Service and Solution Innovation


Special issue of Industrial Marketing Management, Edited by Heiner Evanschitzky, Florian v. Wangenheim and David M. Woisetschl?ger ; Deadline 15 Jul 2010

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Companies are moving from selling pure products or services to selling complex solutions consisting of hybrid bundles of interrelated services and goods. A solution, from the customer?s point of view, can be understood as a relational process comprising the definition of the customer requirements, customization and integration of goods and services, their deployment, and post-deployment customer support. New opportunities and challenges for companies arise through an increased demand for solutions.

Innovation for complex solutions does not function in the same way as product innovation. For example, the elements of integrated solutions have divergent innovation and lifetime cycles. Throughout the entire innovation cycle, therefore, manufacturers need to rethink their processes and come up not only with services and solutions, but also with new business models and processes for innovation generation. Also, the definition of a solution as an ongoing business relationship implies possibilities for further developing the solution after its implementation through, e.g., modifications, upgrades, cross-selling etc.

The guest editors of the Special Issue of Industrial Marketing Management invite authors to submit original papers on the broad topic of Service & Solution Innovation, with special attention on challenges and success factors of managing the entire innovation cycle. Papers may address the following research questions:

  • How does the services & solution business change innovation management for manufacturers?
  • How do firms innovate within business solution relationships?
  • Which parts of the innovation cycle are affected by a services and solution strategy?
  • How can innovation cycles for solutions be managed? How can firms deal with the challenge of divergent innovation and lifetime cycles?
  • How is the introduction of services and solution different from the introduction of manufactured goods?
  • What are enablers and drivers of solutions and solution offerings and how does solution business (as opposed to product or service business) and its drivers change firm-customer interfaces
  • Should all firms strive to become solution sellers? Why do some firms (both on the provider and the customer side) refrain from solutions? What are the risks and barriers to purchasing and selling solutions?
  • How can added-value delivered by integrated solutions be conceptualized and measured?
  • How can value networks be developed and managed to effectively create and deliver solutions?
  • What transformations in organizational structure are required for the provision of solutions?
  • Which aspects of company culture are critical for successful solution innovation?
  • What are the antecedents and consequences of solution orientation?
  • What role should the sales force play in the process of solution innovations?
  • What are appropriate techniques to elucidate customer requirements for business solutions?
  • How can companies use requirement engineering in the context of solution innovations?
  • Is the level of customer expertise and integrating enhancing or decreasing the quality of solution innovation results?
  • What are differences between business solution and consumer solutions?

Empirical papers are especially welcome. Strong and innovative conceptual work with a clear contribution to the advancement of marketing and management science and case-based papers illustrating solution selling practices would also be considered.

Papers should be 25-50 pages in length and follow the guidelines of Industrial Marketing Management.


Electronic submission is required. All papers will be subject to a double blind peer review procedure.

Deadline for submission is July 15, 2010. Please send your submission or any inquiries to:

also send a copy of your submission to

Special Issue Co-Editors are:

Dr. Heiner Evanschitzky

Professor of Marketing

Department of Marketing
University of Strathclyde

Dr. Florian v. Wangenheim

Professor of Services and Technology

TUM Business School

Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Dr. David M. Woisetschl?ger

Assistant Professor of Services Management

TU Dortmund University