Services and Experiences from Space

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The on-going debate on the future of retailing and the high street has within it an emphasis on the shift from purchasing ‘experiences’ rather than goods. This transformation of economic transactions into experiences can be traced back over two decades but has been intensifying. January is often associated with a number of experiential movements – from the dry January movement to Blue Monday. For 2019, it is also associated with the publication of an edited collection on SERVICES, EXPERIENCES AND INNOVATION: Integrating and Extending Research, edited by Ada Scupola and Lars Fuglsang and published by Edward Elgar, Cheltenham. This book also includes a chapter on Services and Experiences from Space that is part of an on-going project on the economic geographies of the space industry. This blog provides a brief account of this Chapter, the book and the overall series in which the book sits.

About the ‘Services, Economy and Innovation’ Book Series:

The collection is part of a book series edited out of City-REDI by John Bryson. This series engages with on-going debates on the relationship between innovation, service functions, employment and economic activity. Manufacturing is being transformed into hybrid production systems that combine production and service functions both within manufacturing processes as well as in final products. Manufacturing employment continues to decline while employment in a range of services activities continues to grow. The shift toward service-dominated economies presents a series of challenges for academics as well as policymakers. Our chapter is published in one of six books in the series ‘Services, Economy and Innovation’. The series is edited by Professor John Bryson and is the first to bring together a range of different perspectives that explore different aspects of service, economy and innovation. The series includes titles that explore:

  • The economics of services;
  • Service-led economies or enterprises
  • Service work and employment
  • Innovation and services
  • Services and the wider process of production
  • Services and globalisation.

The on-going transition to service-led or service-enabled economies continues to alter the nature of firm competition, innovation, city-region economies and the world of work. It is critical that research and policy development continues to focus on understanding the nature of service innovation and the role that experiences will play in the on-going transformation of the city of Birmingham. Thus, we need to develop a debate on Birmingham as a site for experiences. We also need to continue to explore the ways in which the regional economy is responding to its on-going restructuring from a manufacturing-led economy to one that is more of a blend of firms involved in the production of goods and firms that create or craft experiences.

About the Book:

Consumers are increasingly investing in experiences[1] rather than products. With innovation research moving away from the traditional focus on manufacturing towards services, this book develops a much-needed integrated approach for improving analysis of both experience and service innovation. The purpose of the book is to explore what innovation, service and experience research has in common and to try to set an agenda for future research at the intersection of these fields.

The book makes a substantial and compelling contribution to research on the interdependencies between innovation, services and experiences. Split into clear and thematically separate categories, the contributors explore systemic innovation, practice-based innovation, technology and innovation, and experiences as a catalyst for innovation. Examples are taken from the tourism industry, entrepreneurial ventures, online gaming and digital services, to provide readers with a thorough overview of the extensive impact of these innovations. Using organizational, systemic, conceptual and empirical examinations of the experience and service economies, the authors identify how top class innovation research can be extended and integrated further with other research areas.

This timely book will benefit teachers of innovation, the experience economy, and information systems. Researchers of business economics and marketing will also find this an essential foundation volume for future research on topics of innovation in a globalizing world. It is dedicated to Professor Jon Sundbo, Roskilde University, for his inspiring work on the subjects of the book through the years.

Contributors include: J.O. Bærenholdt, C.A. Billing, J.R. Bryson, P. Corvo, P. den Hertog, F. Djellal, M. Ernkvist, L. Fuglsang, F. Gallouj, N.N. Grünbaum, A.H.A. Henten, M. Janssen, J.F. Jensen, D. Križaj, M.-F. Lee, P.C.R. Matacena, I. Miles, J.K. Møller, G. Nardelli, L. Rubalcaba, K. Sawatwarakul, A. Scupola, F. Sørensen, J.K. Sørensen, M. Stare, M. Stenger, P. Ström, M. Toivonen, L. Uljala

About the Chapter:

There is an ever greater reliance by societies on satellites. Smartphones enable users to access satellite-provided services that are based on global positioning systems (GPS). These services from space increasingly shape the on-going interactions between people, place and the economy. Satellite-enabled services are used in a variety of sectors, including agriculture, energy, and TV broadcasting and play an important role in creating and/or facilitating service experiences. This chapter explores the structure of the UK space industry highlighting the interdependencies between manufacturing and service functions and the emergence of hybrid products and production processes. The satellite industry consists of three sub-sectors in the UK: the manufacture of satellites; operation of satellites and providers of satellite-enabled services. The differences and interrelationships between these three linked sub-sectors are identified and explored with a focus on identifying innovation processes. The chapter highlights the importance of exploring the interdependencies between manufacturing and service functions and suggests that research should shift the focus of attention away from manufacturing or services to a focus on understanding the creation of value through the provision and consumption of service-enabled experiences.

[1] Experience definition from the book: “An experience is a mental phenomenon that does not concern physical needs or solving material or intellectual problems as services do, but services generate experiences” (Rubalcaba, 2018).

This blog was written by Dr Chloe Billing, Research Fellow at City-REDI and John Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography, City-REDI.  

The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and not necessarily those of City-REDI or the University of Birmingham

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