For both managers and policy makers involved in innovation, capability failures regarding development of new services are a major concern. Efforts to strengthen those capabilities, and evaluation thereof, demand more comprehensive insight in firms’ actual abilities to source ideas and convert them into marketable service propositions. This paper aims to provide clarity by operationalizing a set of dynamic service innovation capabilities (DSICs). We first review how existing conceptualizations adopt recent insights from the dynamic capability view, which emphasizes the need to identify microfoundations corresponding to a limited set of common constructs. One of the encountered conceptualizations, consolidating earlier works in specific service sectors, was found appropriate for gauging DSICs across a wide range of industries. It exemplifies how DSICs can be conceptualized according to the so-called synthesis approach to service innovation by capturing insights on the evolutionary properties of the creation of novel solutions. Secondly, we operationalize a refined version of such DSICs and develop a measurement scale, using two subsamples from a dataset of 391 Dutch firms. The measured capabilities are found to correlate to different extents with performance measures. Our main contribution, a validated scale for five complementary DSICs, opens the way to comparative analyses which are of relevance for further research, management and policy development.
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