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Shaping, organizing, and rethinking service innovation: a multidimensional framework

Luis Rubalcaba (Department of Applied Economics, University of Alcala, Madrid, Spain)
Stefan Michel (Department of Marketing and Service Management, IMD International, Lausanne, Switzerland)
Jon Sundbo (Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University, Roskilde, Denmark)
Stephen W. Brown (Center for Services Leadership, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)
Javier Reynoso (Service Management Research, EGADE Business School – Monterrey Institute of Technology, Monterrey, Mexico)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 5 October 2012



The purpose of this paper is to review key research contributions that may be useful for rethinking service innovation. Service innovation is not a monolithic construct; therefore, the opportunities for further research are multidimensional and interdisciplinary.


A summary analysis of extant literature identifies valuable contributions and fundamental methodological issues from various perspectives. The proposed directions for future research entail where to innovate, how to innovate, and what to innovate in services.


The analysis and discussion lead to a multidimensional framework of service innovation, with a particular emphasis on organizational and customer cocreation perspectives.

Practical implications

This article contains guidelines and real‐world examples to help practitioners and policy makers develop service innovation strategies through the consideration of different levels, organizations, and perspectives.


This article offers a relevant source of ideas and guidance for anyone interested in research and practice related to rethinking service innovation.



Rubalcaba, L., Michel, S., Sundbo, J., Brown, S.W. and Reynoso, J. (2012), "Shaping, organizing, and rethinking service innovation: a multidimensional framework", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 23 No. 5, pp. 696-715.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited