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Organizing for Service Innovation: Best-Practice or Configurations?

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  • Joe Tidd

    ()
    (SPRU, University of Sussex)

  • Frank Hull

    (Graduate Business School, Fordham University)

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    Abstract

    In this paper we contrast the notions of best-practice and configurations contingent on environmental conditions. The analysis draws upon our study of 38 UK and 70 US service firms which includes an assessment of the organization, processes, tools and systems used, and how these factors influence variation in the development and delivery of new services. The best-practice framework is found to be predictive of performance improvement in samples in both the UK and USA, but the model better fits the USA than UK data. We analyze the UK data to identify alternative configurations. Four system configurations are identified: project-based; mass customization; cellular; and organic-technical. Each has a different combination of organization, processes, tools and systems which offer different performance advantages. The results provide an opportunity for updating the typologies of operations and adapting them to include services, and begin to challenge the notion of any universal 'best practice' management or organization of new product or service development.

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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/Units/spru/publications/imprint/sewps/sewp77/sewp77.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex in its series SPRU Working Paper Series with number 77.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Jan 2002
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:77

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    Related research

    Keywords: service industry; performance improvement; best-practice; alternative system configurations;

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    References

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    1. Richard L. Daft & Robert H. Lengel, 1986. "Organizational Information Requirements, Media Richness and Structural Design," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(5), pages 554-571, May.
    2. Davies, Andrew & Brady, Tim, 2000. "Organisational capabilities and learning in complex product systems: towards repeatable solutions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 931-953, August.
    3. Hobday, Mike & Rush, Howard & Tidd, Joe, 2000. "Innovation in complex products and system," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(7-8), pages 793-804, August.
    4. Robert D. Dewar & Jane E. Dutton, 1986. "The Adoption of Radical and Incremental Innovations: An Empirical Analysis," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(11), pages 1422-1433, November.
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    Cited by:
    1. Sluismans,Raf, 2003. "Looking for synergy in organizations: The role of the concept of configuration in contemporary theory," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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