The uneven role of users in service innovation performance

Luis Rubalcaba (Corresponding Author), Matthias Deschryvere

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This paper provides a conceptual and empirical framework for analyzing the role of users in innovation and performance at the firm level in the service sector. The theoretical model builds on the user innovation theory in services and proposes to distinguish between different modes and degrees of user participation that may perform differently. The empirical testing is based on a unique dataset from Finland. Results show that not all user engagement led to similar impacts: more active roles versus passive ones have a significant positive relationship with innovation output, but only specific combinations of user orientation and its intensity matter. Besides, no direct significant impacts from user orientation on productivity were found. As a managerial implication, service companies may approach users as co-innovation partners oriented to service quality and customer satisfaction rather than oriented to increase business efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)953-976
Number of pages24
JournalEconomics of Innovation and New Technology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Services
  • innovation
  • service innovation
  • productivity
  • user orientation
  • user innovation
  • open innovation


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