Customer-driven innovation within U.S. business services and its impact on firm performance
This thesis examines the innovative performance of 206 U.S. business service firms. Undeniably, a need exists for better comprehension of the service sector of developed economies. This research takes a unique view by applying a synthesis approach to studying innovation and attempts to build under a proposed strategic innovation paradigm. A quantitative method is utilised via questionnaire in which all major types of innovation are under examination including: product and service, organisational, and technology-driven innovations. Essential ideas for this conceptual framework encapsulate a new mode of understanding service innovation. Basically, the structure of this analysis encompasses the likelihood of innovation and determining the extent of innovation, while also attempting to shed light on the factors which determine the impact of innovation on performance among service firms. What differentiates this research is its focus on customer-driven service firms in addition to other external linkages. A synopsis of the findings suggest that external linkages, particularly with customers, suppliers and strategic alliances or joint ventures, significantly affect innovation performance with regard to the introduction of new services. Service firms which incorporate formal and informal R&D experience significant increases in the extent of new-to-market and new-to-firm innovations. Additionally, the results show that customer-driven service firms experience greater productivity and growth. Furthermore, the findings suggest that external linkages assist service firm performance.