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Knowledge exchange in SMEs service innovation with design thinking

Gao, B and Yu, K (2023) Knowledge exchange in SMEs service innovation with design thinking. Management Decision. ISSN 0025-1747

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Purpose – This study, adopting a knowledge perspective, aims to explore how small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) engage in service innovation by implementing design thinking.
Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative research methodology and a multiple case study strategy were adopted on account of the exploratory nature of this study. Three cases based in Scotland have been selected. Data were collected from staff, managers and researchers who participated in Create Cultures of
Innovation (CCoI), a project sponsored by the Scottish government.
Findings – The research shows that SMEs can be enabled, through design-led interventions, to think collaboratively and leverage knowledge to achieve service innovation.
Research limitations/implications – This research contributes to the service innovation literature by theorising an integrated research framework of “Knowledge exchange in SMEs service innovation with design thinking”. Further, this study enriches the extant understanding of service innovation in the traditional sector
(manufacturing and hospitality) and redefines the roles and relations of the dimensions of service innovation.
Practical implications – This study addresses the call on tools and methods for servitisation, suggesting that changing the culture and mindsets of both the top management and the staff are critical for the success of servitisation and the implementation of design thinking. In addition, this research suggests the need to embed
design thinking within the leadership prior to rolling it out to the wider public. Support from the top management should focus on both the engagement of staff and the changing of vision from product to service focused.
Originality/value – This paper gets together service innovation, design thinking and knowledge exchange in the context of manufacturing SMEs offering novel insights into how to succeed in servitisation with the implementation of design thinking.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact permissions@emerald.com'
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1503 Business and Management; 1505 Marketing; 2202 History and Philosophy of Specific Fields; Business & Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Business & Management (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Emerald
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 03 Apr 2023 08:21
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2023 08:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1108/MD-06-2022-0795
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19174
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