User-based Innovation in Services
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User-based Innovation in Services

Edited by Jon Sundbo and Marja Toivonen

This book demonstrates pioneering work on user-based service innovation using an analytical framework. This approach involves understanding the needs of users, the service firms collaborating with them, and recognising the fact that users are innovators and, as such, services develop while in use. As well as presenting case studies, the book discusses theoretically what user-based innovation means in the context of services. Three main fields are analysed: user-based innovation in knowledge-intensive business service, user-based innovation in public services, and models and methods for structuring user-based innovation.
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Chapter 10: Multiple Voices of the User in Public Sector Services

Mikko Lehtonen and Tiina Tuominen


Mikko Lehtonen and Tiina Tuominen 1 INTRODUCTION This chapter aims at conceptualizing the user in public sector services in order to clarify the ‘user’ in the context of user-driven service innovation. Although the importance of user information and user participation has been acknowledged in service innovation studies, the concept of the user as such has not received enough attention in the public sector context. We suggest that in order to develop practices for user-driven service innovation the different users and their relationships with the service need to be understood. In public sector services the actors identifiable as users are more varied than in the private sector, and the term has been defined in several different ways. Jaeger (2009), for example, identifies two different definitions: a narrow definition of a user refers only to the (direct) recipients of public services, and a broad definition includes everyone involved in policy networks. We start with a broad, value-based definition and define users as the actors who benefit from a particular service. The definition covers the beneficiaries involved in the service process and those who do not have direct contact with this process but benefit from the service in some way. In the public sector literature, these actors are referred to with several different terms, such as customers, citizens, clients, obligatees and beneficiaries. User-driven innovation may be seen either as taking user needs as the starting point or as engaging users as innovators in a service innovation process. In both cases, user-driven innovation emphasizes...

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