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Modularity in developing business services by platform approach

Saara Pekkarinen (Department of Management and Entrepreneurship (Logistics), University of Oulu, Finland)
Pauliina Ulkuniemi (Department of Marketing, University of Oulu, Finland)

The International Journal of Logistics Management

ISSN: 0957-4093

Article publication date: 23 May 2008




This study aims to explore the literature related to modularity in developing and manufacturing physical products in order to employ the idea of modularity into the business services context.


In order to answer the defined research question, the authors construct an empirically grounded model for modular service platform. The research design follows an abductive logic beginning with the construction of a theoretical pre‐understanding and elaborating upon it empirically. Streams of literature that are applied are service marketing and operations and product development and modularity research including product architecture design. In the empirical part of the study, the authors elaborate on these issues through a qualitative single case study.


The results show that the developed modular service platform including four modularity dimensions: service, process, organisational and customer interface dimensions can be used to create value in business services.


With a reviewing literature of modularisation of manufacturing products and processes, an empirically grounded model of this paper shows how the business service providers can use modularisation in platform approach to identify, develop and deliver new services cost efficiently and more flexibly.



Pekkarinen, S. and Ulkuniemi, P. (2008), "Modularity in developing business services by platform approach", The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 84-103.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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