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Service innovation research in China: past, present and future

Jing Hua Li (Business Administration School, Zhejiang Gongshang University, Hangzhou, People's Republic of China)

Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China

ISSN: 1758-552X

Article publication date: 24 February 2012



China always acts as a large low‐cost manufacturing economy under globalization. However, her services are also active and innovative today although still small. The purpose of this paper is to exhibit the roadmap of service innovation research in China and to predict the future research trend.


A literature review was organized under a cross framework – innovation in services, and service innovation with manufacturing. All literature was selected from Chinese academic periodicals and monographs in the last decade. The search keywords include “service innovation”, “knowledge‐intensive business services”, and “new service development”.


Through the review of Chinese literature, two critical characteristics of service innovation were proved, i.e. organizational innovation and regulation environment; and for China, the marketalization of services is urgent for the motivation and accumulation of service innovation capability.

Practical implications

Policy makers should take services as significant as manufacturing, and put them into the national and regional innovation systems. Regulation should be reduced to a low level to stimulate service innovation. Government should also encourage the development of the services infrastructure, including social credit system, independent intermediary, grid, and NGOs, etc.


The paper gives an insight into the perspectives of management, sociology, and economics in the service innovation field using the Chinese research track as an illustration.



Hua Li, J. (2012), "Service innovation research in China: past, present and future", Journal of Science and Technology Policy in China, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 68-91.



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