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Front-end service innovation: learning from a design-assisted experimentation

Abstract


Purpose

– The purpose of this paper is to examine how the development and experimentation with a designer-assisted and collaborative concept-creating approach can provide new insights into the emergent field of service innovations.




Design/methodology/approach

– The paper were independent researcher with no commercial interests in the method investigated. The paper adopted qualitative methodology informed by 12 innovation workshop series among three Norwegian service companies, followed up by formative validation of the three years constructional and experimental period.




Findings

– The workshops introduced tangible tools and produced large numbers of innovation ideas, some of which were exploited. Participants internalized partially service design-terms and tools. The experimentation contributed to a common language among participants. Weaknesses included not explicitly addressing managerial learning and organization-internal issues.




Research limitations/implications

– New innovation interventions in the often fuzzy front-end should be validated to accumulate insights and allow changes.




Practical implications

– The paper offer a managerial framework for improving innovation experimentation among corporate employees and specialists. This will help companies understand service design impact on innovation by delineating key managerial components and limitations from broad business perspective.




Social implications

– Relationships influenced the construction and conduct of the innovation experiments, and consequently who were influenced by the experiment in the companies. To evaluate whom to include in the workshops and whom to represent by proxy innovation networks should be analyzed.




Originality/value

– This study reports one of very few appraisals of design-assisted service innovation interventions through process observations and follow-up field interviews, including interviews after the finalizing of field experiments. The paper offer frameworks and critical issues for fuzzy-end innovation practice and research.

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Author(s)

  • Birgit Helene Jevnaker
  • Brynjulf Tellefsen
  • Marika Lüders

Affiliation

  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • SINTEF Digital / Software and Service Innovation

Year

2015

Published in

European Journal of Innovation Management

ISSN

1460-1060

Publisher

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Volume

18

Issue

1

Page(s)

19 - 43

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