A1 Journal article – refereed

Accessing resources for service innovation - the critical role of network relationships

List of Authors: Helena Rusanen, Aino Halinen, Elina Jaakkola

Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Place: Bingley

Publication year: 2014

Journal: Journal of Service Management

Journal acronym: JOSM

Volume number: 25

Issue number: 1

Number of pages: 28

ISSN: 1757-5818

eISSN: 1757-5818

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JOSM-10-2012-0219

URL: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1757-5818&volume=25&issue=1&articleid=17104546&show=abstract


Purpose – This paper aims to explore how companies access resources through network relationships when developing service innovations. The paper identifies the types of resource that companies seek from other actors and examines the nature of relationships and resource access strategies that can be applied to access each type of resource.

Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal, multi-case study is conducted in the field of technical business-to-business (b-to-b) services. An abductive research strategy is applied to create a new theoretical understanding of resource access.

Findings – Companies seek a range of resources through different types of network relationships for service innovation. Four types of resource access strategies were identified: absorption, acquisition, sharing, and co-creation. The findings show how easily transferable resources can be accessed through weak relationships and low-intensity collaboration. Access to resources that are difficult to transfer, instead, necessitates strong relationships and high-intensity collaboration.

Research limitations/implications – The findings are valid for technical b-to-b services, but should also be tested for other kinds of innovations. Future research should also study how actors integrate the resources gained through networks in the innovation process.

Practical implications – Managers should note that key resources for service innovation may be accessible through a variety of actors and relationships ranging from formal arrangements to miscellaneous social contacts. To make use of tacit resources such as knowledge, firms need to engage in intensive collaboration.

Originality/value – Despite attention paid to network relationships, innovation collaboration, and external resources, previous research has neither linked these issues nor studied their mutual contingencies. This paper provides a theoretical model that characterizes the service innovation resources accessible through different types of relationships and access strategies.

Last updated on 2021-24-06 at 11:07