How does a retail bank innovate? Traditional innovation literature would suggest that organizations innovate by getting new and/or improved products to market. However, in a service, the product is the process. Thus, innovation in banking lies more in process and organizational changes than in new product development in a traditional sense. This paper reviews a multi-year research effort on innovation and efficiency in retail banking, and discusses both the means by which innovation occurs along with the factors that make one institution better than another in innovation. Implications of these results to the study of the broader service sector will be drawn as well.
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