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Article

Tiziana Russo Spena and Mele Cristina

Over recent years, few industries have seen such dramatic changes as the healthcare industry. The potential connectivity of digital technologies is completely transforming…

Abstract

Purpose

Over recent years, few industries have seen such dramatic changes as the healthcare industry. The potential connectivity of digital technologies is completely transforming the healthcare ecosystem. This has resulted in companies increasingly investing in digital transformations to exploit data across channels, operations and patient outreach, by building on a practice approach and actor-network theory and being informed by service-dominant logic, this study aims to contribute by advancing the agential role of third-party actors to prompt innovation and shape service ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is grounded in an epistemological contextualism. To gain situated knowledge and address the role of context in knowledge, understanding and meaning the authors adopted a qualitative methodology to study actors in their different contexts. The empirical research was based on case theory. The authors also took guidance from practice scholars about how to investigate actors’ practices. The unit of analysis moves from dyadic relationships to focus on practices across different networks of actors.

Findings

This study expands on the conceptualization of triad as proposed by Siltaloppi and Vargo (2017) by moving from the form of triadic relationships – brokerage, mediation and coalition – to the agency of e-health third-parties; and their practices to innovate in the healthcare ecosystem. This study focuses on the actors and the performativity of actions and grounding the conceptual view on an empirical base.

Practical implications

Third-party actors bring about innovative ways of doing business in the healthcare ecosystem. Their actions challenge the status quo and run counter to long-time practices. Third-parties support the complex set of interconnections between different healthcare actors for the provision of new service co-creation opportunities. Considering how these e-health third-parties performs has implications for health managers, patients and other actors.

Originality/value

This study focuses on the actors and the performativity of actions and grounding the conceptual view on an empirical base. The agency of third-party actors is their ability to act among others and to connect multiple social and material structures to boost innovation. They prompt innovation and shape service ecosystems by brokering, mediating and coalescing among a great variety of resources, practices and institutions.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Content available
Article

Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena, Dominik Mahr and Andrea Ruggiero

Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have…

Abstract

Purpose

Loneliness and isolation are on the rise, globally threatening the well-being across age groups; global social distancing measures during the COVID-19 crisis have intensified this so-called “loneliness virus”. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative framework and research agenda on the role of companion robots in mitigating feelings of loneliness.

Design/methodology/approach

A netnographic analysis of 595 online visual and textual descriptions offer empirical insights about the role of the companion robot Vector during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings

The contributions of this study are twofold. First, it postulates that companion robots have the potential of mitigating feelings of loneliness (i.e. indicator of well-being). Second, this study contributes to transformative service by developing an integrative framework introducing the roles (personal assistant, relational peer and intimate buddy) that companion robots can fulfill to mitigate feelings of loneliness through building different types of supportive relationships.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed research agenda encourages future service scholars to investigate 1) the role of robots in addressing loneliness, 2) design features that drive adoption of robots, 3) social support for different groups, 4) the operationalization and the measurement of loneliness and 5) an impact analysis of companion robots.

Practical implications

Service providers and policy makers can leverage the insights about how companion robots can help reduce a sense of loneliness.

Originality/value

The integrative framework on loneliness reduction, based on 595 unprompted online contributions issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, offers initial evidence for the impact of companion robots in reducing people's feelings of loneliness.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Article

Nadia Di Paola and Tiziana Russo Spena

This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the hybrid nature and scope of environmental innovation (EI) by assuming a paradox perspective and developing it empirically. Specifically, the authors raise the questions of how the opposite elements of EI characteristics can be arranged and combined to generate benefits for companies and markets.

Design/methodology/approach

A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) is conducted to analyse European companies operating in telecommunications and in information and communication technology (ICT). This method helps us interpret the complexity occurring in the real world, in which the contribution of a specific attribute to the outcome might change according to other interacting and concurring aspects.

