Revisit: Creativity and Innovation in Services


Creativity and Innovation in the Service Sector, Special issue of Service Industries Journal, Edited by Olivia Kyriakidou and Marianna Sigala; Deadline 30 Nov 2012

The Service Industries Journal


Special issue: Creativity and innovation in the service sector

Guest Editors:

Olivia Kyriakidou (
Marianna Sigala ( *

Olivia Kyriakidou, PhD, Assistant Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Business Administration, Athens, Greece

Marianna Sigala, PhD, Assistant Professor, University of the Aegean, Department of Business Administration, Chios, Greece

Given today’s rapidly changing business environments, heightened competition, and unpredictable technological change, more and more managers are coming to realize that they should encourage their employees to be creative (Zhang and Bartol, 2010). Considerable evidence indicates that employee creativity, defined as the development of novel and useful ideas about products, practices, services, or procedures (Amabile, 1996) can fundamentally contribute to organizational innovation, enhancing an organization’s growth and competitiveness (Shalley, Zhou and Oldham, 2004; Tierney et al., 1999).

The role of employees, and especially frontline employees, in ensuring creativity and organizational innovation is of particular importance in service firms (Sparrowe, 1994) and especially in the tourism and hospitality field (Agarwal et al., 2003). As boundary workers, who are responsible for service delivery, they occupy a privileged position to collect first-hand market information and ensure customer satisfaction (Bitner, Booms, and Tetreault 1990). However, despite the importance of creative behaviour among frontline service employees and despite the fact that the service sector has become an extremely large part of the modern economy (Tajedinni, 2010), empirical research related to services has yet to identify its determinants (Hollenstein, 2000). This gap is significant because different tasks may require different skills, motivations, and cognitive strategies (Mumford, 2003). More specifically, little knowledge exists regarding the effect of leadership behaviours and job characteristics on the creativity of frontline service employees of companies that provide services to the consumer, such as hotels and leisure facilities.

Nowadays, new technologies (and specifically, the social media) have empowered customers to actively participate (Fuller et al., 2008; Kohler et al, 2009; Sigala, 2012) in service innovation. Research has shown how firms can exploit online social networks and the user-generated content for generating new service ideas and supporting the new service development process (Sigala, 2012; Sigala, in press; Erat et al. 2006; Pitta and Fowler, 2005). However, little is still known on how to manage and exploit online customer engagement for increasing a firm’s creativity and service innovation performance (Andreassen and Streukens, 2009). Moreover, research has not yet examined the role and the impact of new technologies on creative capabilities of firms and employees, which in turn can boost their innovation performance (Chalkiti and Sigala, 2008; Sigala and Chalkiti, 2012).

The objectives of the special issue are to publish findings and exchange knowledge on the current challenges on how to facilitate and boost creativity and innovation in the service sector given the current technological applications and other challenges. Thus, theoretical, empirical, experimental and case studies research contributions are welcome, but all contributions should clearly address the practical and theoretical implications of the research reported.


Topics of papers may include (but are not limited to):

  • Creativity and innovation in the hospitality and tourism sector
  • The role of leadership and job design on employee creativity in the service sector
  • Human Resource Management practices and enhancement of employee creativity
  • Perceptions of organizational justice and fairness and employee creativity
  • Individual characteristics and employee creativity
  • Employee diversity, immigration, creativity and innovation in services
  • New technologies, creativity and innovation in services
  • New technologies, knowledge transfer, innovation and creativity in services
  • Knowledge management, innovation and creativity in services
  • Social media, web 2.0, creativity and service innovation
  • Customer co-creation, creativity and innovation in services

Guidelines for Authors

All submissions must adhere to the format and style guidelines of the Service Industries Journal. A guide for authors, sample copies and other relevant information for submitting papers are available at:

All papers will be blind reviewed by at least two anonymous referees. A three stage review process is planned, to allow for the consideration, where appropriate, of revised papers.

