In most developed economies, services account for the majority of both employment and output. The development of service innovations is not only a challenge for the service enterprises and public organisations, but they are also considered as important triggers for the extension of service business in manufacturing firms. The ongoing trend from the production of goods towards that of services has given rise to an increasing body of research examining service innovations. Despite the growing number of studies, current literature provides only fragmentary insights into the relationship between service innovation and business performance. The goal of this special issue is to contribute to this gap.
There are several aspects that make it challenging to measure the impact of service innovations on performance. First, the relationship between service innovation and performance can be direct or indirect. Performance is a two-dimensional construct: objective performance based on financial and market-based measures and subjective performance measured e.g. by customer and employee-based indicators. Several researchers have suggested that superior subjective performance is a prerequisite for superior objective performance especially in service activities. Second, examining service innovation performance could be challenging due to the fact that service innovations are not necessarily the output of formal R&D but rather the outcome of daily business, customer and supplier collaboration or the optimisation of processes. It may be difficult to distinguish the contribution of innovations to performance because the distinction between conventional business and service innovations is not always clear. Finally, there are also data constraints and challenges relating to the availability of appropriate indicators to measure the impact of service innovations on performance. Current literature introduces a variety of indicators which are appropriate to measure innovation performance in manufacturing activities but not in service activities.
This special issue aims to add our knowledge through three aspects of how to measure the impact of service innovations on performance. First, it intends to introduce the systems, methods and indicators to measure the impact of service innovations on performance. Second, it provides empirical evidence on how the above tools have been used in practice and what kinds of interconnections have been found between service innovations and business performance. Third, it aims to provide a basis for evaluating the relevant approaches to managing service innovation performance in organisations.
The issue provides a global forum for presenting academically-thorough research and case studies. Its aim is to attract high-quality papers discussing the relationship between service innovations and business performance. Qualitative and quantitative as well as conceptual approaches defining, understanding and managing service innovation performance in enterprises or in public organisations are appropriate and appreciated. Contributions will be evaluated on the basis of their originality, clarity and relevance.
The types of contributions which may be appropriate for this special issue include but are not limited to:
- Systems, methods and indicators for measuring the impact of service innovations on performance
- Relationship between service innovations and objective performance, e.g. productivity, profitability, return on assets, sales and market share
- Relationship between service innovations and subjective performance, e.g. customer loyalty and customer satisfaction, learning, knowledge accumulation and employee satisfaction
- Interconnections between objective and subjective performance related to service innovations
- Relationship between different types of service innovations and business performance
- Service innovations as a driver of growth and sales performance
- Service innovations as a source of productivity
- The impact of service innovations on performance as the added value in manufacturing firms
- The influence of service innovativeness on performance
- Relationship between innovation capabilities and service innovation performance
- The management of service innovation performance
Submission deadline: 30 September 2010
Author notification/review comments: 15 January 2011
Final manuscript due: 28 February 2011