Purpose: Collaboration with customers and the involvement of a customer’s resources have been regarded as a key issues in the service innovation process. However, research that covers collaboration in service innovation tends to have a one-sided focus, as it especially concentrates on the involvement of customer resources in the firm’s development of the offering per se and hence foresees the firm’s involvement of resources in the later part of the service innovation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to analyze resource involvement from both the firm and the customer in the service innovation process.
Design/methodology/approach: The study used an exploratory case study approach, focusing on two Swedish manufacturing firms in a business-to-business context that add services to their core product offerings (service infusion). Data was collected through interviews and focus groups.
Findings: The study found that different types of interaction modes are related to the integration of varying key resources from both the firm and the customer. A typology of interaction modes in service innovation, based on different levels of involvement, is developed.
Managerial implications: Increased and more specific knowledge of the customer’s resources is required in order to manage and coordinate how and with what resources the customer and the firm should contribute to the service innovation process.
Originality/Value: The previous service innovation literature tends to focus on how the customer can be involved in the firm’s development of offerings per se. This article suggests that focus should also include the firm’s involvement in the later phases of the service innovation process. The study contributes to the research on involvement in service innovation by showing how resources from both the customer and the firm are integrated in the service innovation process.
Service innovation, involvement, resource integration, co-creation, B2B, reciprocity.