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Understanding new service development and service innovation through innovation modes

Ida Gremyr (Division of Quality Sciences, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden)
Lars Witell (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden and Industrial Engineering and Management, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Nina Löfberg (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Bo Edvardsson (CTF, Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Anders Fundin (Volvo Construction Equipment and Mälardalen University, Eskilstuna, Sweden)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 28 January 2014




The purpose of this paper is to explore the role of innovation modes in understanding challenges of integrated NSD and NPD, and the use of structured NSD processes in manufacturing firms.


The research is based on a two-stage multiple case study. The first stage is an interview study of 17 key informants representing manufacturing firms in the machine industry. The second stage is an in-depth study of three service innovations at three manufacturing firms based on 16 interviews with key informants.


The results of the study show that NSD processes are often more structured if the service is developed separately from the product. The fact that different innovation modes benefit from varying degrees of structure in the development process means that integrated service development can be challenging. Furthermore, service innovations often follow a trajectory of innovation modes before succeeding in the market. Some innovation modes occur within the NSD process, while others occur outside the process. One success factor for NSD is the fit between the innovation modes and the NSD process, rather than the NSD process per se.


This research uses innovation modes to explain why NSD in manufacturing firms is often performed on an ad hoc basis, and how service innovations go through a trajectory of innovation modes. In this way, the study contributes to theory development of service innovation, and specifically service innovations in manufacturing firms.



The authors extend their sincere thanks to Vinnova for financing this research and the case companies for their engagement in this research. Received 30 April 2012 Revised 7 June 2013 Accepted 7 June 2013


Gremyr, I., Witell, L., Löfberg, N., Edvardsson, B. and Fundin, A. (2014), "Understanding new service development and service innovation through innovation modes", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 123-131.



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