Katja Maria Hydle, Tor Helge Aas and Karl Joachim Breunig

Abstract

This empirical paper explores the work of employees in charge of service innovation when firms develop and launch new scale-intensive services by addressing two re- search questions: i) How do employees responsible for service innovation work? and ii) what are the related managerial implications when developing and launching new scale-intensive services? To this end, 21 qualitative, in-depth interviews were con- ducted with employees in five large scale-intensive service firms. The findings suggest that the involvement of internal professionals is an asset when new scale-intensive services are developed, and that internal professionals act as intrapreneurs when they are involved in the development of radically new scale-intensive services. This paper integrates understanding from the innovation management literature with knowledge of professionals from extant literature on professional service firms since we find that professionals in scale-intensive firms act as intrapreneurs. Thus, this pa- per extends the theory on determinants of innovation in scale-intensive service firms, blending insights from both findings and theory.