I just attended Naples Forum on Service 2011 in Capri, Italy, on June 14-17, where I presented two academic papers:

  • Explaining the Evolutionary Development of the Web (co-authored with Kimmo Karhu)
  • The Impact of Information Technology Enabled Services on Value Co-Creation (co-authored with Mikko Heiskala and Kari Hiekkanen)

In the first paper, we leveraged Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approach to provide a meta-level account on the evolution of the Web. Drawing from the ecological notions of Adaptive Cycle and Panarchy (Gunderson and Holling, 2002) as well as a typology of agents (Verhagen, 2000), we constructed a tentative model with three levels of scale and four waves of development. We identified characteristic accumulating resources in each Web generation and discussed how they trigger an evolutionary leap to the next adaptive cycle. Our conclusions included that the control of service consumers over the service diminishes as the Web’s constituent agents increase in autonomy and that the content consumers at each generation tend to become the content producers at the next generation.

In the second paper, we discussed how information and communications technology impacts value co-creation in services. We argued that while IT enabled services eliminate human labor from direct interaction between the provider and consumer of the service in service fulfillment, human discretion is increasingly required at higher strata of work complexity: in handling exceptions and (re)defining service agreements as well as in designing and implementing service systems — i.e. in what we call service negotiation.