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Manufacturers forming successful complex business services: Designing an organization to fit the market

Wayne A. Neu (College of Business Administration, California State University San Marcos, San Marcos, California, USA)
Stephen W. Brown (The Center for Services Leadership, W.P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA)

International Journal of Service Industry Management

ISSN: 0956-4233

Article publication date: 25 April 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to isolate and characterize organizational factors that enable the formation of high‐performing business services in product manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a case research design. In total, 32 depth interviews were conducted with 11 different managers from a Global 100 information technology manufacturing firm. These managers were directly responsible for forming a highly successful business service. All interviews were tape‐recorded, transcribed, and the resulting 500 pages of interview data were open‐coded in QSR NUDIST. A case report was reviewed by study participants to enhance construct validity.

Findings

The general conclusion is that forming high‐performing business services in product manufacturing firms stems largely from managers' ability to create internal alignment among several organizational factors that collectively “fit” conditions in the market.

Research limitations/implications

This study does not provide the statistical generalization to a larger population offered by a large‐sample study. In addition, all data were collected from individuals who were directly involved in the formation of the focal business service.

Practical implications

The insights from this study can help managers design within a product manufacturing firm an organization that supports the formation of complex business services.

Originality/value

While product manufacturers' expansion into services is very prevalent in practice, the development has received sparse academic research attention.

Keywords

Citation

Neu, W.A. and Brown, S.W. (2008), "Manufacturers forming successful complex business services: Designing an organization to fit the market", International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 232-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564230810869757

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited