Innovation in a Service Ecosystem: Plasticity and the Reconciliation of Institutional Dissonance

This project aims to collect further data around the HAT for a paper that is empirically investigating innovation in a service ecosystem.

Earlier findings for the paper suggest that plasticity, defined as a service ecosystem’s capacity to take and retain form, facilitates innovation by allowing for a reconciliation of competing institutions, or institutional dissonance. This reconciliation occurs at the micro, meso, and macro levels of a service ecosystem through simultaneous dialectical processes in the meta layer. It is through these reconciliation processes that plasticity facilitates innovation; it does so by allowing stabilising work to reverberate throughout the service ecosystem and align the actors needed for innovation. The findings suggest that managers should view innovation as stabilising work in volatile settings.

Research Method

This project’s co-researchers will collect additional interview and focus group data to reconfirm the conceptual framework that emerged through their original analysis. They have adopted an abductive research approach anchored in over three years of exploratory, longitudinal case study data regarding a high-technology innovation in an Internet-of-Things setting; the HAT2. It entails a systematic and iterative alignment of existing theoretical concepts and data, and requires continuous modification of the preliminary research framework throughout data analysis phase, including a reconciliation of unexpected empirical findings.


Jennifer D. Chandler California State University, Fullerton, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, Department of Management
Ilias Danatzis Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business & Economics, Marketing Department
Carolin Wernicke Freie Universität Berlin, School of Business & Economics, Marketing Department
Melissa Archpru Akaka University of Denver, Daniels College of Business
David Reynolds WMG, International Institute for Product and Service Innovation (IIPSI)