Revisit: Innovation in Services


Contemporary Issues and Critical Challenges, Special issue of Journal of Product Innovation Management; Deadline 31 Mar 2017


Special Issue of Journal of Product Innovation Management:

“Contemporary Issues and Critical Challenges on Innovation in Services”

Guest Editors

Aron O’Cass, The University of Tasmania
Martin Wetzels, Maastricht University

Motivation and Overview

In a recent article, Ostrom et al. (2015) identify ‘stimulating service innovation’ as the first of 12 service research priorities, commenting it is a strategic priority. The importance of service innovation is also evidenced by the fact that recently, the International Society of Service Innovation Professionals (See for more about ISSIP), was formed, with the goal of promoting education; professional development; and practice, research, and policy centered on service innovation. The complexity, scale, and rapidly changing nature of the service sector, coupled with a burgeoning global service research community, suggests a substantial opportunity and need to engage in the ongoing debate about service innovation and continue to identify and signal important service innovation topics worthy of research.

The rapidly evolving context of services presents a major challenge for innovation theory and practice as it becomes increasingly complex. In this area, critical factors have been noted and led to important directions for future research in service innovation becoming a constant refrain in the concluding sections of published research in top tier journals. One area being noted, and receiving a growing consensus is that competing in services relies on innovation, design, and creativity. A growing body of research demonstrates that service innovation, the development of new or enhanced services intended to benefit customers, solve customer problems is a major trigger of economic performance at both the organizational (Dotzel, Shankar, and Berry, 2013) and national levels (Gallouj, 2002). However, paradoxically, engaging in service innovation does not guarantee success. Service innovation is just as prone to failure as product innovation. According to many (e.g., Page and Schirr, 2008; Storey and Hughes, 2013), the market success of new services is comparable with that of new products. Interestingly, despite the growth in service innovation research in the last decade or so (Randhawa, Wilden and Hohberger, 2016), the jury is still out as to whether service firms are getting any better at innovation (Storey and Hughes, 2013; Storey et al 2015).

Increasingly service innovation has risen to prominence because of the growing role and significance of services in the economies of most countries. The global output of the service industry is around 40 trillion USD (accounting for around 2/3 rds of the world output), providing employment for 1.4 billion people, which is slightly less than half of the world employment (Global Services Forum 2013). Further, over the past thirty years there has been substantial development and growth in areas such as industrial and professional services. For example, the professional service sector has developed into one of the strongest growing and most profitable sectors of the global economy (Empson et al., 2015). In 2013, the professional service sector generated revenue of US $2.5 trillion and employed around 18 million people (IBISWorld, 2014). Beyond the important contribution of Service Firms to wealth generation and employment, services are worth studying because of the insights they may generate for organizations who are attempting to accommodate themselves more in knowledge-based forms of business.

Specific Focus of the Special Issue

We expect that this special issue will result in seminal contributions to our understanding of service innovation management. Potential research topics for this special issue include the following. These topics are only intended to be thought provokers, and other areas and perspectives are encouraged.

– Challenges of Innovating in Services

  • Innovating within complex service systems and value creation networks.
  • Identifying drivers of sustained service innovation.
  • Managing collaboration throughout the service innovation process and service supply chain.
  • Innovating in services through crowdsourcing and open innovation.
  • Understanding the roles and interrelationships in service-product and service-process innovation.
  • The role of branding in fostering service innovation.
  • The role of innovation in service supporting the suppliers’ product versus service supporting the clients actions.
  • The role of customization in service design and delivery in service innovation.
  • The bright and dark sides of service innovation.

– Service Innovation Questions

  • What are the key characteristics of an ecosystem of service innovation in data-rich environments?
  • How to evolve from goods-based companies to solution companies using big data to foster service innovation?
  • How to foster service innovation via organizational leadership? Are there bright and dark side issues of leadership in service innovation?
  • Can big data improve the chances of service innovation success?

– Collaboration and open Innovation Questions

  • What is the role of internal and external collaboration in driving service innovation collaborations?
  • How do firms foster innovation in service supply chains?
  • Is Open Innovation beneficial to service innovation?
  • Is “crowdsourcing” still too narrowly-bounded to yield advantages for service innovations?
  • What is the effect of crowdsourcing on innovation management of NSD?
  • What are the dark and bight sides of collaborative service innovation?

