Identifying the Determinant Factors of E-Service Innovations: A Qualitative Meta-Synthesis

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Faculty of Management and Accounting, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Management, Hazrat-e Masoumeh University (HMU), Qom, Iran.

3 PhD Candidate, Faculty of Management and Accounting, College of Farabi, University of Tehran, Qom, Iran.


Recently, significant technological changes, greater customer demand and the rise of new business models have triggered a rapid increase in electronic service (e-service) innovations. Now, innovation in the provision of e-services has become one of the priorities of managers in order to gain a competitive advantage. However, few studies so far have explored the determinant factors needed in the organization in order to innovate and implement e-services. The purpose of this study is to provide a comprehensive framework that integrates the multiple factors of e-service innovation. Using the qualitative meta-synthesis research method and after a systematic review of the literature and examination of 61 articles, all factors needed for innovation in e-services have been identified and classified in 4 capabilities, 9 concepts, and 30 codes. The results show that e-service innovation depends on networking, informational, operational and supporting, and strategic capabilities. These capabilities create the required platform for innovation in e-services in the organization. This study contributes to current e-service researches by offering theoretical advances related to innovation in e-services. Furthermore, the capabilities, concepts, and codes identified in this study would be useful as a comprehensive conceptual framework for developers of e-service innovation to plan and evaluate their related initiatives.


Main Subjects

Agarwal, R. & Selen, W. (2009). Dynamic capability building in service value networks for achieving service innovation. Decision Sciences, 40(3), 431-475.
Alavi, M., & Leidner, D. E. (2001). Knowledge management and knowledge management systems: Conceptual foundations and research issues. MIS Quarterly, 107-136.
Anning-Dorson, T. (2017). Customer involvement capability and service firm performance: The mediating role of innovation. Journal of Business Research, 86, 269-280.
Armenakis, A. A., Bernerth, J. B., Pitts, J. P., & Walker, H. J. (2007). Organizational change recipients' beliefs scale: Development of an assessment instrument. The Journal of applied behavioral science, 43(4), 481-505.
Ashok, M., Narula, R., & Martinez-Noya, A. (2016). How do collaboration and investments in knowledge management affect process innovation in services? Journal of Knowledge Management, 20(5), 1004-1024.
Barney, J. B. (1991). Firm resources and sustained competitive advantage. Journal of Management, 17(1), 99–120.
Barrett, M., Davidson, E., Prabhu, J., & Vargo, S. L. (2015). Service innovation in the digital age: key contributions and future directions. MIS quarterly, 39(1), 135-154.
Bello, D. C., L. P. Radulovich, R. R. G. Javalgi, R. F. Scherer & d J. Taylor (2016). Performance of professional service firms from emerging markets: Role of innovative services and firm capabilities. Journal of World Business,51(3), 413-424.
Benaroch, M., & Appari, A. (2011). Pricing e-service quality risk in financial services. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 10(1), 534–544.
Bettencourt, L. A. & S. W. Brown (2013). From goods to great: Service innovation in a product-dominant firm. Business Horizons,56(3), 277-283.
Bettencourt, L. A., Brown, S. W., & Sirianni, N. J. (2013). The secret to true service innovation. Business Horizons, 56(1), 13-22.
Bhatnagar, N., N. Bhatnagar, A. Kumar Gopalaswamy & d A. Kumar Gopalaswamy (2017). The role of a firm’s innovation competence on customer adoption of service innovation. Management Research Review,40(4), 378-409.
Blommerde, T. & P. Lynch (2016). A maturity matrix for assessing service innovation capability. Irish Academy of Management Conference, 31 August - 2 September, UCD, Dublin.
Bon, A., Gordijn, J., & Akkermans, H. (2017). E-service innovation in rural africa through value co-creation. In Handbook of Research on Strategic Alliances and Value Co-Creation in the Service Industry (pp. 355-373). IGI Global.
Calabrese, A., Castaldi, C., Forte, G., & Levialdi, N. G. (2018). Sustainability-oriented Service Innovation: An emerging research field. Journal of Cleaner Production, 193, 533-548.
