Purpose of the paper: To recover from the Covid-19 crisis, tourism firms had to quickly introduce effective service innovations to accommodate their customers’ changed attitudes and behaviours and to adapt to the changed scenario. Drawing on these premises, this study examines the effects that customer involvement in service innovation had on tourism business performance in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis. In detail, this work suggests a model which explains the direct and indirect mechanisms through which customer involvement in service innovation positively impacts tourism firms’ recovery. Methodology: Data were collected through a questionnaire-based survey among a sample of Italian agritourism firms. Data were then analysed through Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) to provide a prediction-oriented model assessment. Main Findings: The findings highlight that firms that more intensely involved their customers in service innovation were able to better recover from the Covid-19 crisis. The findings also clarify that this positive effect is partially mediated by mutual affective commitment between the firm and its customers. Practical implications: This study suggests the importance of customer involvement to develop successful innovations in tourism firms’ offerings to recover from the Covid-19 crisis. It also indicates that customer involvement strengthens the emotional bond between the firm its customers, thus emphasizing the positive effects on firm performance. Originality/value: This study provides new evidence to enrich the literature about the role of customer involvement in service innovation and relates it to firm’s performance in recovering from the Covid-19 crisis.
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