Users as service innovators: Evidence from banking to healthcare

Research output: Other contribution


Services are thought of as something that involves a provider and a consumer. This is true for many situations in our daily life. For example, a taxi can provide a transportation service for a passenger. But it is also true that a passenger can drive himself/herself, i.e., self-provide a similar transportation service. Likewise, health-care professionals can provide health-care services to patients, but it is also true that a patient can help himself/herself having healthy habits, overcoming disabilities, i.e., self-providing services. This possibility is understood in the literature on services.

Since users can ‘serve themselves’ in many cases, it seems reasonable to consider that users can innovate with respect to the services they deliver to themselves. Despite this likely possibility and despite the economic importance of services, most research on sources of innovation has explored service development as a process assumed to be carried out by service providers.

This paper illustrates the relevance of the pioneering work on user innovation by von Hippel (e.g. von Hippel 1986, 1988, 1994, 2005) to the service innovation literature, by studying the sources of relevant service innovations across different fields, namely in health-care and financial services.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages32
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Oct 2014


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