Carbonell, P., Rodríguez‐Escudero, A. I., & Pujari, D. (2009). Customer involvement in new service development: An examination of antecedents and outcomes. Journal of product innovation management, 26(5), 536-550.
Carlborg, P., Kindström, D., & Kowalkowski, C. (2014). The evolution of service innovation research: a critical review and synthesis. The Service Industries Journal, 34(5), 373-398.
Cassiman, B., & Veugelers, R. (2006). In search of complementarity in innovation strategy: Internal R&D and external knowledge acquisition. Management science, 52(1), 68-82.
Catalano, A. (2013). Patterns of graduate students’ information seeking behavior: A meta-synthesis of the literature. Journal of Documentation, 69(2), 243-274.
Chae, B. K. (2014). A complexity theory approach to IT-enabled services (IESs) and service innovation: Business analytics as an illustration of IES. Decision support systems, 57(1), 1-10.
Chang, T. C., & Chuang, S. H. (2016). Exploring the value of e-service innovation: e-service and co-operation complementarity. In Innovative Mobile and Internet Services in Ubiquitous Computing (IMIS), 10th International Conference on (pp. 518-521). IEEE.
Chapman, R. L., SooSay,C., & Kandampully, J. (2002). Innovation in logistic services and the new business model: a conceptual framework. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal,12(6),358-371.
Chen, C. C., Wu, C. S., & Wu, R. C. F. (2006). e-Service enhancement priority matrix: The case of an IC foundry company. Information & management, 43(5), 572-586.
Chen, J. S., Tsou, H. T., & Ching, R. K. (2011). Co-production and its effects on service innovation. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(8), 1331-1346.
Chen, J. S., Tsou, H. T., & Huang, A. Y. H. (2009). Service delivery innovation: Antecedents and impact on firm performance. Journal of Service Research, 12(1), 36-55.
Chen, J.-S. & H.-T. Tsou (2007). Information technology adoption for service innovation practices and competitive advantage: The case of financial firms. Information research: an international electronic journal,12(3), 1-29.
Chen, J.-S. & H.-T. Tsou (2012). Performance effects of IT capability, service process innovation, and the mediating role of customer service. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management,29(1), 71-94.
Cheng, C. C. & D. Krumwiede (2012). The role of service innovation in the market orientation—new service performance linkage. Technovation,32(7), 487-497.
Cheng, C. C., & Krumwiede, D. (2017). What makes a manufacturing firm effective for service innovation? The role of intangible capital under strategic and environmental conditions. International Journal of Production Economics, 193, 113-122.
Chuang, S.-H. & H.-N. Lin (2015). Co-creating e-service innovations: Theory, practice, and impact on firm performance. International Journal of Information Management,35(3), 277-291.
Ciuchita, R., Mahr, D., & Odekerken-Schröder, G. (2019). Deal with it: How coping with e-service innovation affects the customer experience. Journal of Business Research, 103, 130-141.
Creswell, J. W., & Creswell, J. D. (2017). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Sage publications.
Crowe, M., & Sheppard, L. (2011). A review of critical appraisal tools show they lack rigor: alternative tool structure is proposed. Journal of clinical epidemiology, 64(1), 79-89.
Daniel, L., & Wilson, H. (2003). The role of dynamic capabilities in e-business transformation. European Journal of Information Systems, 12, 282–296.
Eisenhardt, K. M., & Martin, J. A. (2000). Dynamic capabilities: What are they? Strategic Management Journal, 21(10–11), 1105–1121.
Fegran, L., Hall, E. O., Uhrenfeldt, L., Aagaard, H., & Ludvigsen, M. S. (2014). Adolescents’ and young adults’ transition experiences when transferring from pediatric to adult care: a qualitative metasynthesis. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 51(1), 123-135.
Ferasso, M., Wunsch Takahashi, A. R., & Prado Gimenez, F. A. (2018). Innovation ecosystems: A meta-synthesis. International journal of innovation science, 10(4), 495-518.
Froehle, C. M., & A. V. Roth (2007). A resource‐process framework of new service development. Production and operations management,16(2), 169-188.
