Cathy A. Enz of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration published “Strategies for the Implementation of Service Innovations” on June 6, 2012 in Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. To see more OnlineFirst articles, click here.
Implementation strategies are the ways in which information about a new service innovation are shared with those employees who must execute on the innovation. This article examines the relationship between innovation success and the frequency of use of various strategies for the implementation of two specific nationwide service innovations in the North American hotels of a global lodging chain. Cost and service quality–based innovations were found to rely on different implementation strategies, suggesting that the connection between an implementation strategy and success depends on the type of innovation. In the hotel chain studied, the most successful strategy for implementing quality innovations was individual counseling, while rewards and focus groups were most strongly associated with success when implementing cost-based innovations. A mix of execution strategies including implementation by persuasion, leader intervention, participation, and even edict were linked to service innovation success. Participative employee-centered implementation strategies emerged as the most critical in the diffusion of service innovations.