The purpose of this paper is to advance the understanding of product‐service systems (PSS). It uses a multiple method approach to analyse literature and cases and synthesise a framework for the understanding and investigation of PSS. It demonstrates the need to consider the “organisation” or network, of firms involved in defining, designing and delivering value through the PSS. This is conceptualised as a product‐service‐organisation (PSO).
The paper uses three complementary methodologies: a road‐mapping analysis, investigating industrial challenges for collaborating enterprises, a multidisciplinary literature review of PSS concepts and analysis of two cases.
The paper finds that value can be most effectively delivered by networks of collaborating firms, integrating the products and services they offer to create the value which customers seek. In short, creating value requires the simultaneous design of product, service and organisation – the PSO triangle.
The paper offers a new classification of PSS related literature, drawing on a broad review of research in marketing, design and operations management related to service and PSS. The framework helps researchers understand the organisational challenges of PSS and provides suggested future research directions and questions.
The framework provides the foundations for a process to develop PSS. It highlights the organisational challenges and suggests that a systematic yet iterative process can be devised to create and deliver value. This means defining customer value which can be profitably delivered; designing the PSS to create this value and identifying the required capabilities; and finally creating and managing the network of partners responsible for delivering value.
The major contribution is a link between the emerging PSS literature and previous research on virtual enterprises and other types of organisational networks. The paper argues that PSS often creates the need to identify and access capabilities through a collaborative network. This is conceptualised in the PSO triangle.
Pawar, K.S., Beltagui, A. and Riedel, J.C.K.H. (2009), "The PSO triangle: designing product, service and organisation to create value", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 29 No. 5, pp. 468-493. https://doi.org/10.1108/01443570910953595
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