Better and more efficient services

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PhD Defense

10 November 2016 12:00

(updated: 11 November 2016 12:51)

Better and more efficient services

On Friday 25 November 2016 Seidali Kurtmollaiev will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.

Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:

The Role of Organizational Learning in Service Innovation

Trial lecture:

10:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Title of the thesis:

Service, Innovation, and Dynamic Capabilities: From Conceptualization to Explanation

Seidali Kurtmollaiev is a PhD student at Department of Strategy and Management, NHH.
Seidali Kurtmollaiev is a PhD student at Department of Strategy and Management, NHH.


Service innovation and service design have attracted considerable attention in the last years. Researchers and managers increasingly see them as a way to improve the quality and efficiency of services in both the private and the public sectors.

Kurtmollaiev’s dissertation consists of four articles and raises the questions of what is unique about service innovation and whether service design in itself leads to better and more efficient services.

Answering the first question, Kurtmollaiev shows that there are several perspectives on what service innovation is and how to study it. Some of the perspectives are as relevant for manufacturing companies as they are for service firms.

The answer to the second question is not straightforward either. As presented in two articles, Kurtmollaiev follows a service design program in Telenor’s business units over the whole world. He develops an approach to measure the effect of service design and finds that the service design program does not result in new services directly. Instead, the use of service design have increased Telenor’s capability to innovate. This, in turn, comes from stronger capabilities to sense customer needs, to translate new ideas into concrete projects, and to restructure the organization.

However, the findings also show that a careless use of service design tools may result in a disruption of efficient operations. Finally, Kurtmollaiev discusses how and why the organizational capability to innovate stems from formal and informal leaders’ intentions and skills and not necessarily from organizational routines and procedures.


12:15 in Jebsen Centre, NHH

Members of the evaluation committee:

Professor Nicolai Foss (leader of the committee), NHH, Bocconi University and Copenhagen Business School

Professor Alf Steinar Sætre, NTNU

Assistant Professor Lia Patrício, University of Porto


Professor Per Egil Pedersen, Department of Strategy and Management, NHH

The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public. Copies of the thesis will be available from

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