Giannopoulou, E.,Gryszkiewice, L., & Barlatier, P. (2014). Creativity for service innovation: A practice-based perspective. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal,24(1), 23-44.
Gibson, G. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209–226.
Gottfridsson, P. (2014). Different actors’ roles in small companies service innovation. Journal of Services Marketing,28(7), 547-557.
Grawe, S. J., Chen, H., & Daugherty, P. J. (2009). The relationship between strategic orientation, service innovation, and performance. International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, 39(4), 282-300.
Heirati, N. & V. Siahtiri (2017). Driving service innovativeness via collaboration with customers and suppliers: Evidence from business-to-business services. Industrial Marketing Management, 78(1), 6-16.
Hidalgo, A. & L. D'Alvano (2014). Service innovation: Inward and outward related activities and cooperation mode. Journal of Business Research,67(5), 698-703.
Homburg, C. & C. Kuehnl (2014). Is the more always better? A comparative study of internal and external integration practices in new product and new service development. Journal of Business Research,67(7), 1360-1367.
Hsieh, J.-K. & Hsieh, Y.-C. (2015). Dialogic co-creation and service innovation performance in high-tech companies. Journal of Business Research,68(11), 2266-2271.
Hurnonen, S., P. Ritala & H.-K. Ellonen (2016). The role of knowledge-integration practices in service innovation projects. International journal of innovation management,20(01), 1650007.
Islam, M. A., Agarwal, N. K., & Ikeda, M. (2017). Effect of knowledge management on service innovation in academic libraries. IFLA journal, 43(3), 266-281.
Jafarnejad, A. & A. Matin Rashidi (2015). The role of E-Service capability and research and development capability in organizational performance. International Journal of Business and Technopreneurship, 5(3), 453-466.
Jalil, M. S. (2016). E-service innovation: a case study of Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 224, 531-539.
Janeiro, P., Proença, I., & da Conceição Gonçalves, V. (2013). Open innovation: Factors explaining universities as service firm innovation sources. Journal of Business Research, 66(10), 2017-2023.
Jaw, C., Lo, J. Y., & Lin, Y. H. (2010). The determinants of new service development: Service characteristics, market orientation, and actualizing innovation effort. Technovation, 30(4), 265-277.
Jin, D., Chai, K. H., & Tan, K. C. (2014). New service development maturity model. Managing Service Quality: An International Journal, 24(1), 86-116.
Kvasnicova, T., Kremenova, I., & Fabus, J. (2016). From an analysis of e-services definitions and classifications to the proposal of new e-service classification. Procedia Economics and Finance, 39, 192-196.
Lawrence, C. (2013). A holistic narrative of culture's mediation of information systems innovation: a qualitative meta-synthesis. Journal of Global Information Technology Management, 16(3), 31-52.
Lee, J. (2010). 10-year retrospect on stage models of e-Government: A qualitative meta-synthesis. Government Information Quarterly, 27(3), 220-230.
Leonard‐Barton, D. (1992). Core capabilities and core rigidities: A paradox in managing new product development. Strategic management journal, 13(S1), 111-125.
Leskovar-Spacapan, G. & Bastic, M. (2007). Differences in organizations’ innovation capability in a transition economy: Internal aspect of the organizations’ strategic orientation. Technovation,27(9), 533-546.
Letaifa, S. B. (2016). How social entrepreneurship emerges, develops and internationalises during political and economic transitions. European Journal of International Management, 10(4), 455-466.
Li, J., Talaei-Khoei, A., Seale, H., Ray, P., & MacIntyre, C. R. (2013). Health care provider adoption of eHealth: systematic literature review. Interactive journal of medical research, 2(1), e7.
Limpibunterng, T., & Johri, L. M. (2009). Complementary role of organizational learning capability in new service development (NSD) process. The Learning Organization, 16(4), 326-348.
Lin, R. J., Chen, R. H., & Kuan-Shun Chiu, K. (2010). Customer relationship management and innovation capability: an empirical study. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 110(1), 111-133.
Lokshin, B., Belderbos, R., & Carree, M. (2008). The productivity effects of internal and external R&D: Evidence from a dynamic panel data model. Oxford bullentin of Economic and Statistics, 70(3), 399-413.
