Customer participation includes different forms of information provision, customer-enterprise interaction and co-development, which are important for green innovation, especially green service innovation. Based on the institutional theory, this paper examines the impact of the three forms of customer participation: information provision, customer-enterprise interaction and co-development on green service innovation, and analyzes the role of corporate “perceptions” and “capabilities” in the relationship between customer participation and green service innovation.
The following conclusions are drawn from the empirical study of 196 service-oriented companies. First, all three dimensions of customer participation can contribute to green service innovation, but there are differences in the magnitude of the effect. Among them, customer-enterprise interaction has the greatest impact, followed by co-development, and the role of information provision is the least. Second, as a surrogate variable for corporate “perceptions”, the higher the green organization identity coefficient, the stronger the impact of the three forms of customer participation on green service innovation. Third, as a substitute variable for corporate “capabilities”, the higher the green dynamic capability coefficient, the stronger the impact of information provision and customer-enterprise interaction on green service innovation. However, green dynamic capability does not indirectly affect the relationship between co-development and green service innovation.
Based on the above findings, the following insights are obtained: First, customer orientation should be the core of the strategy and customer involvement should be actively guided. Particularly in the case of limited perceptions and capabilities, it is important for enterprises to lead customer participation through customer-enterprise interaction to promote green service innovation. Second, enterprises should enhance their green organizational identity and green dynamic capabilities, and apply them to the process of guiding customer participation to improve the effectiveness and conversion efficiency of customer participation. However, in the case of strong green dynamic capabilities, enterprises should adopt more forms of customer participation such as customer-enterprise interaction and information provision to avoid the complexity and conflict of internal synergy caused by adopting co-development.
This paper makes several contributions to the literature: First, based on the institutional theory, it analyzes the impact of the three dimensions of customer participation on green service innovation, extending the application scope of customer participation innovation and deepening the “antecedent” research on green service innovation. Second, it explores the mechanism of customer participation in the process of green service innovation based on the “perception” and “capability” contexts of enterprises, and expands the understanding of the factors influencing customer participation in innovation. At the same time, it responds to the call of scholars to promote the maximization of the effect of customer participation by strengthening the research on the mechanism of variation.