Review Process and Timeline

  • Call for papers announcement: May 30, 2016
  • Submission due date: March 31, 2017
  • First round decisions: July 1, 2017
  • Revision due date: December 1, 2017
  • Second round decisions: March 1, 2018
  • Final editorial decision April 15, 2018

Submission Process

Submissions to the special issue should be sent electronically through the JPIM ScholarOne system


Authors need to clearly indicate in their submission information and letter that their manuscript is for the Special Issue on “Contemporary Issues and Critical Challenges on Innovation in Services.” All submissions will be subject to a double blind review process followed by JPIM. All manuscripts must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. All submissions should conform to the JPIM manuscript submission guidelines available at: Questions about this special issue may be directed to either of the guest editors at: or

Guest Editor Bios

Professor Aron O’Cass has produced over 230 publications including 120 journal articles. He has guest edited special issues in the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Business Research, and European Business Review. Has been a chief investigator of grants valued at over $5,000,000. Aron currently serves on the editorial boards of 9 International journals. His work appears in journals such as Journal of Product Innovation Management, British Journal of Management, Industrial Marketing Management, European Journal of Marketing and many others. He has guest edited special issues for the European Journal of Marketing, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Services Marketing and European Business Review. He has also chaired the Australia New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference in 2000. In 2012, he served as a Member of Excellence in Research Australia (ERA), Research Evaluation Committee (2012- Economics & Commerce). Overall, his published works have received over 9000 citations as measured across Scopus, Web of Science and Google scholar. He has an H-index of 45 and G-index of 85 which put him in the top band of research productive marketing scholars globally.

Aron has knowledge and expertise in bringing together theoretical perspectives of strategy, firm resources and capabilities, and their effect on branding, value creation and firm performance in the context of goods and services. Aron’s expertise converges on both the firm side and customer side with regard to theory and practice. In this sense, he has knowledge and expertise on firm managementemployee-customer triadic research. He has conducted research in a wide range of industry (new ventures, SME, large firms manufacturing, services, politics) and country contexts especially in BOP and emerging economies such as India, Cambodia, Indonesia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Iran, Taiwan, and other countries).

Professor Martin Wetzels is Chair in Marketing and Supply Chain Research at the School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. His main research interests are services marketing, marketing research, B2B marketing, marketing channels and digital marketing. His work has resulted in more than 80 articles in international journals, such as, MIS Quarterly, Journal of Marketing, Management Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Service Research, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of Business Research and International Journal of Research in Marketing. He has contributed more than 120 papers to conference proceedings. His work has received more than 10000 citations resulting in an hindex of 44 and a g-index of 102. He actively serves as a reviewer for numerous leading international journals and he chaired a number of international conferences, such as IPSERA and SERVSIG.


Dotzel, T, Shankar, V and Berry, L. 2013. Service innovativeness and firm value. Journal of Marketing Research 50 (2): 259–76.

Gallouj, F. 2002. Innovation in the service economy: The new wealth of nations. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Global Services Forum (2013)

Empson, L, Muzio, D, Broschak, J and Hinings, B. 2015. The Oxford Handbook of Professional Service Firms. Edited by Oxford University Press, Oxford.

IBISWorld, 2014.

Ostrom, A, Parasuraman, A, Bowen, D, Patricio, L and Voss, C. 2015. Service Research Priorities in a Rapidly Changing Context, Journal of Service Research,18 (2), 127-159.

Page, A. L., and G. R. Schirr. 2008. Growth and development of a body of knowledge: 16 years of new product development research, 1989– 2004. Journal of Product Innovation Management 25 (3): 233–48.

Randhawa, K, Wilden, R and Hohberger, J. 2016. A Bibliometric Review of Open Innovation: Setting a Research Agenda, Journal of Product Innovation Management, DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12312.

Storey, C., and M. Hughes. 2013. The relative impact of culture, strategic orientation and capability on new service development performance. European Journal of Marketing 47 (5/6): 833–56.

Storey, C, Cankurtaran, P, Papastathopoulou, P and Hultink, E. 2015. Success Factors for Service Innovation: A Meta-Analysis, Journal of Product Innovation Management, DOI: 10.1111/jpim.12307