Identifying categories of service innovation: A review and synthesis of the literature

Hannah Snyder, Lars Witell*, Anders Gustafsson, Paul Fombelle, Per Kristensson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

271 Citations (Scopus)


Service innovation acts as society's engine of renewal and provides the necessary catalyst for the service sector's economic growth. Despite service innovation's importance, the concept remains fuzzy and poorly defined. Building on an extensive and systematic review of 1046 academic articles, this research investigates and explores how service innovation is defined and used in research. Results identify four unique service innovation categorizations emphasizing the following traits: (1) degree of change, (2) type of change, (3) newness, and (4) means of provision. The results show that most research focuses inward and views service innovation as something (only) new to the firm. Interestingly, service innovation categorizations appear to neglect both customer value and financial performance.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business Research
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)2401-2408
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.07.2016
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Incremental
  • Literature review
  • Radical
  • Service innovation
  • Value co-creation


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