Edited by Faïz Gallouj and Faridah Djellal
Chapter 2: Services, service innovation and the ecological challenge
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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