Theorizing about resource integration : Studies of actors and service innovation in dynamic contexts
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Resource integration represents the most foundational construct in service-dominant (S-D) logic, but efforts to theorize about the concept are scarce, especially in regards to actors and service innovation in dynamic contexts. By theorizing about resource integration from a S-D logic perspective, this thesis aims to contribute to filling that gap through two conceptual and two empirical papers, based on extensive literature reviews and interviews. This thesis builds on a wide range of literature to theorize about resource integration, but it predominantly focuses on literature utilizing a service perspective and literature in psychology to study actors as resource integrators in value co-creation processes and service innovation, as well as what mechanisms enable and drive actors to perform these activities with greater success than other actors. The actor as a driver of activities in value co-creation processes not only needs to integrate the right resources, but also integrate the resources right. Furthermore, actors must be agile to respond to change and continuously innovate to maintain competitive advantages. Hence, explorative and exploitative resource integration should be considered the norm in companies, rather than the exception. The results of this study contribute to linking two central concepts of service research, namely, resource integration and service innovation, and theorizing about resource integration as a phenomenon through combining conceptual and exploratory research about actors’ ability to effectively and efficiently integrate resources and develop innovative solutions in services and service delivery through explorative and exploitative resource integration. By zooming in on micro-level phenomena, we have investigated elements and mechanisms that give energetic force and drive the actors performing activities. In a complex, dynamic world filled with problems and challenges, being able to adapt to changing environments, being resourceful and creative, and being able to solve problems under stress may be the most important abilities actors need to face the unpredictable future.