Frontline employees' collaboration in industrial service innovation: routes of co-creation's effects on new service performance

María Leticia Santos-Vijande*, John Rudd, José Ángel López-Sánchez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-375
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number3
Early online date24 May 2015
Publication statusPublished - May 2016

Bibliographical note

Creative 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


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