Loukis, E., Pazalos, K., & Salagara, A. (2012). Transforming e-services evaluation data into business analytics using value models. Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 11(2), 129-141.
 Lukka, K., & Modell, S. (2010). Validation in interpretive management accounting research. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(4), 462-477.
Marques, P., Bikfalvi, A., Simon, A., Llach, J., & Lerch, C. (2015). Servitisation and technological complexity in family and non–family firms: European evidence. European Journal of International Management, 9(2), 221-239.
Melton, H. & Hartline, M. D. (2015). Customer and employee co-creation of radical service innovations. Journal of Services Marketing,29(2), 112-123.
Melton, H. L. & Hartline, M. D. (2010). Customer and frontline employee influence on new service development performance. Journal of Service Research,13(4), 411-425.
Melville, N., Kraemer, K., & Gurbaxani, V. (2004). Review: Information technology and organizational performance: An integrative model of IT business value. MIS Quarterly, 28(2), 283–322.
Michalski, T. (2003). E-service innovations through corporate entrepreneurship. International Journal of Management and Decision Making,4(2-3), 194-209.
 Miller, A., Moon, B., Anders, S., Walden, R., Brown, S., & Montella, D. (2015). Integrating computerized clinical decision support systems into clinical work: a meta-synthesis of qualitative research. International journal of medical informatics, 84(12), 1009-1018.
Mina, A., Bascavusoglu-Moreau, E., & Hughes, A. (2014). Open service innovation and the firm's search for external knowledge. Research Policy, 43(5), 853-866.
Morais-Da-Silva, R. L., Takahashi, A. R. W., & Segatto, A. P. (2016). Scaling up social innovation: A meta-synthesis. RAM. Revista de Administração Mackenzie, 17(6), 134-163.
Mundial, B. (2016). World Bank national accounts data, and OECD National Accounts data files. Retrieved May 20, 2019, from
Nada, N., & Ali, Z. (2015). Service value creation capability model to assess the service innovation capability in SMEs. Procedia CIRP, 30, 390-395.
Oke, A. (2007). Innovation types and innovation management practices in service companies. International Journal of Operations & Production Management,27(6), 564-587.
Oliveira, P., Roth, A. V., & Gilland, W. (2002). Achieving competitive capabilities in e-services. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, 69, 721–739.
Omar, N. A., Nazri, M. A., Alam, S. S., & Ahmad, A. (2016). Assessing the factors influencing service innovation capabilities and performance. Information Management And Business Review, 8(4), 52-63.
Ommen, N. O., Woisetschlager, D. (2016). Toward a better understanding of stakeholder participation in the service innovation process: More than one path to success. Journal of Business Research,69(7), 2409-2416.
Ordanini, A. & A. Parasuraman (2011). Service innovation viewed through a service-dominant logic lens: a conceptual framework and empirical analysis. Journal of Service Research,14(1), 3-23.
Posselt, T. & K. Förstl (2011). Success factors in new service development: A literature review. the productivity of services next gen-beyond output/input. Fraunhofer Center for Applied Research and Supply Chain Service, Germany.
Randhawa, K., & Scerri, M. (2015). Service innovation: A review of the literature The handbook of service innovation (pp. 27-51): Springer
Rapaccini, M., Saccani, N., Pezzotta, G., Burger, T., & Ganz, W. (2013). Service development in product-service systems: a maturity model. The Service Industries Journal, 33(3-4), 300-319.
Rindova, V. P., & Kotha, S. (2001). Continuous morphing: competing through dynamic capabilities, form and function. Academy of Management Journal, 44(6), 1263–1280.
Ryu, H. S., & Lee, J. N. (2017). Understanding the role of technology in service innovation: Comparison of three theoretical perspectives. Information & Management, 55(3), 294-307.
Sabherwal, R., & King, W. R. (1991). Towards a theory of strategic use of information resources: an inductive approach. Information & Management, 20(3), 191-212.
Salunke, S., Weerawardena, J., & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2011). Towards a model of dynamic capabilities in innovation-based competitive strategy: Insights from project-oriented service firms. Industrial Marketing Management, 40(8), 1251-1263.
