Ingo Karpen

Professor Ingo Karpen


Adelaide Business School

Faculty of the Professions

Ingo Oswald Karpen is Professor of Business and Design, with a passion for making lives and (eco)systems better. His interdisciplinary research revolves around reimagining and advancing service through designerly ways of thinking, working and being; and how this enables organisations to cocreate better strategies and improve the wellbeing of people and their (eco)systems alike. Multilevel and multimethod theorising is his favourite approach, connecting the essentiality and existentiality of individual human experiences with systemic innovation. As a faculty member at CTF - the Service Research Center at Karlstad University (Sweden) and Adelaide Business School, Adelaide University (Australia), Ingo seeks to engage with researchers and entrepreneurs for positive societal change across contexts.

Ingo's research has been widely published including in the Journal of Service Research, Journal of Product Innovation Management, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Business Research, Marketing Theory, Industrial Marketing Management, Journal of Service Management, Journal of Cleaner Production, Journal of Travel Research, Journal of Services Marketing, Journal of Service Theory and Practice and Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services among others. His research and education has also been internationally recognised, among others with a SERVSIG Best Service Article Award for a publication in the Journal of Service Research, and multiple Educator Awards across Australia/New Zealand.

Seeking direct contributions to solving systemic problems, Ingo has won significant competitive research funding such as a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Grant and successfully tendered Government funding for the purpose of service reform and societal wellbeing. Ingo also serves as an editorial review board member across service journals and has managed special issues across academic disciplines. Leveraging the nexus of business and design, Ingo works as a Strategic Designer and consults with private and public organisations.

Illustrative recent publications:
Danatzis, Ilias; Karpen, Ingo O. and Kleinaltenkamp, Michael (2021), Actor Ecosystem Readiness: Understanding the Nature and Role of Human Abilities and Motivation in a Service Ecosystem, Journal of Service Research, in press.
Klenner, Nico; Gemser, Gerda and Karpen, Ingo O. (2021), Entrepreneurial Ways of Designing and Designerly Ways of Entrepreneuring: Exploring the Relationship between Design Thinking and Effectuation Theory, Journal of Product Innovation Management,, open access.

Interdisciplinary in nature, my research mainly revolves around human-centred and systemic design, and its various forms that emerged across disciplines. This includes, for instance, service design in the marketing and design domains, as well as design thinking in the management domain. Combining human and systemic needs, I also pursue the notion of strategic design, which I investigate from an academic perspective (see publications) as well as from a practitioner perspective with my co-edited book titled Strategic Design.

In recent years, I have been focusing on understanding, measuring and managing organisations from a design and strategy perspective. For instance: drawing on service and designerly thinking to better understand and inform value cocreation and innovation strategies; unpacking and measuring the interplay of service-driving organisational design and customer experience design; managing service systems and human relations towards more engaging experience processes and better experience outcomes.

