Success factors for service innovation: a meta-analysis

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Storey, Chris ; Cankurtaran, Pinar ; Papasthopoulou, Paulina ; Hultink, Erik Jan (2016)

Service sectors form a considerable part of the world economy. Contrary to the logical assumption that service innovation research should represent a significant share of all innovation research, the vast majority of innovation studies focus on products as opposed to services. This research presents a meta-analysis of the antecedents of service innovation performance conducted on 92 independent samples obtained from 114 articles published between 1989 and 2015. This research contributes to our understanding of service innovation in three major ways. First, this is the first meta-analysis that specifically assesses the relative importance of antecedents of service innovation performance, while also pinpointing the differences in meta-analytic findings between antecedents of service and product innovation performance. Whilst there are some universal success factors that transcend the boundaries between services and products, the presence of marked differences implies that it would be wrong to treat the development of new services and new products as the same. Second, the meta-analysis demonstrates that the antecedents of service innovation performance are contingent on the sector context (i.e., explicit versus tacit services). Comparing results between products and services, and between tacit and explicit services, there appears to be a continuum where explicit services sit interstitial between tacit services on one side and products on the other. Third, the meta-analysis compares and contrasts the antecedents of two dimensions of service innovation performance (i.e., commercial success and strategic competitive advantage). Previous meta-analyses treated these two dependent variables collectively, which falls short of identifying issues that may affect management decisions when faced with different objectives. Additionally, this research investigates the effect of several other moderators (i.e., culture, unit of analysis, journal quality, and year of publication) on the relationships between the antecedents and service innovation performance. The results are discussed in relation to their implications for research and managerial practice.
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