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Frontline employees' role in service innovation and value creation
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013). Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School (from 2013).
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 [en]
frontline employees, service innovation, value creation, service-dominant logic, resource integration, value propositions
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65544ISBN: 978-91-7063-831-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7063-926-5 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-65544DiVA, id: diva2:1171113
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
VINNOVAAvailable from: 2018-01-30 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Exploring front-line employee contributions to service innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring front-line employee contributions to service innovation
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
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.

Keywords
Service innovation, Service-dominant logic, Front-line employee involvement, Resource integration, Value propositions
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-40970 (URN)10.1108/EJM-10-2012-0568 (DOI)000366494400001 ()
Available from: 2016-03-03 Created: 2016-03-03 Last updated: 2018-01-05Bibliographically approved
2. How Frontline Employees Nurture Service Innovation through Co-creation with Their Customers: A Case Study of Public Health Care
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How Frontline Employees Nurture Service Innovation through Co-creation with Their Customers: A Case Study of Public Health Care
2014 (English)In: Framing innovation in public sectors / [ed] Rolf Rönning, Bo Enquist, Lars Fuglsang, New York: Routledge, 2014, Vol. 30, p. 18-40Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
New York: Routledge, 2014
Series
Routledge Studies in Innovation Organization and Technology ; 30
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-44643 (URN)000343009500003 ()978-1-315-88561-2 (ISBN)978-0-415-70928-6 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-08-10 Created: 2016-08-10 Last updated: 2018-01-05Bibliographically approved
3. Manuscript: Front-line employees role in practice based service innovation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Manuscript: Front-line employees role in practice based service innovation
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65541 (URN)
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-09-13
4. Understanding public service innovation as resource integration and creation of value propositions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Understanding public service innovation as resource integration and creation of value propositions
2018 (English)In: Australian journal of public administration, ISSN 0313-6647, E-ISSN 1467-8500Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This paper departs from research on Public Service Logic (PSL) to advance a framework ofpublic service innovation (PSI) by incorporating the notions of resource integration and valueproposition. The framework consists of three resource integration processes, referred to asvalue creation, value co-creation and value facilitation, through which users and employeesdetect problems and suggest solutions that contribute to service innovation by creatingnew, or by developing existing, value propositions. To test and illustrate the framework, astudy of six service innovation groups in primary care was drawn on. Four aggregates ofservice innovation ideas were identified in the study: access, patient experience, physicalenvironment and organization of work. In line with the framework, the findings suggest thatusers and employees contribute to PSI by drawing on their knowledge and experience ofconducting resource integration, and by detecting problems and suggesting solutions to theseproblems.

National Category
Economics and Business
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65542 (URN)10.1111/1467-8500.12308 (DOI)
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-09-06Bibliographically approved
5. Service innovation as a political process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Service innovation as a political process
2017 (English)In: Service Industries Journal, ISSN 0264-2069, E-ISSN 1743-9507, Vol. 37, no 5-6, p. 341-362Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Service innovation processes are driven by stakeholders in interaction and are understood and sketched as a value negotiation process that consists of an iterative process of securing potential value in service. While previous research has focused on service innovation as a harmonious closed system, our study explores service innovation as a political process in which stakeholders negotiate to create and secure future value. Data are collected through interviews and participant observations in four different case studies. Our study contributes to the field by illuminating service innovation as a political process and explaining how this is operationalized. The findings also contribute to an understanding of how stakeholder resources impact a chosen strategy; the resulting strategy's impact on the service concept vis-a-vis its potential value; and how several involved stakeholders formulate, negotiate, and secure future potential value, which are the activities that drive a service innovation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxon, UK: Taylor & Francis, 2017
Keywords
Service innovation, value creation, negotiation, stakeholder
National Category
Business Administration Information Systems, Social aspects Public Administration Studies Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-65535 (URN)10.1080/02642069.2017.1322960 (DOI)000402454600004 ()
Available from: 2018-01-05 Created: 2018-01-05 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved

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