Findings

By recognising the conflicting aspects inherent to the complexity of EI, this study addresses how these tensions can be embraced. Specifically, the paradox logic is proposed to open EI strategy to a “both-and” perspective, with the purpose of making EI goals concretely feasible and integrated into a holistic view.

Practical implications

Paradoxical resolution denotes purposeful iterations between alternatives to ensure simultaneous attention to them over time. A paradox logic can support managers in making the EI strategy more workable and reconciling the extremes as well as possible.

Originality/value

This study unpacks the multiple enactments of EI by exploring the factors enabling integrated EI benefits. By adopting a paradox approach, the EI strategy may be interpreted in a “both-and” perspective, allowing firms to concretely achieve integrated EI benefits.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

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Article

Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo-Spena and Valtteri Kaartemo

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a tremendous impact on companies worldwide. However, researchers have no clear idea of the key issues requiring their attention. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a tremendous impact on companies worldwide. However, researchers have no clear idea of the key issues requiring their attention. This paper aims to close this gap by analysing all business-related posts on a coronavirus subreddit (“r/coronavirus”) and identifying the main research streams that are guiding the research agenda for a post-coronavirus world.

Design/methodology/approach

We use data from reddit, particularly the subreddit “r/coronavirus” to identify posts that reveal the impact of coronavirus on business. Our dataset has more than 200,000 posts. We used an artificial intelligence–based algorithm to scrape the data with business-related search terms, clean it and analyse the discussion topics.

Findings

We show the key topics that address the impact of coronavirus on business, combining them into four themes: essential service provision, bricolage service innovation, responsible shopping practices and market shaping amid crisis. We discuss these themes and use them to develop a service research agenda. The results are reported against the backdrop of service research priorities.

Originality/value

The study identifies four key themes that have emerged from the impact of coronavirus on business and that require scholarly attention. Our findings can guide service research with unique insights provided immediately after the coronavirus outbreak to conduct research that matters to business and helps people in vulnerable positions in a post-coronavirus world.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 31 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article

Tiziana Russo-Spena, Marco Tregua and Francesco Bifulco

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the interdisciplinary debate promoted by service research community by establishing the conceptual frame within which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the interdisciplinary debate promoted by service research community by establishing the conceptual frame within which different perspectives addressing systemic and multifaceted approaches to innovation are framed. Growing research interest in innovation has led to different definitions, which are referred to here as “innovation system(s)”, “innovation network(s)” and “innovation ecosystem(s)”. The paper examines the theoretical foundations, outcomes, and patterns of contributions to which each innovation perspectives is tied and proposed a subject and the framework allowing an exploration of an interdisciplinary dialogue between the different research positions.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to discern differences in concepts and their meanings. An overview obtained using Web of Knowledge leads to a focus on studies, followed by a content analysis using NVivo, which enables identification of key concepts and their definitions. By highlighting relationships among terms, the paper establishes a framework of the ontological assumptions of different innovation discourses and explores their contribution to the interdisciplinary dialogue promoted by service research perspective on innovation.

Findings

A comparison among the three innovation perspectives leads us to focus on innovation itself, alongside context, actors, enablers, and governance, which are useful to mark the commonalities and differences among the three research approaches. The framework is helpful to break down the fragmented and sometimes overlapping points of view of innovation and provides a more integrative stance from which to address the emergence of the service ecosystems approach on innovation.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation focuses on three innovation perspectives and on top-cited articles alone; hence, it can be complemented with a full analysis through a bibliometric approach to test whether the features highlighted are linked to other elements. Moreover, the different approaches grouped on “innovation ecosystems” perspective suggest the possibility to enhance service ecosystems discourse on innovation by looking at different knowledge and contributions that are rapidly growing in this area.

Social implications

The central idea this work puts forward is that after some decades of separation, there is a need to move towards an increasing convergence of economics, business and service based on the milestones of innovation systems, innovation networks, and innovation ecosystems thoughts.

