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A bricolage perspective on service innovation

: Witell, Lars; Gebauer, Heiko; Jaakkola, Elina; Hammedi, Wafa; Patricio, Lia; Perks, Helen


Journal of business research : JBR 79 (2017), S.290-298
ISSN: 0148-2963
Fraunhofer IMW ()
service innovation; Bricolage; entrepreneurship; resource-constrained environment; social innovation; capability

Service innovation is often viewed as a process of accessing the necessary resources, (re)combining them, and converting them into new services. The current knowledge on success factors for service innovation, such as formalized new service development (NSD) processes, predominantly comes from studying large firms with a relatively stable resource base. However, this neglect situations in which organizations face severe resource constraints. This paper argues that under such constraints, a formalized new service development process could be counter-productive and a bricolage perspective might better explain service innovation in resource-constrained environments. In this conceptual paper, we propose that four critical bricolage capabilities (addressing resource scarcity actively, making do with what is available, improvising when recombining resources, and networking with external partners) influence service innovation outcomes. Empirical illustrations from five organizations substantiate our conceptual development. Our discussion leads to a framework and four testable propositions that can guide further service research.