The term ‘strategic’ reappears across my research areas as I am interested in studying, explaining and predicting phenomena that define the essence, priorities and evolution of people and the (eco)systems they are embedded in. For this purpose I am also a mixed methodologist using a variety of qualitative and quantitative research approaches.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2020 Karpen, I., & Conduit, J. (2020). Engaging in times of COVID-19 and beyond: Theorizing customer engagement through different paradigmatic lenses. Journal of Service Management, 31(6), 12 pages.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS6
    2020 Pallant, J. L., Sands, S., & Karpen, I. O. (2020). The 4Cs of mass customization in service industries: a customer lens. Journal of Services Marketing, 34(4), 499-511.
    DOI Scopus6
    2020 Windahl, C., Karpen, I. O., & Wright, M. R. (2020). Strategic design: orchestrating and leveraging market-shaping capabilities. Journal of Business and Industrial Marketing, 35(9), 1413-1424.
    DOI Scopus4
    2020 Baldassarre, B., Konietzko, J., Brown, P., Calabretta, G., Bocken, N., Karpen, I. O., & Hultink, E. J. (2020). Addressing the design-implementation gap of sustainable business models by prototyping: A tool for planning and executing small-scale pilots. Journal of Cleaner Production, 255, 120295.
    DOI Scopus20
    2020 Pallant, J., Sands, S., & Karpen, I. (2020). Product customization: A profile of consumer demand. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 54, 102030.
    DOI Scopus10
    2019 Kock, F., Josiassen, A., Assaf, A. G., Karpen, I., & Farrelly, F. (2019). Tourism Ethnocentrism and Its Effects on Tourist and Resident Behavior. Journal of Travel Research, 58(3), 427-439.
    DOI Scopus27
    2019 Kleinaltenkamp, M., Karpen, I., Plewa, C., Jaakkola, E., & Conduit, J. (2019). Collective engagement in organizational settings. Industrial Marketing Management, 80, 11-23.
    DOI Scopus20 WoS18
    2019 Conduit, J., Karpen, I., Plewa, C., & Kleinaltenkamp, M. (2019). Business Actor Engagement: Foundations, Developments and Opportunities. Industrial Marketing Management, 80, 1-3.
    DOI Scopus3 WoS3
    2019 Conduit, J., Karpen, I., & Tierney, K. (2019). Volunteer Engagement: Conceptual Extensions and Value-in-Context Outcomes. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 29(4), 462-487.
    DOI Scopus1 WoS1
    2018 Chung, E., Farrelly, F., Beverland, M. B., & Karpen, I. O. (2018). Loyalty or liability: Resolving the consumer fanaticism paradox. Marketing Theory, 18(1), 3-30.
    DOI Scopus7
    2017 Wilden, R., Akaka, M. A., Karpen, I. O., & Hohberger, J. (2017). The Evolution and Prospects of Service-Dominant Logic: An Investigation of Past, Present, and Future Research. Journal of Service Research, 20(4), 345-361.
    DOI Scopus58
    2017 Laud, G., & Karpen, I. O. (2017). Value co-creation behaviour – role of embeddedness and outcome considerations. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(4), 778-807.
    DOI Scopus21
    2017 Beverland, M. B., Gemser, G., & Karpen, I. O. (2017). Design, consumption and marketing: outcomes, process, philosophy and future directions. Journal of Marketing Management, 33(3-4), 159-172.
    DOI Scopus1
    2017 Karpen, I. O., Gemser, G., & Calabretta, G. (2017). A multilevel consideration of service design conditions: Towards a portfolio of organisational capabilities, interactive practices and individual abilities. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(2), 384-407.
    DOI Scopus34
    2017 Kleinaltenkamp, M., Plewa, C., Gudergan, S., Karpen, I., & Chen, T. (2017). Usage center – value cocreation in multi-actor usage processes. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 27(4), 721-737.
    DOI Scopus19 WoS15
    2016 Plewa, C., Ho, J., Conduit, J., & Karpen, I. (2016). Reputation in higher education: a fuzzy set analysis of resource configurations. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 3087-3095.
    DOI Scopus52 WoS42
    2016 Hollebeek, L. D., Conduit, J., Sweeney, J., Soutar, G., Karpen, I. O., Jarvis, W., & Chen, T. (2016). Epilogue to the Special Issue and reflections on the future of engagement research. Journal of Marketing Management, 32(5-6), 586-594.
    DOI Scopus37 WoS40
    2016 Tierney, K. D., Karpen, I. O., & Westberg, K. (2016). Brand meaning cocreation: toward a conceptualization and research implications. Journal of Service Theory and Practice, 26(6), 911-932.
    DOI Scopus25
    2015 Laud, G., Karpen, I. O., Mulye, R., & Rahman, K. (2015). The role of embeddedness for resource integration: Complementing S-D logic research through a social capital perspective. Marketing Theory, 15(4), 509-543.
    DOI Scopus44
    2015 Rahman, K., Karpen, I. O., Reid, M., & Yuksel, U. (2015). Customer-to-customer interactions and word of mouth: conceptual extensions and empirical investigations. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 23(4), 287-304.
    DOI Scopus12
    2015 Karpen, I. O., Bove, L. L., Lukas, B. A., & Zyphur, M. J. (2015). Service-dominant orientation: Measurement and impact on performance outcomes. Journal of Retailing, 91(1), 89-108.
    DOI Scopus90
    2012 Karpen, I. O., Bove, L. L., & Lukas, B. A. (2012). Linking Service-Dominant Logic and Strategic Business Practice: A Conceptual Model of a Service-Dominant Orientation. Journal of Service Research, 15(1), 21-38.
    DOI Scopus190
    2011 Josiassen, A., Assaf, A. G., & Karpen, I. O. (2011). Consumer ethnocentrism and willingness to buy: Analyzing the role of three demographic consumer characteristics. International Marketing Review, 28(6), 627-646.
    DOI Scopus69
    Klenner, N. F., Gemser, G., & Karpen, I. O. (n.d.). Entrepreneurial ways of designing and designerly ways of entrepreneuring: Exploring the relationship between design thinking and effectuation theory. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
  • Books