Originality/value

This research sheds light on the different ways innovation, in multi-actor and the interconnected setting, is theoretically framed and described. By capturing established thinking in different innovation perspectives, the paper provides an integrated framework to making sense of the full picture of economies and societies seen as complex networks and systems of service systems.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 27 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

Keywords

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Article

Cristina Mele, Maria Colurcio and Tiziana Russo-Spena

– The purpose of this paper is to offer a fresh framing of innovation, as service innovation/value innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to offer a fresh framing of innovation, as service innovation/value innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

By examining the visions, patterns and outcomes of three different research approaches to understanding innovation – goods-dominant (G-D) logic, the resource-based approach and service-dominant (S-D) logic – the authors strive to outline the contribution of each to the debate on innovation. This investigation involves a comprehensive literature review. Scrutiny of a case company provides a means of identifying and illustrating how these approaches play out in a real business context.

Findings

A framework for innovation builds on the comparison of the three research approaches. G-D logic, when analysed in terms of new product development and new service development, positions innovation as an output (a new good or service) of a business's internal processes, with the firm as the main actor. The resource-based approach establishes the drivers of innovation as knowledge, capabilities and relationships, but the firm is still the main innovator. S-D logic addresses “open” innovation processes in which all actors in the network can mobilize and integrate their resources to become value co-innovators.

Research limitations/implications

This study builds on the literature review by offering a more systematic way of dealing with the different research traditions in innovation debate.

Practical implications

This study spurs managers to question the validity of dominant logic and how it affects the decision-making process. The conceptualization of innovation within S-D logic provides new avenues for decision makers and practitioners to tackle topical challenges of global competition.

Originality/value

The value of this paper lies in defending the premise that S-D logic is better suited than the other two research traditions to frame current innovation within the context of global competition because it moves innovation beyond mainstream conceptualization: from “products and services” to “service and value”, from “buyer-seller dyads” to “ecosystem relationships”, and from “closed/linear process” to “open/co-created process”.

Details

Managing Service Quality, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-4529

Keywords

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Article

Maria Colurcio, Patricia Wolf, Pierre‐Yves Kocher and Tiziana Russo Spena

In innovation networks, SMEs' capability to innovate is both enhanced and restricted by more powerful or better positioned partners. The purpose of this article is to ask…

Abstract

Purpose

In innovation networks, SMEs' capability to innovate is both enhanced and restricted by more powerful or better positioned partners. The purpose of this article is to ask how managers of processing SME suppliers in Italian and Swiss food innovation networks experience their relationships with innovation network partners and how they configure modes of interaction with them.

Design/methodology/approach

A series of problem centered interviews with managers of six Swiss and five Italian food sector SMEs was conducted.

Findings

Findings describe how SME managers in the two regions perceive the nature of interaction as well as benefits and disadvantages resulting from asymmetric relationships within networked innovation process. Differences in the perception frame and their impact on behavior in innovation networks are analyzed.

Research limitations/implications

The data are only valid for the food sector in the two regional markets. Furthermore, this paper only displays the perspective of managers of first and second processing food SME suppliers. Additional data should be gathered on the perspective of other network partners as well as on real‐time communication between them.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that active cooperation with especially customers in innovation networks supports innovation opportunities of processing food SME suppliers.

Originality/value

Scholars so far have comprehensively deduced potential advantages and problems resulting from asymmetries in power and positioning of partners for knowledge sharing in innovation networks but have not yet investigated its specifics. Particularly, empirical work on the perspective of managers from processing SME suppliers on innovation related cooperation with their partners in the value chain on networked innovation is yet almost scant.

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Article

Cristina Mele and Tiziana Russo-Spena

The purpose of this paper is to examine eco-innovation practices within project networks. Eco-innovation practices involve systematic series of actions that integrate…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine eco-innovation practices within project networks. Eco-innovation practices involve systematic series of actions that integrate resources to create value.

