Learning about service orientation in KIBS: understanding the customer as an active actor

Katri Kallio, Inka Lappalainen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


    Cocreation of value is a core phenomenon in service systems. It implies that provider companies should change their focus from goods to service and to interaction with customers. Moreover, it means that the customers' role becomes increasingly important in a business activity. This kind of renewal is a learning challenge, as it includes a profound change in the providers' orientation and concrete practices to enhance customer understanding and foster collaboration. This article aims to deepen our knowledge about the complex social reality in which interaction, collaboration, and change processes take place by connecting the service-dominant logic and learning literature. Concrete ways of collaboration and activity changes are examined empirically in a case study. This case study illustrates how and what an information technology company learned when it, together with its customer and end users, developed its offering for service orientation. The results indicate that a genuine change in orientation requires both collaborative experimenting and conceptual learning; i.e., practical experience and its broader reflection go hand in hand. From a theoretical viewpoint, the study provides new insights into the interfaces of service-dominant logic and learning theories in the examination of collaborative service development and service innovation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-91
    JournalService Science
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • service-dominant logic
    • expansive learning
    • collaboration
    • experimenting
    • service innovation
    • knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS)


    Dive into the research topics of 'Learning about service orientation in KIBS: understanding the customer as an active actor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this