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Framework for modularity and customization: service perspective

Anu Bask (Aalto University School of Economics, Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland)
Mervi Lipponen (Aalto University School of Economics, Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland)
Mervi Rajahonka (Aalto University School of Economics, Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland)
Markku Tinnilä (Aalto University School of Economics, Academy of Finland, Helsinki, Finland)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 14 June 2011

4710

Abstract

Purpose

Modularity has been identified as one of the most important methods for achieving mass customization. However, service models that apply varying levels of modularity and customization also exist and are appropriate for various business situations. The objective of this paper is to introduce a framework with which different customer service offerings, service production processes, and service production networks can be analyzed in terms of both modularity and customization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper builds theory and offers a systematic approach for analyzing service modularity and customization. To illustrate the dimensions of the framework, the authors also provide service examples of the various aspects.

Findings

In the previous literature, the concepts of modularity and customization have often been discussed in an intertwined manner. The authors find that when modularity and customization are regarded as two separate dimensions, and different perspectives– such as the service offering, the service production process, and the service production network – are combined we can create a useful framework for analysis.

Research limitations/implications

Rigorous testing is a subject for future research.

Practical implications

The framework helps companies to analyze their service offerings and to compare themselves with other companies. It seems that in practice many combinations of modularity and customization levels are used in the three perspectives.

Originality/value

This paper develops a framework for analyzing service offerings in terms of modularity and customization. The framework provides a basis for analyzing different combinations of these two aspects from the three perspectives, and herein lies its value.

Keywords

Citation

Bask, A., Lipponen, M., Rajahonka, M. and Tinnilä, M. (2011), "Framework for modularity and customization: service perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 306-319. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858621111144370

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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