Revisit: Service and Solution Innovation


Pre-Frontiers event at Karlstadt, Sweden, 9-10 Jun 2010, Chaired by Heiner Evanschitzky, Florian v. Wangenheim and David M. Woisetschl?ger; Deadline now 1 Mar

 ARC: Connections: ELMAR: Posting

areas: services: revisit



In conjunction with the special issue on “Service and Solution Innovation” of Industrial Marketing Management, we will be organizing a pre-conference on June 9-10th, 2010 in Karlstad, Sweden. The pre-conference is directly preceding 19th Annual Frontiers in Service Conference in Karlstad, Sweden, and takes place at the same location. Further information on the main conference can be found at

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.

Abstracts submitted for the pre-conference 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 solution? 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 selling?
  • What are the antecedents and consequences of solution orientation?
  • What role should the sales force play in the process of solution selling?
  • What are appropriate techniques to elucidate customer requirements for business solutions?
  • How can companies use requirement engineering in the context of solution selling?
  • Is the level of customer expertise enhancing or decreasing the quality of solution selling results?
  • What is the impact of solutions purchase on a customers’ willingness to pay?
  • How should the solutions be branded?
  • 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.

For the conference, please submit abstracts (max. 1 page, 5000 characters) electronically, to the conference organizers (below). Electronic submission is required. All papers will be subject to a double blind peer review procedure.

Extended deadline for submission is March 1, 2010

Please send your submission or any inquiries by email to:

Conference Co-Chairs:

Dr. Heiner Evanschitzky
Professor of Marketing
Department of Marketing University of Strathclyde

Dr. Florian v. Wangenheim
Prof. of Services and Technology
TUM Business School
Technische Universitaet Muenchen

Dr. David M. Woisetschläger
Assistant Professor of Services Management
TU Dortmund University