A Research Agenda for Service Innovation
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A Research Agenda for Service Innovation

Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal

This book aims to take account of the major advances made in ‘Service Innovation Studies’ (SIS) and above all to provide an agenda setting out the research priorities in the field. This agenda is established by considering the issue of innovation in services in relation to a number of major contemporary challenges, including environmental issues, social inclusion, economic development, service ecosystems, smart service systems, religion, ageing, public organizations, gender, and ethical and societal issues. Bringing together internationals experts in the field of SIS, the book illustrates the strength and fertility of this research trajectory. It will be of great interest for both services and innovation scholars in economics, management science and public administration.
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Chapter 2: Services, service innovation and the ecological challenge

Faridah Djellal and Faïz Gallouj

Abstract

This chapter is devoted to the positive ‘green services’ myth expressing the idea that services are naturally less harmful to the environment (greener) than material goods. This positive assessment of services is grounded in theoretical arguments relating to the fundamental nature of service activities, and in particular to their immateriality. The objective of this chapter is thus to identify a number of research avenues likely to deconstruct it. The chapter is broken down into main sections; in the first, we account for the foundations of this myth by examining its different facets. In the second and third sections, we propose some preliminary elements of a research agenda on services and service innovation in their relationship to ecological issues. The second section raises the question of the hidden sources of materiality of services, and the third, the question (closely linked to innovation dynamics) of the various possible ways of constructing immateriality – and thus of ‘greening’ services.

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