David Ing


An initiative to transform or redesign a service system can be centered on envisioning a future that may be explicit or implicit, shared or tacit. When that future represents discontinuous change from the current state, detailed analysis from a single frame (e.g. process modeling) may mislead or confuse collective choices and priorities.

Four envisioning engagements – across a variety of service businesses – are reviewed as case studies to surface commonalities in approach. Success in the engagements has largely been attributed to the sequencing of consultations into sequential phases of induction, abduction and then deduction. Challenges to adoption of this three-phase approach are outlined, as a departure from current practice in envisioning innovations.

Following an inductive style of description, conclusions are presented with theoretical saturation of research concepts based on the philosophy of phenomenology.

Keywords: service systems, innovation, system envisioning, induction, abduction, deduction


David Ing, "Envisioning Innovation in Service Systems: Induction, Abduction and Deduction ", Proceedings of the 53nd Annual Conference of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, (Jennifer Wilby, editor), presented at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, July 17, 2009.


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2009/07 Envisioning Innovation in Service Systems: Induction, Abduction and Deduction