Efficiently Inefficient: Service Design Games As Innovation Tools

Otso Hannula
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University School of Science, Finland

J. Tuomas Harviainen
Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Aalto University School of Science, Finland

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Ingår i: Service Design Geographies. Proceedings of the ServDes.2016 Conference

Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings 125:20, s. 241-252

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Publicerad: 2016-05-17

ISBN: 978-91-7685-738-0

ISSN: 1650-3686 (tryckt), 1650-3740 (online)


This paper analyses the effectiveness of service design games (SDGs) based on their ability to trigger participant reflection. The paper draws upon game studies to present how SDGs appear as ineffective innovation tools, and combines it with organizational knowledge creation to show how the “gameness” of SDGs actually drives their effectives. The paper contributes to the understanding of SDGs by offering a theoretical explanation for their effectiveness, and presents a framework for analysing design games as productive dialogues. ATLAS, a board game for service co-design project planning, is presented as an example of embedding reflection into the design of a SDG.


service design games, knowledge creation, innovation tool, service co-creation


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