Innovation Management in Outsourced Railway Maintenance: The Case of a Dutch Railway Service Provider

  • S. K. WuEmail author
  • A. J. J. Braaksma
  • Leo A. M. van Dongen
Part of the Asset Analytics book series (ASAN)


Despite a complex, fragmented and from origin conservative environment, railway service provider organizations in the Dutch railways are innovating at a high pace. Therefore, the Dutch railway sector is a rich environment for studying innovations. To understand how this is achieved, an innovation management framework is developed and used to analyze innovation factors in this context. Based on a literature review on conceptual frameworks for innovation management of the last five years, a holistic innovation management framework is constructed, using an inductive coding methodology. The holistic innovation management framework is used to analyze the case study organization, based on interviews and desk research. The analysis indicates that various market, organization, process, and product/service factors and their interaction contribute to a high pace of innovations. The coding methodology used in this study can be influenced by researcher’s bias. In addition, the selected documentation received from the case study may not be representative for the case study organization. The presented research shows that the Dutch railway sector is a sector which deserves further research to learn from their innovative maintenance practices on a more detailed process level. In addition, the presented framework is a step towards a holistic innovation management framework which can be used to analyze innovations on a sectoral level. The research results give practitioners insights on how to develop innovation management practices in the railway sector. This research presents an in-depth analysis on the innovation management practices that have been applied in the successful Dutch railway sector from the perspective of a railway service provider.


Railways Innovations Innovation management Processes 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. K. Wu
    • 1
    Email author
  • A. J. J. Braaksma
    • 1
  • Leo A. M. van Dongen
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Maintenance Engineering GroupUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Netherlands RailwaysUtrechtThe Netherlands

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