Papers should be submitted online at

Please indicate that your paper submission is for the special issue on "Creativity and Innovation" when you submit your paper on the online platform.

The editors of this special issue are happy to answer any questions or discuss initial ideas for papers, and they can be contacted directly by e-mail.

Important Dates

  • Date for submission for manuscript: 30 November 2012
  • Date of publication of the Special Issue: 2013


Agarwal, S., Erramilli, M.K., & Dev, C.S. (2003). Market orientation and performance in service firms: Role of innovation. The Journal of Services Marketing, 17, 1, 68-82.

Amabile, T.M. (1996). Creativity in context: Update to the social psychology of creativity. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Andreassen, T. and Streukens, S. (2009), "Service innovation and electronic word-of-mouth: is it worth listening?", Managing Service Quality, Vol. 19, No. 3, pp. 249 – 265

Bitner, M.J., Booms, B.H., & Tetreault, M.S. (1990). The service encounter: Diagnosing favourable and unfavourable incidents. Journal of Marketing, 54, 1, 71-84.

Chalkiti, K. & Sigala, M. (2008). Information Sharing and Knowledge Creation in online forums: the case of the Greek online forum “DIALOGOI”. Current Issues in Tourism, Vol. 11, no. 5, pp. 381 – 406

Erat, P., Desouza, K., Schafer-Jugel and Kurzawa, M. (2006), "Business customer communities and knowledge sharing: studying the critical issues", European Journal of IS, Vol. 15, pp. 511-524

Fuller, J., Matzler, K. and Hoppe, M. (2008), "Brand Community Members as a Source of Innovation", Journal of Product Innovation Management, Vol. 25, No 6, pp. 608 – 623

Hollenstein, H. (2000). Innovation models in the Swiss service sector. 3rd Workshop of the “Focus Group on Innovative Firms and Networks” OECD Rome: Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich: OECD Project on “National Innovation Systems”.

Kohler, T., Matzler, K. and Fuller, J. (2009), "Avatar-based innovation: using virtual worlds for real-world innovation", Technovation, Vol. 29, pp. 345 – 407

Mumford, M.D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15, 107-120.

Pitta, D. A. and Fowler, D. (2005), "Online consumer communities and their value to new product developers", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 14, No. 5, pp. 283 – 291

Shalley, C.E., Zhou, J., & Oldham, G.R. (2004). The effects of personal and contextual characteristics on creativity: Where should we go from here? Journal of Management, 6, 933-958.

Sigala, M. & Chalkiti, K. (2012). Knowledge management and web 2.0: preliminary findings from the Greek tourism industry. In Sigala, M., Christou, E. & Gretzel, U. (Eds.) Web 2.0 in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality: theory, practice and cases. Ashgate Publishers

Sigala, M. (2012). Web 2.0 and customer involvement in New Service Development: a framework, cases and implications in tourism. In Sigala, M., Christou, E. & Gretzel, U. (Eds.) Web 2.0 in Travel, Tourism and Hospitality: theory, practice and cases. Ashgate Publishers

Sigala, M. (in press). Social networks and customer involvement in New Service Development (NSD): the case of International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

Sparrowe, R.T. (1994). Empowerment in the hospitality industry: An exploration of antecedents and outcomes. Hospitality Research Journal, 17, 51-73.

Tajedinni, K. (2010). Effect of customer orientation and entrepreneurial orientation on innovativeness: Evidence from the hotel industry in Switzerland. Tourism Management, 31, 221-231.

Tierney, P., Farmer, S.M. & Green, G.B. (1999). An examination of leadership and employee creativity: The relevance of traits and relationships. Personnel Psychology, 52, 591-620.

Zhang, X. & Bartol, K.M. (2010). Linking empowering leadership and employee creativity: The influence of psychological empowerment, intrinsic motivation and creative process engagement. Academy of Management Journal, 53, 1, 107-128.

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