A bricolage perspective on service innovation

Lars Witell, Heiko Gebauer, Elina Jaakkola, Wafa Hammedi, Lia Patricio, Helen Perks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Service innovation is often viewed as a process of accessing the necessary resources, (re)combining them, and converting them into new services. The current knowledge on success factors for service innovation, such as formalized new service development (NSD) processes, predominantly comes from studying large firms with a relatively stable resource base. However, this neglect situations in which organizations face severe resource constraints. This paper argues that under such constraints, a formalized new service development process could be counter-productive and a bricolage perspective might better explain service innovation in resource-constrained environments. In this conceptual paper, we propose that four critical bricolage capabilities (addressing resource scarcity actively, making do with what is available, improvising when recombining resources, and networking with external partners) influence service innovation outcomes. Empirical illustrations from five organizations substantiate our conceptual development. Our discussion leads to a framework and four testable propositions that can guide further service research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-298
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • Bricolage
  • Capabilities
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Resource-constrained environments
  • Service innovation
  • Social innovation


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