To Serve or Create? Strategic Orientations Toward Customers and Innovation

by Pierre Berthon, James Hulbert, Leyland Pitt

Fall 1999

Volume 42
Issue 1

Full Article Browse Issue



This article reviews a central tension in management-the relationship between customers and innovation. It explores the contrast between serving and creating customers and examines the sometimes uneasy relationship between an innovation orientation and a customer orientation. From this discussion, the article develops a model that provides an inclusive paradigm of the different strategies that firms have used to resolve the tension and explores the dynamics of the change process for several well-known companies. It concludes by developing the managerial implications of the model, with a particular emphasis on how new technology is changing the desirability of alternative strategies.

California Management Review

Berkeley-Haas's Premier Management Journal

Published at Berkeley Haas for more than sixty years, California Management Review seeks to share knowledge that challenges convention and shows a better way of doing business.

Learn more
Follow Us