From a Service-Dominant Logic (S-DL) perspective, employees constitute operant resources that firms can draw to enhance the outcomes of innovation efforts. While research acknowledges that frontline employees (FLEs) constitute, through service encounters, a key interface for the transfer of valuable external knowledge into the firm, the range of potential benefits derived from FLE-driven innovation deserves more investigation. Using a sample of knowledge intensive business services firms (KIBS), this study examines how the collaboration with FLEs along the new service development (NSD) process, namely FLE co-creation, impacts on service innovation performance following two routes of different effects. Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) results indicate that FLE co-creation benefits the NS success among FLEs and firm’s customers, the constituents of the resources route. FLE co-creation also has a positive effect on the NSD speed, which in turn enhances the NS quality. NSD speed and NS quality integrate the operational route, which proves to be the most effective path to impact the NS market performance. Accordingly, KIBS managers must value their FLEs as essential partners to achieve successful innovation from an internal and external perspective, and develop the appropriate mechanisms to guarantee their effective involvement along the NSD process.
Bibliographical noteCreative Commons License CC-BY.
Funding: Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness 2012 Call for R&D Projects (Project reference number: ECO2012-31300).
- frontline employees
- knowledge intensive business services
- new service co-creation
- new service development speed
- new service performance
- new service quality