Disruptive external forces as a catalyst for service innovation : Influencing forces of facility service innovation processes due to changing customer behavior

University essay from Karlstads universitet/Handelshögskolan (from 2013)

Abstract: Service innovation is an important component for service business through its applicability in development and accretion that promotes business operations. The service innovation process can be created and maintained through interaction between the actor and the customer, where mutual value is being created through collaboration. However, disruptive external forces that reconfigure businesses environment and changes behavior of customers can have an impact on the conditions for service processes, where the need for innovative solutions increases to continue to reach customer satisfaction. In addition, it may further impact the underlying processes of innovating services, not at least within the facility service sector since interacting and operating within customer’s sites. Therefore, the authors want to contribute with knowledge regarding how service innovation processes are being affected by disruptive external forces, investigated through a single case study. The empirical data has been collected through semi-structured, in-depth interviews with six respondents within a global market-leading provider of facility services where the study has addressed the Swedish market. The empirical findings acknowledged that a changed customer behavior imposed by disruptive external forces causes challenges and changes to the business environment of facility services. The collected data highlighted disruptive forces such as technological, environmental and, especially prominent, the pandemic as particularly influential to the processes of facility service innovation. Business environment in a reconfigured state has, among other, affected the parts of developing, testing, and implementing innovative solutions, thereby influencing the implementation process of service innovation. In conclusion, disruptive external forces imposed new areas of focus and requirements from customers, leading to customers becoming more involved in the process of facility service innovation. The case company has been required to adopt a form of Service-Dominated (S-D) logic on the approach of developing value propositions, implicating that the customers are taking an increased and active part in the facility service innovation process. In relation to a changing customer need imposed by disruptive external forces, psychological senses and perceptions have been distinguished to be a requirement of facility service innovation and have therefore constituted an active component of the innovation process.    

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