Value proposition test-driving for service innovation: how frontline employees innovate value propositions
Journal of Service Theory and Practice
Article publication date: 17 March 2016
This article investigates the role of frontline employees in service innovation from a service-dominant logic perspective. Frontline employees lack a formal innovation obligation. Service innovation is a resource integration process resulting in the creation of new value propositions.
A case study of service innovation projects that includes three different businesses in the IT sector and personal interviews with 25 frontline employees.
The findings suggest that frontline employees contribute to service innovation by test-driving potential value propositions. Three types of value proposition test-driving have been identified: cognitive, practical, and discursive. The findings suggest interdependencies between the different modes of value proposition test-driving, as well as specific phases of the service innovation process dominated by one form or another.
Value proposition test-driving offers a fruitful context for managers to involve frontline employees and use their creativity and expertise. The case study approach, however, limits the statistical generalizability of the findings.
The study is novel in that it (a) introduces the notion of value proposition test-driving for service innovation; (b) provides a systematic empirical analysis of how frontline employees contribute to service innovation by test-driving value propositions; (c) offers a service innovation model informed by the service-dominant logic; and (d) contributes to the service-dominant logic by detailing how service innovation occurs in practice.
Åkesson, M., Skålén, P., Edvardsson, B. and Stålhammar, A. (2016), "Value proposition test-driving for service innovation: how frontline employees innovate value propositions", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 26 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSTP-10-2014-0242
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