The metaphor of the tanker and the speedboat has become almost apocryphal in management circles: large incumbent organisations are seen as too large and unwieldly to generate innovation, so they instead send out (and equip) speedboats, with the intention that they innovate and explore, and bring new ideas back to the tanker. However, this approach is very top-down and directed, and fails to harness one of the most powerful theorised qualities of digital artefacts, namely their ability to be generative, or be repurposed beyond the scale and scope originally intended (Zittrain, 2006).However, innovation in organisations large and small is also known to happen seemingly accidentally (Austin, Devin, & Sullivan, 2011; Shah & Tripsas, 2007). In an age of digital innovation characterised by as involving malleable and open-ended digital technologies (Kallinikos, Aaltonen, & Marton, 2013; Yoo, Henfridsson, & Lyytinen, 2010), and often leading to unanticipated, generative, outcomes, it is striking that we have such poor understanding of how micro-level digital technology diffusion leads to service innovation, whether in an incumbent organisation or otherwise.This paper adds to our understanding of service innovation in incumbent organisations, and structural changes to the organisation in particular, by developing a model of how micro-shifts accumulate to guide service innovation trajectories. Our study of GlobalBank focuses on how the introduction of a new mobile application, itself a small-scale innovation, eventually redefined frontline customer service in the bank’s branch network.
|Publication date||26 Oct 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 26 Oct 2020|
|Event||Strategic Management Society Conference 2020 - Online conference (COVID-19), London, United Kingdom|
Duration: 19 Oct 2020 → 27 Oct 2020
|Conference||Strategic Management Society Conference 2020|
|Location||Online conference (COVID-19)|
|Period||19/10/2020 → 27/10/2020|