Using Employees’ Collective Intelligence for Service Innovation: Theory and Instruments

  • Niels FeldmannEmail author
  • Hansjörg Fromm
  • Gerhard Satzger
  • Ronny Schüritz
Part of the Service Science: Research and Innovations in the Service Economy book series (SSRI)


In this chapter, we reflect on the potential and instruments for involving employees in service innovation processes. Based on a discussion of value co-creation scenarios in the context of service innovation, we conjecture that frontline employees of service providers can be powerful proxies for their customers. Thus, they might be a particularly valuable group to involve in service innovation endeavors. The quality of these proxies may increase with the depth of insights frontline employees can gain from their customers. Moreover, as the literature suggests, these employees can also cater for the strategic and cultural fit of service innovations to their organizations, to avoid a reported drawback of directly involving customers in the service innovation process. Hence, we first suggest leveraging the potential of large numbers of these employees through collective intelligence instruments and derive design recommendations for such approaches. In the second part of the chapter, we then introduce and compare four types of collective intelligence instruments that are currently used by companies to involve employees. We close by suggesting avenues for further research in this domain.


Collective intelligence Wisdom of the crowd Service innovation Professional service firms Crowdfunding Enterprise crowdfunding Idea markets Participatory budgeting Innovation communities 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niels Feldmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hansjörg Fromm
    • 1
  • Gerhard Satzger
    • 1
  • Ronny Schüritz
    • 1
  1. 1.Karlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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