Accelerating innovation with service dominant logic

Marja Toivonen, Peter Ylén

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter or book articleProfessional


    In recent decades, innovation has been considered a crucial factor in the fostering of business growth and societal welfare. This emphasis is linked to the increasing rate of change and the significance of knowledge in modern economies. At the beginning of the 'knowledge economy' discussion in the 1990s, strengthening the knowledge base was seen as a central task. Today, learning is the core aim: what matters is not so much the knowledge possessed by agents and organisations at a certain point in time as the capability of rapid learning. This focus brings new knowledge and innovation to the fore - the knowledge economy is fundamentally an innovation driven economy [1]. On the other hand, businesses, other organisations, and policymakers face many challenges when they implement the innovation-driven view. Slowness and lack of radical thoughts are among the most typical concerns. Several researchers have linked these problems to overly narrow, science based thoughts about the nature of innovation and suggested that a more efficient approach can be achieved when innovation is seen as intertwined and co-evolving with practical activities. 'Learning-by-doing', 'learning-by-using', and 'learning-by-interacting' have been highlighted as essential in the emergence of innovations [2]. This 'broad view of innovation' - meaning in many respects a return to the original theory of Schumpeter (1934) - has been influential among innovation scholars, but less among practitioners. One apparent bottleneck is the lack of such alternative innovation models as would provide a credible alternative to the process model in which innovations are pursued on the basis of in-house R&D activities. We propose that one approach for addressing these challenges is to analyse how service-dominant logic (SDL) contributes to the building of an alternative innovation model. We have selected this approach as our starting point for four reasons. First, it is applicable in all kinds of companies and other organisations, in both manufacturing and service sectors. Second, it summarises several approaches that have pursued a broader perspective outside the dyad of the producer and the customer. Third, it is in line with the broad view of innovation. Fourth, it fosters a radically new way of thinking about the principles of economic activity. From the standpoint of innovation, the core benefit of SDL is that it focuses on complex and dynamic systems of actors that relationally co-create value and, at the same time, jointly provide the context through which 'value' gains its collective and individual assessment [3].
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationHighlights in service research
    Place of PublicationEspoo
    PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland
    ISBN (Electronic)978-951-38-7969-3
    ISBN (Print)978-951-38-7968-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    MoE publication typeD2 Article in professional manuals or guides or professional information systems or text book material

    Publication series

    SeriesVTT Research Highlights


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