Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate innovation in the facilities management sector by conducting an empirical study. Design/methodology/approach – This study uses a qualitative research approach to investigate the research question. Data collection includes qualitative semi‐structured interviews with key facility management managers and directors, secondary material such as company brochures and reports and participation to workshops and conferences on facility management. Findings – The main results are that big service providers perceive innovation as a strategic activity and see themselves as innovative companies. Facilities management (FM) service customers with their own FM department present mixed results. Some perceive innovation as a strategic priority and have clear innovation strategies. Others perceive themselves as not being innovative, even though they might be. The organizations belonging to the category “ICT Supplier/consultants” perceive themselves as innovative organizations and their innovations are both driven by the user needs and by the desire to improve their competitiveness. The types of perceived FM innovations found in the study can be mainly categorized as service, contract, process and business model innovations. Finally, the study shows that ICT is perceived to be a driver of FM innovations and that FM organizations use both closed and open innovation strategies. Practical implications – These results can be used by FM managers, innovation researchers and FM researchers alike. For FM managers the results provide some useful information about how innovation is addressed in FM provider and customer companies. FM researchers can get a picture of what is going on in the FM innovation landscape in Denmark. Finally, service researchers can get some insights about service innovation in a specific and under‐researched service field: facility management services. Originality/value – This paper contributes to the understanding of innovation and innovation types in facility management companies.
Journal of Facilities Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 6, 2012
Keywords: Facilities management; Services; Innovation; Denmark; Facilities