Encounter for Innovations (2009)

Prof. Dr. Nancy Wünderlich / Prof. Dr. Vera Blazevic

With support of the Peter Pribilla-Foundation a pilot study about service encounter was conducted. The study aimed at generating new knowledge concerning critical interactions of service-providers, and service-consumers. To achieve this aim, the project participants brought in gained knowledge from previous studies, they have conducted.


Those studies found that not only a service output is achieved, and achieved on provider-, and costumer-side, but valuable knowledge is generated through a well-designed interaction – the encounter of services – between customers and providers. Aforesaid is supported by the study “Managing innovation through customer coproduced knowledge in electronic services: An exploratory study” (published in JAMS, 2008). The study shows that the employee’s point of view, i.e. customers of electronic services, play three different roles, and within these roles diverse knowledge stocks are created during service encounter. Furthermore, a second study within the field of call centers reveals that employees need different abilities (e.g. investigative and adoption abilities) to generate several kinds of knowledge in interaction with the customer. Still several gaps and challenges concerning the generation of knowledge during service encounter remain unsolved. Especially dyadic data is missing that takes both perspectives, i.e., customers, and provider’s perspective, into account.


So the focus of this project was to find answers to the question how knowledge that was generated during service encounter can be used to create innovations, and to improve employee management. Results are expected to show how the service encounter should be ideally designed for generating knowledge. Furthermore, the study asks how generation of knowledge impacts perceived service quality, and also to what extent the knowledge can be used as a pool of ideas for leadership, and innovation management.

Watch the presentation about this project on Slideshare