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JITTA Editor Tuure Tuunanen: Digital Innovation and Challenges for Service Research

Tuesday, December 18, 2012  

In the latest issue of JITTA, two articles were published that address contemporary issues in digital innovation and service research. Hylving, Henfridsson, and Selander (2012) study the role of the dominant design in digital innovation. According to the authors, digital technology offers new options for product-developing firms, but also challenges in understanding how the firms need to handle the tensions between these options and the institutionalized practices established over long periods of incremental innovation. The paper reports on an intensive case study of a global automaker’s efforts to innovate instrument clusters and explore the influencing role of established innovation practices. The paper contributes to the literature by developing a conceptual model for understanding how digital technology shapes, and is conditioned by, the dominant design of a product class. Furthermore, the paper extends our understanding of how firms are dealing with the contradictory logic of digitized products. 

The second article discusses the state of service science and the challenges the emerging discipline is currently facing. Alter (2012) argues that there are eight specific problematic areas within service science. The paper uses five medical services to question the current definitions of service and service system. The paper argues that service science should not privilege servitizing over productizing. Alter proposes a series of design dimensions whose endpoints are often associated with products or with services. Furthermore, the paper argues that the concept of the customer should be replaced with clearer identification of different groups and types of customers. Alter also points out that we should further specify how co-production and co-creation of value should be considered, as well as who the actual participants or stakeholders in a service system are. Finally, the paper identifies premises underlying an integrated view of service marketing, service operations, and service computing.

Hylving, L., O. Henfridsson, and L. Selander, "The role of dominant design in a product developing firm´s digital innovation,” Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA), 2012, 13:2, Article 2, pp. 5–21.

Alter, S., "Challenges for service science,” Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA), 2012, 13:2, Article 3, pp. 22–37.

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