This paper describes a number of innovation forms that are of special relevance to firms in the service industry. Not only technological innovations but also organizational innovations have been distinguished. In the service industry organizational innovations seem to play a significant role. The literature on innovations makes little mention of new organizational arrangements in services. Based on the service management literature a scheme with three forms of organizational innovation and one form of technological innovation is developed. This scheme is illustrated and elaborated in ten case studies of firms in various service industries. The case studies shed some light on innovations in multi-unit forms, combinations of services and co-operation with customers. On a basis of the service management literature and the case studies some of the main processes supporting the (organizational) innovations are analysed.

client as co-producer, multi-unit organization, supporting processes, technological innovations
Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General (jel L20), Organization of Production (jel L23), Industry Studies: Services: General (jel L80), Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives (jel O31)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
Copyright 2001, W. van der Aa, T. Elfring, This report in the ERIM Report Series Research in Management is intended as a means to communicate the results of recent research to academic colleagues and other interested parties. All reports are considered as preliminary and subject to possibly major revisions. This applies equally to opinions expressed, theories developed, and data used. Therefore, comments and suggestions are welcome and should be directed to the authors.
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

van der Aa, W, & Elfring, T. (2001). Realizing Innovations in Service Firms: new organizational forms and supporting processes (No. ERS-2001-79-STR). ERIM Report Series Research in Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from