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Innovating into trouble: When innovation leads to customer complaints

Date: 15th February 2019
Time: 14:00
Location: KB1-11, First Floor, Kemmy Business School

Department of Economics Seminar
Dr. Jane Bourke
University College Cork

Innovating into trouble: When innovation leads to customer complaints 

Date: Friday 15th February, 14h00-15h00

Venue: Kemmy Business School, KB1-11

All are welcome to attend.

Dr. Jane Bourke is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at University College Cork. Her research interests include Innovation, Technology Adoption, & Health Economics. Jane has published her work in internationally recognised peer-reviewed journals such as Research Policy, Technovation, International Journal of Innovation Management, the European Journal of Health Economics and Health Policy. She regularly presents her work at national and international conferences. Dr. Bourke was an invited advisor to the European Commission & IMF on health reform in Ireland and the Seanad Public Consultation Committee on Small & Medium Sized Enterprises. Dr. Bourke is currently a co-investigator and theme leader at the Enterprise Research Centre at Warwick and Aston Universities, which is funded by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council (£2.5m).  She is a founding member and theme leader (Innovation Systems) at the Spatial and Regional Economics Research Centre at UCC.
This paper examines the unintended consequences of innovation. We show that innovative activity can have adverse outcomes in the form of increased customer complaints with the potential for reputational and financial damage. Complaints may arise directly from adverse reactions to innovative services or service failures where firms prioritise innovation. Our empirical analysis focuses on legal services in England and Wales. Survey data on innovation by legal service providers is matched with complaints data from the UK Legal Ombudsman. This allows us to identify causal links between innovation activity and subsequent customer complaints. Our analysis reveals that higher levels of innovation activity increase the probability and number of consumer complaints. We identify how firms can reduce the potential for consumer complaints by adopting collaborative innovation strategies and engaging in multi-functional teamworking. Our results have strategic, regulatory and policy implications.
Department of Economics Seminars