Service innovation in networks: a systematic review and implications for business-to-business service innovation research

Mekhail Mustak (Department of Marketing and International Business, Turku School of Economics, Turku, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Publication date: 28 January 2014



Service innovation in networks (SIIN) is of utmost importance particularly to business-to-business firms for their profitability, growth and long-term competitive advantage. This paper aims to investigate several critical aspects of extant SIIN research: its current state, theoretical standpoints, determinants, and outcomes. Based on the findings, implications for business-to-business service innovation research are drawn.


This is a systematic literature review. Extant publications were located from large electronic databases, analyzed, and the findings have been compiled to answer the predefined questions.


The paper illustrates the overall state of extant SIIN research and presents its major topics. It reveals the six key theoretical perspectives that have been applied in SIIN studies. Determinants that affect SIIN, as well as its potential positive and negative outcomes, are shown. In addition, gaps in the existing knowledge-base have been identified and have led to the laying out of paths for future research.

Research limitations/implications

The review does not cover publications that were unavailable in the electronic databases employed, or were not written in English. However, the succinct presentation of accessible knowledge provides multidimensional theoretical understandings as well as empirical insights into SIIN research.

Practical implications

Managers may benefit from this study by understanding the determinants that they may influence, and the potential changes that may accompany the positive and negative outcomes of SIIN.


The analytical review provides a concise synopsis of existing knowledge on service innovation in networks, and discusses its implications for business-to-business research and firms, which will be of interest to both academics and practitioners.



Mustak, M. (2014), "Service innovation in networks: a systematic review and implications for business-to-business service innovation research", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 151-163.

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