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Learning from socially driven service innovation in emerging economies

Javier Reynoso (Service Management Research and Education, Tecnológico de Monterrey, EGADE Business School, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico)
Jay Kandampully (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)
Xiucheng Fan (Department of Marketing, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)
Hanna Paulose (Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 16 March 2015



The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into indigenous, solution-based business models and their relevance for inclusive service innovation within specific social contexts in emerging economies, with particular emphasis on the role of culture and technology.


A proposed framework illustrates four factors that nurture socially driven service innovation in emerging economies: solution, inclusion, culture, and technology. Extant literature from studies in India, Latin America, and China illustrates distinct indigenous innovations and service relationships that exist at the base of the pyramid (BoP), which provides a foundation for a better understanding of socially inclusive service innovations.


A conceptual model of inclusive service innovation reflects an integrated, virtuous cycle, composed of service relationships that stem from the BoP at various levels of analysis across different income segments. These findings suggest notable research directions.

Practical implications

This study reinforces the importance of a solution orientation as a competitive business model to gain customer engagement.

Social implications

Researchers and practitioners in emerging and advanced economies can use the approach suggested by this paper in their efforts to build sustainable business cultures and improve the well-being of society.


Previous research has not addressed the social or communal roles of service innovation; this study proposes an innovative switch from a traditional strategy of selling services toward a proactive approach that involves low-income customers as active resources to co-create social and business value.



Professor Xiucheng Fan is thankful for support from the National Nature Science Foundation of China (NSFC 71232008).

Professor Javier Reynoso would like to acknowledge the collaboration of senior researcher Karla Cabrera in the preparation of this manuscript.


Reynoso, J., Kandampully, J., Fan, X. and Paulose, H. (2015), "Learning from socially driven service innovation in emerging economies", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 156-176.



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