Design/methodology/approach

Using case research, the authors conducted an intensive study of innovation practices within project networks, using multiple sources of evidence to provide information to scholars and practitioners (Halinen and Tornroos, 2005). Analyzing practices facilitated an empirical investigation of how contextual elements shaped the social construction of eco-innovation.

Findings

An empirical analysis of eight project networks identifies three eco-innovation practices: cleaning up the landscape, connecting life and work, and boosting the efficiency of inbound and outbound processes. A methodological framework based on this practice approach is used to discuss the main elements of the practices in question, including actors, actions, resources, and value.

Practical implications

The practice-based approach (PBA) may help companies to make information and communication technology (ICT) more sustainable. By developing forms of eco-innovation that support project networks, companies can focus on holistic corporate performance, efficiency, and business value. Eco-innovation thus becomes a collective achievement that allows practitioners to appraise and critique the performance of their environmental practices, and that thereby allows them to constantly refine those practices.

Social implications

The development and use of Green ICT solutions enable actors’ sense-making and sense-giving within ongoing social practices wherein macro-level phenomena, such as sustainability and environmental issues, are created and recreated through the micro-level actions of project network actors.

Originality/value

This research extends beyond the more traditional issues of ecologically sound company operations and sustainable ICT use to address sustainable ways of doing business.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article

Cristina Mele, Tiziana Russo Spena and Maria Colurcio

The purpose of this paper is to analyse innovation in the light of service‐dominant (S‐D) logic and service science as a value‐creating process occurring through a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse innovation in the light of service‐dominant (S‐D) logic and service science as a value‐creating process occurring through a many‐to‐many network resource integration.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises S‐D logic and network theory to present case study research of a highly innovative Italian firm. The study investigates three innovation projects and the processes of interaction and integration that take place among the members of the networks involved in each project.

Findings

The traditional understanding of innovation, in which the supplier is the innovator and the customer is the recipient of (or perhaps the stimulus for) innovation, is replaced by an understanding of innovation based on S‐D logic in which customers and other stakeholders become real co‐innovators who exchange and integrate resources to co‐create value.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies could examine the antecedents and implications of the interaction and integration processes of collaborative innovation.

Practical implications

Innovation should be pursued as an open process in which all of the network's actors mobilise resources to become co‐innovators who co‐create value for themselves and other stakeholders.

Originality/value

This paper offers a widened perspective of innovation by using S‐D logic to emphasise the role of the network and the many‐to‐many interaction between stakeholders in developing value‐creating innovation.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article

Alessandra De Chiara and Tiziana Russo Spena

According to recent developments in the literature, the spread of corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles would inevitably have a significant impact on foreign…

Abstract

Purpose

According to recent developments in the literature, the spread of corporate social responsibility (CSR) principles would inevitably have a significant impact on foreign activities of multinational corporations (MNCs). Two forces seem to have influenced multinational firms' behavior: social maturity from international society and cultural evolution of political thought in several developed countries (DCs). The literature has already pointed out the importance of the multinational firm's function as a moral agent, identifying different components of respect for a sustainability management system. Based on these assumptions, the purpose of this paper is to frame MNCs' behavior within CSR, stressing the importance of a different approach to the management of local resources and stakeholders. The paper will argue for a shift of perspective concerning workers, suppliers and community, from resources to be exploited to partners and co‐creators of MNC values.

Design/methodology/approach

In the research design, the authors use the case method, choosing a multiple case studies research composed of five firms, with three criteria: international firms with an international supply chain, firms with a formalized CSR management and organization process and the accessibility of firm data.

Findings

In this paper, CSR emerges as the comparative advantage concept that forms the basis of the international distribution of multinational activities, calling for a new theoretical viewpoint that necessitates a rethinking of MNCs' strategies.

Originality/value

MNCs are opening toward responsible and sustainable business strategies. Workers, suppliers and communities represent the true challenge ahead, and the management of relationships with these actors is the starting point for an internationalization in a more integrated ethical and economic view.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

Keywords

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