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DEVELOPMENT OF NEW SERVICES IN SMALLER ORGANISATIONS: THEY DO JUST HAPPEN

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Author(s): Patrik Gottfridsson

Journal: Australian Journal of Business and Management Research
ISSN 1839-0846

Volume: 1;
Issue: 7;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: New Service Development | Small Companies | Entrepreneurship

ABSTRACT
The aim of this study is to investigate how new services are actually developed in real life in small companies. Although conventional models of service development emphasise the importance of formal and structured processes, it is unclear whether most service development really is conducted in this way, and whether these formal models might merely represent theoretical structures that have been retrospectively imposed on the actual process. In particular, it is unclear whether the conventional view of formal and structured processes is applicable to smaller organisations with fewer employees. The present study therefore presents the findings from in-depth case studies of service development in eleven small Swedish companies. The study concludes that that it is difficult to identify any clear intention to pursue formal development processes in the companies studied here. Rather, service development could generally be described as ‘unstructured’ in all phases (planning, development, and market launch). Moreover, these phases overlap and impinge on one another in a flexible, unstructured, and informal manner. The study examines and explains the reasons for this generally unstructured approach to service development in smaller firms.

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