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School of Business | Department of Marketing | Marketing | 2016
Thesis number: 14410
Co-producing digital service innovations
Author: Kalme, Anna
Title: Co-producing digital service innovations
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Marketing
Academic subject: Marketing
Index terms: markkinointi; marketing; palvelut; service; tuotanto; production; digitaalitekniikka; digital technology; innovaatiot; innovations; tietotyƶ; knowledge work
Pages: 90
Key terms: Service innovation, Digital transformation, Knowledge-intensive business services
This research explores how service innovations are created in collaboration between a design agency and their client. The focus is on answering the research question: What are perceived as the key enablers and inhibitors for co-producing digital service innovations in a design agency-client relationship? The theoretical area this thesis examines is in the crossing of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) and service innovations, studied in a context characterized by the market development called digital transformation.

The qualitative research design is based on an original conceptual framework, derived from prior studies in the field of KIBS and co-creating service innovations. The need for the framework was established while reviewing prior studies, where varying theoretical groundings where employed, and where no existing framework was sufficient for studying the research question this thesis poses. The conceptual framework considers two specific areas of interest recognized from prior research as relevant for studying the enablers and inhibitors of digital service innovations: 1) the roles and resources of the design agency and the client, and 2) the collaborative innovation process.

The empirical study analyses two cases where a design agency and their client collaborated to create an innovative digital service. One of the cases was successful, whereas the other failed to meet its goals. Team members from both agency- and client- side were interviewed to discover the factors affecting the first project's success and the latter one's lack thereof. The findings present a comprehensive list of enablers, including a good fit between the problem the client wanted to solve and the process model the agency employed, tight collaboration and transparency between the actors, as well as the agency's ability to challenge the client based on their experience and objectivity. The findings also present a list of inhibitors based on the second project's challenges, including lack of honest feedback, physical distance, and other simultaneous projects within a tight timeframe. The concluding chapter presents an elaborated framework where the original conceptual framework is enriched with the new empirical findings.
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.