Helge Löbler, University of Leipzig, Germany
Robert F. Lusch, University of Arizona

Emerging from the rapid growth of information technology (IT) in a digital world is the explosion and rapid ascent of IT-related service innovation occurring around the globe. All successful service innovation in a digital world consists of two main abstract domains: signs (because only signs can be digitized) and practices. Signs are perceivable, but practices are not. Signs are commonly understood as resources in the digital world, whereas practices are understood as providing context, not as resources. This article proposes a change in this perspective: according to service-dominant logic, both signs and practices can become resources for service and value cocreation. They become resources if they are integrated in a service offering. We illustrate how recent digital service innovations can be explained with this perspective and how it can be used to distinguish incremental from radical innovation. The article also suggests, using this perspective, that IT and innovation specialists can productively develop ideas and concepts for future service innovation. From the practices framework presented, directions for further research are discussed.


Helge Löbler, Robert F. Lusch (2014). Signs and Practices as Resources in IT-Related Service Innovation. Service Science 6(3):190-205.