Product and Service Innovation: Ideas for Future Cross-Disciplinary Research

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[Excerpt] The second annual Product and Service Innovation Conference was held in February 2005 in Park City, Utah. The conference brought together over 40 distinguished and upcoming scholars from 30 flagship universities all over the United States. The purpose of the conference is to unite leading scholars in the fields of operations management and marketing and to promote an open dialog among different academic fields on the subject of product and service innovation. The conference provides a venue where participants have ample opportunities to learn about advances in innovation research, to leverage each other’s work, and to discuss future research directions. The conference is designed to support cross-disciplinary research and to bridge the divide between marketing and operations approaches to studying innovation. Marketing and operations ‘‘are two components of one of the first economic paradigms that a management student encounters—the point of tangency between the production–possibility frontier and consumer preference curves. Unfortunately, the relationship between these two functions has often been uncomfortable if not adversarial’’ (Karmarkar, 1996, p. 125), thus creating an interdisciplinary divide and limiting the research opportunities in this area. The underlying reasons for the existence of this divide between operations and marketing were explored during a panel discussion that wrapped up this year’s conference. The main culprits identified for the lack of cross disciplinary research include the lack of acceptance of paradigm breaking or shifting research, the shortage of publication outlets, and the negative stigma associated with cross-disciplinary research by the research community. Although cross-disciplinary research is vital to studying innovation, many challenges prevent the advancement of this type of research. The purpose of this article is to summarize the challenges faced today by cross-disciplinary scholars and also to address the future research priorities in this area. The present article is organized as follows. First, the current issues in cross-disciplinary research are discussed, as well as ways to overcome some of the obstacles that deter the field’s development. Next, cross-disciplinary research priorities are presented as identified by previous literature and conference panel discussions, as well as the ranking of these priorities resulting from the present survey study. Finally, the implications of the findings on the future of cross-disciplinary research are discussed.
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cross-disciplinary research; marketing; operations; innovation
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Required Publisher Statement: © Wiley. Final version published as: Karniouchina, E. V., Victorino, L., & Verma, R. (2006). Product and service innovation: Ideas for future cross-disciplinary research. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 23(3), 274-280. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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