Salunke, S., Weerawardena, J., & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2013). Competing through service innovation: The role of bricolage and entrepreneurship in project-oriented firms. Journal of Business Research, 66(8), 1085-1097.
Sandelowski, M., & Barroso, J. (2006). Handbook for synthesizing qualitative research. Springer Publishing Company.
Santamaría, L., Mils, L., (2012). Service innovation in manufacturing firms: Evidence from Spain. Technovation,32(2), 144-155
Siau, K., & Long, Y. (2005). Synthesizing e-government stage models–a meta-synthesis based on meta-ethnography approach. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 105(4), 443-458.
Statista (2019), eServices report 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from
Tai Tsou, H. (2012). Collaboration competency and partner match for e-service product innovation through knowledge integration mechanisms. Journal of Service Management, 23(5), 640-663.
Taherdoost, H., Sdibuddin, S., & Jalaliyoon, N.(2015). A review paper on e-service; technology concepts. Procedia Technology, 19, 1064-1074
Thakur, R. & Hale, D. (2013). Service innovation: A comparative study of US and Indian service firms. Journal of Business Research,66(8), 1108-1123.
Thanasopon, B., Papadopoulos, T., & Vidgen, R. (2016). The role of openness in the fuzzy front-end of service innovation. Technovation, 47, 32-46.
Theodosiou, M., Katsikea, E., Samiee, S., & Makri, K. (2019). A comparison of formative versus reflective approaches for the measurement of electronic service quality. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 47, 53-67.
Trigo, A., & Vence, X. (2012). Scope and patterns of innovation cooperation in Spanish service enterprises. Research Policy, 41(3), 602-613.
Tsou, H. T., & Chen, J. S. (2012). The influence of interfirm codevelopment competency on e-service innovation. Information & Management, 49(3-4), 177-189.
Tsou, H. T., & Hsu, H. Y. (2011). E-service innovation within open innovation networks. International Journal of Social, Behavioral, Educational, Economic, Business and Industrial Engineering,5(1), 306-310.
Tsou, H. T., Chen, J. S., & Liao, S. W. (2016). Enhancing intellectual capital for e-service innovation. Innovation, 18(1), 30-53.
Tsou, H.-T. (2012). The effect of interfirm co-development competency on the innovation of the e-service process and product: the perspective of internal/external technology integration mechanisms. Technology Analysis & Strategic Management,24(7), 631-646.
Tuan, L. T. (2015). Entrepreneurial orientation and competitive intelligence: Cultural intelligence as a moderator. Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, 17(2), 212-228.
Verdu-Jover, A. J., Alos-Simo, L., & Gomez-Gras, J. M. (2017). Adaptive culture and product/service innovation outcomes. European Management Journal, 36(3), 330-340.
Wang, Q., Zhao, X., & Voss, C. (2016). Customer orientation and innovation: A comparative study of manufacturing and service firms. International Journal of Production Economics, 171, 221-230.
Waltman, L., & van Eck, N. (2017). VOSviewer Manual. Retrieved May 15, 2019, from
 Wasko, M. M., & Faraj, S. (2005). Why should I share? Examining social capital and knowledge contribution in electronic networks of practice. MIS quarterly, 29(1), 35-57.
Wendler, R. (2012). The maturity of maturity model research: A systematic mapping study. Information and software technology, 54(12), 1317-1339.
Witell, L., Gebauer, H., Jaakkola, E., Hammedi, W., Patricio, L., & Perks, H. (2017). A bricolage perspective on service innovation. Journal of Business Research, 79, 290-298.
Yen, H. R., Wang, W., Wei, C. P., Hsu, S. H. Y., & Chiu, H. C. (2012). Service innovation readiness: Dimensions and performance outcome. Decision Support Systems, 53(4), 813-824.
Zhou, Y. W., Guo, J., & Zhou, w.(2018).Pricing/service strategies for a dual-channel supply chain with free riding and service-cost sharing. International Journal of Production Economics, 196, 198-210.
Zulkepli, Z. H., Hasnan, N., & Mohtar, S. (2015). Communication and service innovation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 211, 437-441.