involved in making new tourist destinations in the experience economy are often about the mobilization of multiple actors across sectors, agendas and places. This chapter investigates the making of the new Camøno hiking route on the Danish island of Møn during 2016. The route was gradually established through networking among architects, tourism developers, the local museum, local entrepreneurs, municipal planners and the Realdania foundation. It hints at narratives of the Camino and pilgrimages more broadly, and involves the making of benches, signs, maps and websites. Inspired by actor-network theory methodology, the processes of making the hiking route are described, based on interviews with actors involved and participant observation in workshops and evaluation meetings. This reveals decentred innovation practices dealing with material objects and fragile practices, stabilized through a strong narrative around the name of the Camøno route.