The evolution of service innovation research: A critical review and synthesis

Per Carlborg, Daniel Kindström, Christian Kowalkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

271 Citations (Scopus)


The number of service innovation articles has increased dramatically in the past 25 years. By reviewing 128 articles published between 1986 and 2010, primarily in leading marketing and innovation journals, this study analyzes the progression of service innovation research according to topicality and perspective. The authors summarize prior research by clustering it into three evolutional phases and drawing parallels with the evolution of the wider services marketing field. Overall, the view of service innovation has evolved, from a complement of traditional product innovation to a multidimensional, all-encompassing notion that entails several functions, both within and outside the firm.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalThe Service Industries Journal
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)373-398
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2014
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2013

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