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Does one size fit all? New service development across different types of services

Elina Jaakkola (Department of Marketing, School of Economics, University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Thomas Meiren (Department of New Service Development, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, Stuttgart, Germany)
Lars Witell (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden) (Industrial Engineering and Management, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden)
Bo Edvardsson (Service Research Center, Karlstad University, Karlstad, Sweden)
Adrienne Schäfer (Department of Services Management, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Luzern, Switzerland)
Javier Reynoso (Department of Service Management Research, Tecnologico de Monterrey, San Pedro Garza Garcia, Mexico)
Roberta Sebastiani (Department of Economic and Business Management Sciences, Catholic University of Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy)
Doris Weitlaner (Department of Information Technologies and Business Informatics, Campus 02 University of Applied Sciences, Graz, Austria)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 18 April 2017




The extant new service development (NSD) literature tends to assume that the key practices for NSD identified in one context apply for all services, and has failed to sufficiently consider differences in NSD between service types. The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of NSD across different service types.


An extensive, cross-sectoral survey was conducted in seven countries. Data from 1,333 NSD projects were analyzed to empirically derive a service typology and examine if and how different types of services vary in terms of NSD resources, practices, methods, and results.


Based on six service characteristics, the study identifies four service types: routine-intensive, technology-intensive, contact-intensive, and knowledge-intensive services. The study also identifies specific NSD resources, practices, methods, and results that are prevalent across the service typology. The evidence indicates that the use of advanced practices and methods differs dramatically between service types.

Practical implications

The paper enables practitioners to expand their current understanding on NSD by providing insights into the variability of NSD across service types. The results suggest that either service-type-specific models or a configurable model for NSD should be developed.


This study provides one of the first empirically derived service typologies for NSD. The study demonstrates that NSD resources, practices, methods, and results differ across service types, thereby challenging the “one size fits all” assumption evident in current NSD research.



Jaakkola, E., Meiren, T., Witell, L., Edvardsson, B., Schäfer, A., Reynoso, J., Sebastiani, R. and Weitlaner, D. (2017), "Does one size fit all? New service development across different types of services", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 329-347.



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