Summary New Service Development: How the Field Developed, Its Current Status and Recommendations for Moving the Field Forward

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Summary - New Service Development: How the Field Developed, Its Current Status and Recommendations for Moving the Field Forward

  • 1 Practioner Points

  • What are the practitioner points of this article?
    • Compared with the new product development literature, the new service development literature is rather fragmented and does not provide managers with a set of generally accepted tools and guidelines for success.
    • New service development differs from new product development because of the inherent characteristics of services, but it is unclear how these characteristics impact service innovation management.
    • There are many different types of services, but it is not clear how the service context impacts the new service development process. 
  • 2 Introduction

  • New service development (NSD) is a growing innovation discipline. Despite the growth of articles about NSD, several authors have criticized the lack of attention paid to NSD, compared with new product development (NPD), and the lack of consensus across NSD findings. At the same time, others have proclaimed that NSD is a sophisticated, mature field of research.
  • Innovation is the driving force behind superior business performance, with innovative firms reaping the benefits of increasing growth and customer satisfaction and customers enjoying the higher value of new products and services.
  • The innovation literature is strongly biased towards products. The field of New Service Development (NSD) is rather fragmented and has not moved forward substantively. There is however an increasing focus among academics on intangibles and customer cocreation in which it is emphasized that customers do not purchase products but hire products and services to get a job done.  
  • The world’s most advanced economies are dominated by services, which often generate more than 70% of their gross domestic product.
  • Even goods manufacturers have come to realize that they may better differentiate themselves from competitors by adding services to their core products, transitioning from product manufacturers to service or solution providers.
  • How is NSD defined?
    As the process of devising a new or improved service from idea or concept generation to market launch.
  • Disagreement exists about the current state of NSD research. Therefore, the authors conducted a critical in-depth assessment of the field that addresses the question: How has the NSD domain evolved over time and what is its current status?
  • 3 Charting the Current Body of NSD Research

  • There is a clear difference between the first 15 years of NSD research, when only a few empirical studies were published each year, and the last 10 years, when the number of published empirical studies increases dramatically.
  • 230 empirical articles on NSD were analyzed on different aspects. These aspects are: journals publishing NSD research, NSD topics investigated, authors publishing NSD research, research networks and high-impact articles.
  • 3.1 Journals Publishing NSD Research

  • The 230 empirical NSD studies were published in 50 journals. 
  • The leading journals publishing empirical NSD studies are two general services journals plus the leading journal in innovation management (JPIM). Other innovation management journals lag in publishing on NSD.
  • The number of articles published in JPIM as a percentage of the total number of articles for the era has been declining steadily.
  • JM has published a somewhat larger number of articles about services, but from 2010–2015 it still published fewer than three services articles per year. Many of these articles are conceptual. The ones that do present empirical data also tend to focus on specific aspects of service encounters, such as the role of frontline employees, customer participation, value creation, and customer satisfaction.  
  • The largest number of citations are collected by the 23 articles published in JPIM. Its average of 166.9 citations per article is the highest of all of the journals, and more than twice that of any of the services journals. 
  • 3.2 NSD Topics Investigated

  • Just over 20% of the articles cover NSD strategy, a topic that has become more popular in recent years: in 20092012, 30% of the articles investigate strategic issues. Almost 20% of the articles are about customer and market research, typically investigating information quality and how service companies collect customer information to design new services.
  • Another topic garnering increasing attention is codevelopment and alliances, which includes several studies about how firms collaborate with customers in developing new services.
  • However, services are highly contextual and several authors emphasize the need for more insight into how contextual factors influence the development and delivery of new services.
  • When the NSD topics are linked with the type of journals—distinguishing among service, innovation, marketing, management, and domain-specific journals—it is noteworthy that in all journal types about half of the articles are about process and execution.
  • Articles about people, teams, and culture are logically more prevalent in management journals than in service journals.
  • Finally, the topic of codevelopment and alliances is relatively popular in service journals, but much less so in innovation journals.
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