The purpose of this study is to identify critical success factors and important approaches that service companies can utilize in the design of products, services, and programs. It is common for service companies to have design teams that are responsible for facilitating the innovation process. However, these design teams might not benefit from a systematic training and knowledge transfer process. Therefore, it is important to translate critical success factors and important approaches into a model that will serve as a common framework for both training and facilitating the innovation process. Both qualitative and quantitative research approaches were utilized in this study that included interviews, literature searches, and an e-mail survey. The research process commenced by interviewing a diverse group of organizations to identify challenges and key factors for implementing innovation. The second step of the study was comprised of a literature search to further explore the themes and approaches identified through the interview process. The final phase of the research process involved an e-mail survey that was administered to active senior and fellow members of the American Society for Quality (ASQ) to quantify the findings from the qualitative research to include the key themes and approaches. The findings from the both the qualitative and quantitative findings suggest that innovation principles, methods, and tools have a broad application for service organizations in the design of products, services, and programs. Although there was directional alignment between service organizations and all other industries, certain approaches might be more important for service organizations. The service dominant key findings were used to construct a framework comprised of design phases, design processes, analytical and ideation methods, critical success factors, and environmental factors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Service industries--Technological innovations--Management; Quality assurance--Management

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Hospitality and Tourism Management (CAST)


Jacobs, James


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