Innovation in private and public sector services (INSEPP)

ECTS: 7.5 with main course paper approved or 10 with a secondary course paper approved.


The development, provision and use of services constitute a large and growing proportion of economic activity. First, it is increasingly acknowledged that industries traditionally thought of as manufacturers of goods are providing not physical artefacts but a ‘service’ to their customers. Second, growth in the involvement of services industries in international trade due to liberalization, technological and regulatory change has gone hand in hand with employment growth occurring foremost outside the domains of traditional manufacturing industries. While this has been particularly pronounced in the ‘new technology based services’ that emerged from the ICT revolution, the last decades have also witnessed vibrant growth dynamics in creative and cultural industries, in tourism and in traditional business services such as finance and management consultancy. These economic sectors are important in their own right. Moreover, they provide firms outside the services sectors with knowledge and complementary capabilities, and serve as nodes in regional and global innovation networks. Thus, the emergence and growth of these sectors and how value chain activities are organized in services is integral to an industrial landscape where inter-sector knowledge flows and combinatorial knowledge bases are essential to the dynamics of territorial economies.

As a result, it is becoming increasingly important for research and policy to understand the intrinsic characteristics of services innovation at different spatial scales. This applies as well to the public sector, which in most European countries faces vast challenges because globalization, unemployment and demographic change. These trends create a mismatch between the potential for growth in tax incomes, and the growing demand for health and care services that follow in the wake of aging populations. Moreover, the demands put on public research and education policy, and on industrial policy more generally, by grand societal challenges are perhaps unprecedented. This translates into a need for public sector innovation, i.e. into a need to stimulate beneficial change in policies, institutions and the services they provide.

Purpose and Content

Against this background, the purpose of the PhD course is to give students insight into the field of innovation studies and current theories and research of innovation in services, in both private and public sector, with emphasis on commonalities and differences between the two. It provides an overview of the service research field and different scholarly traditions within it. Based on this, it addresses ongoing discussions of what public and private service innovations are and how they are created, organized and disseminated. Topics that will be covered include intrinsic characteristics of services provision, the importance of ‘front end’ innovations, and patterns of innovation collaboration, including public-private partnerships.

Innovations, processes and outcome in services will be illuminated by studies of some private industries. Furthermore, the course will examine intrinsic characteristics and the particular value context of public-sector innovation. Finally, questions related to the social implications of the services economy will be raised.

Learning outcomes

The course will give students knowledge of current research and research challenges in the study of innovation in public as well as private services. It will impart to the participants an analytical understanding of innovation in services, how public and private perspectives are intertwined, but can nonetheless be distinguished. The course aims to give the participants knowledge of a range of relevant methods and techniques that can be used to study innovation in services, and enable them to formulate research problems, conduct research and to contribute to the field.


The course consists of interactive lectures, student presentations and discussions.


The course will take place in two periods, each including three days. In addition, a special lecture will be given by professor Faïs Gallouj, Université de Lille when he visits Lillehammer in early November. All days are dedicated to different fields of research. Central subjects will be trends and lines in innovation research, state of the art in research on innovation in services, innovation in public services including public value and democracy, service dominant logic, diffusion, innovation and sustainability, and innovation and challenges of globalization. The course is relevant for all PhD students studying innovation in relation to service innovation and public innovation.


The course is relevant for all PhD students studying innovation in services in public or private sectors.


Participants must read the course literature before the course, and present at least one of the articles in the course literature during the course. Participants must also prepare an outline of their thesis, and be prepared for discussing the relevance of the course literature to the thesis. Furthermore, they have to comment on one outline given by another participant.


Active participation in the course is required, and include among other things
 the reading of the entire course literature,
 presentation of an outline of the PhD project and discuss the relevance of the course literature to the thesis,
 comments on the outline given by another participant,
 presentation of at least one article in the course literature.

In order to obtain the 7.5 ECTS points, the participant need to submit and have approved a paper of 3500-5000 words based on the course literature, preferably on the topic of the thesis. Students can also write an additional paper on innovation in services for an extra 2.5 ECTS points. This extra paper should be written as a short review of 1-3 articles in the course literature, demonstrating how research questions can be developed from the literature.


Completed application form with a 2-3 pages description of the applicant’s PhD project must be sent by email no later than October 9th 2019 to Linda Tangen Bjørge ( with ‘INTOP 2019’ in the subject field. Applicants should indicate whether they want to follow the complete course (all five days).


Participation in the course is free for PhD-students enrolled in Norwegian Research School in Innovation (NORSI), but participants have to cover their own travel and subsistence expenses. For persons outside NORSI the fee is 3500 NOK in addition to travel and subsistence expenses.

Literature and detailed programme

The final program and reading list will be available in early October 2019.

Date & Location

Start date: 29/10/2019
Date physical: October 29th – 31st, November 5th, and December 3rd – 5th 2019
Location: Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Campus Lillehammer