The Handbook of Innovation and Services
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The Handbook of Innovation and Services

A Multi-disciplinary Perspective

Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal

This Handbook brings together 49 international specialists to address an issue of increasing importance for the world’s post-industrial economies; innovation as it relates to services.
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Chapter 10: Different Types of Innovation Processes in Services and their Organisational Implications

Marja Toivonen


Marja Toivonen 10.1 Introduction Since the mid-1990s, innovation in services has aroused growing interest and studies on this topic are today accumulating rapidly. One of the observations confirmed in several studies is that innovation activities in service sectors and service firms are less systematic than in the industrial context. Researchers have usually linked this observation to the fact that service firms only rarely have research and development (R&D) departments for innovation activities. Rather, these activities are distributed within the firm; they are conducted, for example, in connection with strategic planning, training and market development (Coombs and Miles, 2000; Djellal and Gallouj, 2001; Preissl, 2000). Many researchers have emphasised that this finding should not lead us to conclude that service firms are less innovative than industrial firms. On the contrary, we should broaden our view about the organisation of innovation, and strive for a better understanding of other forms of innovation activities in addition to those concentrating on the conduct of R&D (Hipp and Grupp, 2005). Three main approaches can be identified in studies that aim at revealing alternative forms of innovation – important in services but remaining hidden if the starting point is a manufacturing-based innovation paradigm and accompanying indicators. The first approach focuses on quantitative innovation surveys and in this context has tried to develop such new indicators that are better applicable in services than the earlier ones. Both input and output indicators have been suggested. As regards the former, investments in human resources have been highlighted in...

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