The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate service innovation synergies and their effect on soft key performance indicators from the customer perspective. Innovation can prove to be a great benefit to firms, but they are rarely able to realize this benefit due to high market failure rates. Considering the required investment of resources under uncertainty, it is imperative to understand and discover ways to increase the market success of service innovations. A possible answer lies in the research niche of innovation synergies. Nevertheless, two major research gaps undermine existing knowledge. The first issue is that industry and research fail to take the customer perspective into account, even though market success is ultimately determined by customers and their perceptions of value. Second, a limited research niche of innovation synergies, which has yet to consider the customer perspective and classification systems exclusive to service innovation. Hence, this dissertation aims to answer the following research question: how are synergies between different service innovations perceived and valued by customers? A mixed-methods approach was employed to address the research question. First, a qualitative study with 34 experienced theme park customers enabled the researcher to confirm the contextual appropriateness of the research model. Moreover, it created a foundational understanding of customer-based service innovation synergies. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis and the results enriched the development of the second quantitative study. The latter had the primary objective of investigating the effect of different types of service innovation projects (stand-alone service innovations vs synergetic service innovations) on the customers' perceptions of innovation and on soft key performance indicators. An online scenario-based experiment was conducted with theme park customers. Based on 454 responses, the research model was analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). An analysis of variance and multigroup analysis were employed to test for differences in groups. This study found that service innovativeness is characterized by change and differentiation and is mainly driven by perceptions of newness and immersion. Additionally, service innovativeness has a positive effect on perceived firm innovativeness, adoption intentions, and loyalty intentions. More importantly, this study found that customers of experiential services perceive synergetic service innovations favorably and significantly more innovative than stand-alone service innovations. Finally, service innovation synergies could be a profit maximization strategy by having a significantly higher impact on loyalty intentions than stand-alone service concept innovations. These results contribute to theory by introducing a new research niche of customer-based service innovation synergies. The dissertation also forwards predictive and holistic knowledge on innovation acceptance and market value. From a managerial standpoint, it helps service firms in attending to two of the most pressing innovation challenges they face, high failure rates and low differentiation. Furthermore, it serves as a strategic guide of best practices to introduce valuable service innovation synergies.


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Graduation Date





Okumus, Fevzi


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality Management









Release Date

August 2026

Length of Campus-only Access

5 years

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Restricted to the UCF community until August 2026; it will then be open access.