In service design projects, collaboration between design consultant and service provider can be problematic. The nature of these projects requires a high level of shared understanding and commitment, which providers may not be used to. We studied designer-provider collaboration in multiple real-life cases, in order to uncover determinants for successful collaboration. The case studies involved six service innovation projects, performed by Dutch design agencies. Independent researchers closely monitored the projects. Additional interviews with designers and providers gave insights in how both parties experienced their collaboration in the innovation projects. During data analysis, a coding scheme was created inductively. The scheme supported us in formulating 12 themes for designer-provider collaboration, amongst them four contextual determinants of shared understanding and stakeholder commitment in SD-projects. The insights from this study were then grounded in literature. Knowledge gaps were identified on themes about agreements of responsibilities, the open-endedness of an SD-process, an opportunitysearching approach, and organizational change that is required for the successful implementation of innovative service concepts.
|Key words||collaboration, provider, shared understanding|