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Exploring front-line employee contributions to service innovation
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2982-9651
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Marketing, ISSN 0309-0566, E-ISSN 1758-7123, Vol. 49, no 9-10, p. 1346-1365Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Resource type
Text
Abstract [en]

Purpose - This paper aims to study front-line employees' contribution to service innovation, when they contribute and how they are involved in service innovation. Design/methodology/approach - The paper draws on a multiple-case study on service innovation in four organizations with extensive front-line employee involvement. The main data collection methods are interviews and observations. Findings - The paper suggests that front-line employees contribute customer knowledge, product knowledge and practice knowledge during five phases of the service innovation process - project formation, idea generation, service design, testing and implementation - and that front-line employee involvement ranges from active to passive. Research limitations/implications - Statistical generalization of the results is needed. Practical implications - The paper reveals that early and active front-line employee involvement in the service innovation process creates conditions for a positive contribution to service innovation. Originality/value - The paper suggests that early and active knowledge contributions by front-line employees to the service innovation process are associated with the creation of attractive value propositions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 49, no 9-10, p. 1346-1365
Keywords [en]
Service innovation, Service-dominant logic, Front-line employee involvement, Resource integration, Value propositions
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-40970DOI: 10.1108/EJM-10-2012-0568ISI: 000366494400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-40970DiVA, id: diva2:908855
Available from: 2016-03-03 Created: 2016-03-03 Last updated: 2019-07-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Frontline employees' role in service innovation and value creation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Frontline employees' role in service innovation and value creation
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Frontline employees play a key role in service innovation and value creation. However, a detailed and structured understanding of how frontline employees contribute, and what types of roles they enact when involved in service innovation, is lacking. Hence, this thesis aims to explore frontline employees’ contributions to service innovation. The thesis consists of five empirical papers. Data has been collected from both private and public organizations via interviews, observations, documents, and innovation groups.

The three main contributions of this thesis are as follows: Firstly, an extended understanding of how frontline employees contribute to service innovation. It was found that they contribute knowledge generated in three resource integration processes; value facilitation, value co-creation, and by learning from users’ value creation processes. Frontline employees are well equipped to draw on their knowledge and to integrate resources into new or developed value propositions, both during specific service innovation projects and in their day-to-day work practices. Secondly, when involved in service innovation, frontline employees enact different types of roles, e.g. as deliverers, as co-creators, and as negotiators. The third contribution, suggests that front line employees’ contributions to service innovation, as well as service innovation and value creation more generally, can be understood from three perspectives; i) an intra-organizational perspective following a goods-dominant logic, ii) an open-collective perspective, and iii) an open-conflictual perspective, where the latter two are informed by service-dominant logic. Thus, this thesis confirms, develops, and extends previous research by illuminating different ways of creating value and conducting service innovation, relating to frontline employees.  

Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to explore frontline employees’ contributions to service innovation. First, it provides an extended understanding of how frontline employees contribute to service innovation. It was found that they contribute knowledge generated in three resource integration processes, value facilitation, value co-creation, and by learning from users’ value creation processes. Frontline employees are well equipped to draw on their knowledge and to integrate resources into new or developed value propositions, both during specific service innovation projects and in their day-to-day work practices. Second, when involved in service innovation, frontline employees enact different types of roles; e.g. as deliverers, as co-creators, and as negotiators. Third, frontline employees’ contributions to service innovation, as well as service innovation and value creation more generally, can be understood from three perspectives, an intra-organizational perspective following a goods-dominant logic, an open-collective perspective, and an open-conflictual perspective, where the latter two are informed by service-dominant logic. This thesis confirms, develops, and extends previous research by illuminating different ways of creating value and conducting service innovation, relating to frontline employees.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. p. 88
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:4
Keywords
frontline employees, service innovation, value creation, service-dominant logic, resource integration, value propositions
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65544 (URN)978-91-7063-831-2 (ISBN)978-91-7063-926-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-16, 11D257, Agardhsalen, Karlstad, 10:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Employee-driven and Customer-oriented Service InnovationUser-driven Innovation in Primary Care through Innovation Groups
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2018-01-30 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved

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Karlsson, JennySkalen, Per

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