Emotional strategizing in service innovation
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Purpose – In this paper, we shed light on an aspect of service innovation processes that has remained fairly hidden so far, namely, the role of emotions. Design/methodology/approach – We use the strategizing approach from strategy research, which focuses on detailed processes, practices, and discourse, to understand the influence of emotions on service innovation processes. The empirical data stem from a longitudinal ethnographic study of a service innovation process. Findings – In the investigated case, the dominant emotion of anxiety is revealed. We focus on this emotion in order to explore how it affects the innovation process itself and the outcome. We identify five emotion-driven practices that form elements of what we label emotional strategizing. Practical implications – Emotion seems to give energy and direction to the service innovation process. This is both positive and challenging for top-level managers. Originality/value – We reveal a hidden aspect of service innovation processes—the effect of emotions. Furthermore, we show that emotions are important because they give energy and direction to the innovation work, and emerge in practices. Emotional strategizing, as a new term, gives visibility to this important issue.