New service development: a stakeholder perspective

Smith, Anne M. and Fischbacher, Moira (2005). New service development: a stakeholder perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 39(9/10) pp. 1025–1048.




Purpose – To increase understanding of both the process of new service development (NSD) and the nature of services as delivered to customers.
Design/methodology/approach – Four qualitative, exploratory case studies encompassing public (health) and private (financial) sector service organisations.
Findings – Managers select stakeholder groups for involvement in NSD attributing stakeholder salience, centrality to the process and power to influence the final service design. Customers are “dormant” stakeholders, thought to lack the knowledge/experience to contribute meaningfully to NSD. Their interests and needs are channelled through other stakeholders.
Research limitations/implications – The research is confined to two service industries based on a key informant approach; thus generalisability to other industries may be limited.
Practical implications – Multiple stakeholder involvement places a growing emphasis on the need for NSD managers to be skilled in managing complex, multi-layered and multi-faceted processes, often without legitimate power. This is likely to be a particular challenge for the public sector.
Originality/value – This paper examines the relatively underdeveloped area of NSD and from an unusual perspective, i.e. that of services as outcomes of an amalgam of stakeholder interactions and relationships. Furthermore, it represents one of only a few in-depth studies of NSD within a health service context.

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