Value Creation and Disruptive Innovation by Robots: An Abstract


In 1921, the Czech Writer Karel Čapek Introduced the Word Robot in His Science-Fiction Play, "R.U.R." (Jordan, 2019; Mims, 2021). One Hundred Years Later, Robots Play a Part in Our Society, Such as in Retail and Service Encounters. These Robots Are Called RSAs (Robotic Service Assistants), and Pioneering Work Has Been Conducted to Understand the Roles of RSAs in Retail and Service Contexts. Today, Some RSAs, Such as Pepper Robot, Can Autonomously Communicate with Customers and Enhance Retail and Service Experiences. Other RSAs, Such as Servi Robot and Whiz Robot Enhance These Experiences Without Directly Interacting with Customers. Servi Robot Autonomously Brings Dishes to Customers in Restaurants. in the "Innovation Radar" Proposed by Sawhney Et Al. (2006), RSAs Could Improve Process, Enhance Customer Experience, and Create Value for Customers. for Instance, Servi Robot Can Autonomously Serve Tables 300 Times a Day (Chiba, 2021), and Thus Improve the Process of Serving Food to Customers at Restaurants and Enhance the Customer Experience (E.g., Shorter Wait Time, Touchless Service during Covid-19 Pandemic). Another RSA, Whiz Robot, is an Autonomous Robotic Cleaner Softbank Robotics Utilizes to Disrupt the Commercial Cleaning Sector (McSweeney, 2019). However, in Recent Years, Some Companies Have Experienced Challenges in Sustaining the Presence of RSAs (E.g., Lalley, 2020). What Determines the Successful Application of RSAs? How Can Retailers Introduce RSAs in a Way that Creates Value for Customers? How Does the Introduction of RSAs Uniquely Affect the Digital Transformation of Companies? How Could RSAs Disrupt Industries? through Interviewing Executives of Softbank Robotics (A Manufacturer of RSAs, Including Pepper, Whiz, and Servi Robots), We Will Seek to Answer Those Questions. in Particular, We Explore How RSAs Could Create Customer Value, Trigger Digital Transformation, and Enhance Disruptive Innovation. Series of Propositions Have Been Generated in Relation to These Roles of RSAs. We Discuss Theoretical and Managerial Implications from Insights Generated through Executive Interviews.


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

Digital transformation; Disruptive innovation; Robots; Value creation

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2363-6173; 2363-6165

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 2023