Driving service innovativeness via collaboration with customers and suppliers

Evidence from business-to-business services

Nima Heirati, Vida Siahtiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Service innovativeness represents a key source of competitive advantage and a research priority. However, empirical evidence about how service firms successfully offer novel and meaningful services is scarce, particularly in the context of business-to-business (B2B) service firms. Drawing on the B2B collaborative perspective and KBV, we aim to investigate when customer and supplier collaboration are more beneficial to drive service novelty and meaningfulness. Using data of 186 B2B service firms, the results reveal that collaboration with customers and suppliers are not equally beneficial to drive both novelty and meaningfulness and their outcomes can be amplified or lost under specific conditions. Customer collaboration is more beneficial to increase novelty in the presence of exploratory learning and employee collaboration. Contrary, supplier collaboration drives novelty only at higher levels of exploratory learning. Further, supplier collaboration is more beneficial to improve meaningfulness at higher levels of employee collaboration. Finally, the positive outcomes of both customer and supplier collaboration disappear in the presence of knowledge tacitness. Our findings provide new insights about drivers and contingencies that affect different aspects of service innovativeness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-16
Number of pages11
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date3 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


  • Cross-functional collaboration
  • Customer collaboration
  • Exploratory learning
  • Knowledge tacitness
  • Service innovativeness
  • Supplier collaboration

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