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Exploitation or exploration in service business development? Insights from a dynamic capabilities perspective

Thomas Fischer (Institute of Technology Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Heiko Gebauer (Institute of Technology Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Mike Gregory (Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Guangjie Ren (Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)
Elgar Fleisch (Institute of Technology Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Journal of Service Management

ISSN: 1757-5818

Article publication date: 12 October 2010

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore how dynamic capabilities of sensing, seizing and reconfiguring shape the way in which service business is developed in a broad range of capital goods industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes an interpretative multiple‐case study approach. It seeks to develop primary organizing themes around the key dynamic capabilities and support them with research propositions.

Findings

The findings suggest that companies either exploit or explore the opportunities when it comes to service business development. Moreover, dynamic capabilities differ between the two approaches and predict which way a company chooses.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations are mainly due to the nature of qualitative research. The dynamic capabilities identified here are by no means exhaustive; rather, they indicate directions for future research.

Practical implications

The research findings provide guidance to managers as to how the strategic shift towards services is influenced by dynamic capabilities.

Originality/value

Despite difficulties associated with service business development, the literature remains relatively silent on dynamic capabilities. However, dynamic capabilities are essential to the strategic shift towards service business.

Keywords

Citation

Fischer, T., Gebauer, H., Gregory, M., Ren, G. and Fleisch, E. (2010), "Exploitation or exploration in service business development? Insights from a dynamic capabilities perspective", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 21 No. 5, pp. 591-624. https://doi.org/10.1108/09564231011079066

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited