Capability Demands of Digital Service Innovation

Capability Demands of Digital Service Innovation

Jo Coldwell-Neilson (Deakin University, Australia), Trudi Cooper (Edith Cowan University, Australia) and Nick Patterson (Deakin University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2799-3.ch003
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This chapter explores the demands that digital service innovation places on those stakeholders who use the digital service through three lenses: workers and workplace, digital literacy, and, finally, digital education. The chapter includes an overview of digital service innovation. The impact of digital services generally is explored from the perspective of the workforce and the future of work developing an argument for the need for ongoing upskilling in the digital space. The skills required in the age of digital disruption are explored, and a definition and general understanding of what digital literacy entails is presented. Finally, the opportunities for education in digital environments are explored through three vignettes which illustrate different opportunities for upskilling and retraining. The chapter highlights adaptations required in socio-political environments, education and training, and curricula to allow digital service innovations to achieve the expected benefits.
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Digital service innovation is emerging in diverse sectors in the economy, including, retail, education, tourism, hospitality, social services, and distribution. This chapter synthesises findings from three different research projects to address questions about how digital service innovation is changing work; what types of change will be socially beneficial; what digital skills will be required by the future workforce; and how education and training can meet these needs. This chapter will explore four questions:

  • how is digital service innovation changing work and workplaces?

  • what are the potential socio-cultural benefits and pitfalls of digital service innovation?

  • what are the implications of these changes for digital literacy? and

  • how is education and training being developed to meet various digital literacy needs of the future?



Digital Service Innovation is driven by the need to deliver new solutions rapidly to a wide audience through digital technology. Digital Service Innovation is often assumed to be motivated by the pursuit of economic efficiency and the use of ICT to reduce workforce cost (Green, 2017) producing savings that are passed on to consumers as lower prices, or through increasing profit. Nylén and Holmström (2015) contend that better user experience is at least as important as price competition.

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