While scaling is a viable approach to respond to growing demand, service providers in contact-intensive services (CIS) – such as education, healthcare and social services – struggle to innovate their offerings. The reason is that the scaling of CIS – unlike purely digital settings – has resource limitations. To help ease the situation, the purpose of this paper is to identify and describe the practices used in scaling CIS to support ICT-enabled service innovation.
The research draws on an in-depth analysis of three CIS to examine service innovation practices. The analysis informs model development for service scaling.
The analysis uncovers three practices for service scaling – service interaction analysis, service pivoting and service validation – and their related activities that are applied in a cyclic and iterative logic.
While the findings reveal that the scalability of CIS is limited and determined by the formative characteristic of personal interaction, this study and its findings describe how to leverage scalability in CIS.
The insights into the practices enable service providers of CIS to iteratively revise their service offerings and the logic of creating value with the service.
This research identifies and describes for the first time the practices for the scaling of CIS as an operationalisation of ICT-enabled service innovation.
The research presented was partially funded by European Commission and the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation (SERI) in the Active Assisted Living (AAL) programme under contract number AAL-2013-6-145 as well as by an International Postdoctoral Fellowship (project number 1031525) that was awarded to Christoph Peters by the University of St. Gallen’s Basic Research Fund. The authors would like to thank the special issue editors and two anonymous reviewers for providing valuable comments on the manuscript.
Kleinschmidt, S., Peters, C. and Leimeister, J.M. (2019), "How to scale up contact-intensive services: ICT-enabled service innovation", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 31 No. 4, pp. 793-814. https://doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-12-2017-0349Download as .RIS
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