guest article from Tor W. Andreassen and Per Egil Pedersen
Norway has a strong history in Government-supported research on service innovation. In the late nineties, Norwegian researchers were active in the RESER network (Sjøholt, 1993) and in establishing the SI4S project (Hauknes, 1998). In 1996, the Research Council of Norway (RCN) established a specialized research program “Service innovation in Networks”. Unfortunately, much of the communities developed then, dissolved during a period of “neutral innovation policy”. It was not until the next wave of service innovation research hit us from Europe (EC, 2009) and the US (Maglio et al., 2006) that Norway revitalized this research and in 2009 issued a call for establishing a national center for research driven innovation in service.
As a response to the call, researchers at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) asked 64 Norwegian business development managers and experts what service innovation challenges they faced (Pedersen and Nysveen, 2010) and in 2010, RCN awarded NHH, an eight-year funding for establishing Center for Service Innovation (CSI) to address these challenges. Our initial research areas were:
- Innovations in the customer and brand experience
- Open and co-creating innovation processes
- Business model innovations
- Infrastructure and structural innovations.
During 3 quarter 2014 and 1 quarter 2015 we have updated the research agenda for the next four years and it now includes the following four topics:
- Innovation in business models
- Innovation leadership and organizational change
- Service design and customer experience
- Service Innovation Economics
The aim of our work at the center is to increase the quality, efficiency and commercial success of CSI-business partners’ service innovation projects and enhance researchers’ and policy makers’ understanding of service innovation beyond state of the art. Being innovative, we organized CSI as a virtual research center involving 14 business partners including 5 of the largest service firms in Norway, 3 national and 2 international research partners. This configuration has allowed us to connect with various partners who could contribute in various ways to fulfilling the vision. For example, lessons learned from CSI made three of the business partners invest 5 mill € in a separate program to ensure an efficient, effective and seamless delivery of customer experiences across a service brand’s manual and digital touch-points titled Customer Care 2015.
To maintain an international focus and high ambitions, our international advisory board includes highly respected researchers; Roland T. Rust, Maryland, Jim Spohrer, IBM, Tim Keiningham, Ipsos Loyalty, Janet McKoll-Kennedy, Queensland, and Irene Ng, Warwick. While the organization and partnership between academia and business is demanding, it secures flexibility, rigor, and relevance in our research. CSI’s publication list reflects this.
We are open for new views on our research and for this reason are open for hosting PhDs, postdocs, and visiting professor for shorter or long stays.
P.S.: Please be aware that we are hiring for a postdoc position. More on Postdoc in service innovation – NHH.
Professor Tor W. Andreassen
Professor Per Egil Pedersen
CSI founder and first director
EC (2009). Challenges for EU support to innovation in services – Fostering new markets and jobs through innovation. Commission Staff Working Document SEC(2009)1195, Commission of the European Countries, Brussels, Belgium.
Hauknes, J. (1998). Services in innovation–Innovation in services (No. 199813). The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
Maglio, P. P., Srinivasan, S., Kreulen, J. T., & Spohrer, J. (2006). Service systems, service scientists, SSME, and innovation. Communications of the ACM, 49(7), 81-85.
Pedersen P.E. and Nysveen H. (2010). Service innovation challenges at the policy, industry, and firm level: A qualitative enquiry into the service innovation system. SNF Working paper No. 10/10. Samfunns og næringslivsforskning, Bergen.
Sjøholt, P. (1993). The dynamics of services as an agent of regional change and development: the case of Scandinavia. Service Industries Journal, 13(2), 36-50.