1 Innovation in Business and Enterprises, The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University2 The Department of Communication, Business and Information Technologies, Roskilde University3 Innovation in services and experiences, Department of Social Sciences and Business, Roskilde University
Purpose: This paper investigates innovation in the Danish facilities management sector and addresses the following research question: “Do Danish FM organizations innovate and if so what are the major types of innovations in the Danish FM sector?” Background: In the last three decades, Facilities Management (FM) has established itself as a key service sector, with a diverse and highly competitive market of FM contractors, in-house FM teams, FM suppliers, FM consultants, and professional FM institutions. Traditionally, innovation processes in service firms have often been characterised as being unsystematic and not science-based and often resulting into ad-hoc innovations that were not really strategically planned. Recent literature, however, has showed that service firms also innovate and their innovations are also of strategic, organized nature. Approach (Theory/Methodology): The study takes the starting point in the literature on facilities management, services and service innovation, and adopts a qualitative research approach to investigate the research question. Specifically twelve interviews were conducted with key managers in twelve Danish companies in the Danish facilities management sector. Results: The results show that for big service providers, innovation is a strategic activity and is conducted as a planned and systematic process. For FM service customer with their own FM department, the results are mixed: some of the FM departments have innovation as a strategic priority and clear innovation strategies while other FM departments do innovate without being aware that innovation is taking place. The “ICT Supplier/Consultants” are found to be innovative and their innovations are both driven by the user needs and by the desire to improve their competitiveness. Practical Implications: The study has implications for service innovation researchers, facilities management researchers as well as facility managers.