    Year Citation
    2016 Calabretta, G., Gemser, G., & Karpen, I. (2016). Strategic Design 8 Essential Practices Every Strategic Designer Must Master. BIS Publishers.
  • Book Chapters

    Year Citation
    2016 Azabagic, N., & Karpen, I. (2016). Making it Count: Linking Design and Viability. In G. Calabretta, G. Gemser, & I. Karpen (Eds.), Strategic Design: Eight essential practices every Strategic Designer must Master.
    2016 Conduit, J., Karpen, I., & Farrelly, F. (2016). Student engagement: a multiple layer phenomenon. In C. Plewa, & J. Conduit (Eds.), Making a Difference Through Marketing: A quest for different perspectives (pp. 229-245). Singapore: Springer.
    DOI Scopus11

ARC Discovery Project 2021-2024
Project title "Customer Engagement toward Social Purpose"

Victorian Government Tender 2019-2020
Project title "Human Centred Design Reform Project", in the legal sector

I fundamentally care about and work towards improving and innovating human experiences, and the (eco)systems where these experiences emerge. The design discipline that underlies this purpose and my daily practice is rather interdisciplinary, not being bound by rigid ideologies but open philosophies, integrating valuable insights from various perspectives for the betterment of the (eco)system. This challenges me to meaningfully combine human desirability (needs of people), with system-level feasibility (resources, processes), viability (relevant returns) and sustainability (long-term shared benefits).

As a practicing Strategic Designer, I apply design principles and practices to support positive change and innovation across product/service systems, business models, and (eco)systems. For this reason, I lead projects and trainings across government, industry and social enterprise sectors. This includes, for example, strategic design projects to redesign legacy organisations with traditionally less service-centred perspectives such as courts or hospitals; but can also include entrepreneurs and businesses that seek to make a difference to the wellbeing of people and the community, such as organisations driven by a responsible and/or a strong social purpose.

While engaging in these projects, I also seek to translate important (yet non-confidential) insights into academic publications and leverage these in my education. This creates a circular knowledge flow that my clients, students and partners benefit from.   

Since completing my PhD in 2011 at The University of Melbourne and starting my academic position in full-time capacity, I have been passionate about inspiring students to interact with their peers, lecturers, and industry partners to cocreate exciting learning experiences and outcomes. This includes undergraduate, postgraduate and executive teaching. I view learning as a shared responsibility but put all my effort into engaging interactions in view of critical thinking and creative learning processes.

I teach courses at the nexus of business and design, such as Design Thinking for Business, Service Design for Entrepreneurs, or related Creativity and Innovation Management courses. Over the years I have built particular expertise in executive education and involve industry partners to design context-relevant strategy solutions together with students. My teaching interests further include Strategic Design, Cocreative Strategy and Service Management.

In terms of pedagogy, I have been recognised with school (department), college (faculty), overall university, national government and international teaching awards. I am also an ongoing Fellow of the Advance | Higher Education Academy, championing teaching innovation and excellence.

  • Position: Professor
  • Phone: 83135525
  • Email:
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Nexus 10, floor 10
  • Org Unit: Adelaide Business School

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