Changes in the global economy and in society as a whole - changes in production, consumption, communications and spatial distribution of activities - are both driven by and reflective of the growing role and scope of services activities. Indeed, it has been widely acknowledged throughout the past three decades that services are a critical and dynamic component in advanced and knowledge-based economies. The service sector has become increasingly significant not only as a result of its rapid development in terms of contribution to GDP and employment across large numbers of developed and developing countries, but also thanks to growing international trade in service products and more recently, the recognition of services as a locus for substantial and potentially valuable (and sometimes ‘hidden’) innovation. In a shift of focus from ‘pure manufacturing’ or ‘pure services’, the study of innovation has engaged more recently with the increasingly complex intertwining of goods and services, a trend that is reflected in current debates such as those relating to ‘product-service systems’ and the emergence of a ‘service-dominant logic’. Certainly the latter has become a rallying call for marketers and managers, reflecting the frequent privileging of service and consumer engagement and the re-direction of resources to service-oriented innovation. It is clear that in the past 20 years we have witnessed a comprehensive shift in the nature, content and delivery of consumer services: whilst this shift is frequently driven by technological developments, it is also reflective of new and perpetually evolving patterns of consumption and purchase preference. This eBook seeks to answer key questions about the future shape and role of services in social and economic life; what new forms of services are emerging and what is driving and shaping their development; what roles can - and should - various actors in the public, private, and third sectors take in the creation of innovative services and what forms of partnership will be most effective in realising implementation; to what extent can community co-creation and development be mobilised in future innovation; how might successful ‘bottom-up’ and community service innovations be best diffused; what factors and trends influence the nature and dynamics of service development in different service sectors and in different regions; and how might government agencies and business managers handle the challenges associated with innovation in destabilised and uncertain environments?
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