In recent years, “servitization” has been studied extensively; however, as studies of the impact of servitization on firm performance offer mixed results, the conditions under which the relationship between servitization and performance becomes more significant are contested in the literature. These mixed results have led to the term “service paradox.” The paper aims to discuss these issues.
This study investigates servitization in the assembly industry based on a multi-country survey covering 539 industry plants in 22 countries.
The study contributes to the research on servitization by adding a contextual perspective to this relationship, taking into account level of development of the country in which a firm is located. Besides confirming the correlation between the servitization and performance, our study unveils a counter-intuitive result: a medium level of development of the country in which a firm is based corresponds to a stronger relationship between servitization and firm performance, whereas higher levels of development seem to diminish the increase in performance.
This study balances out the focus in servitization on advanced economies and help to unveil its benefits in developing countries. Fostering servitization in developing economies can lead to social impact resulting from job shifts from manufacturing to service and the correlated implications for workers’ training and higher motivation experienced in service-based jobs.
Our study unpacks the “service paradox” and indicates that industry plants in developing countries can still harness the benefits of being first-movers, whereas, in developed countries, servitization may have become an order qualifier rather than a factor of differentiation.
Moreno, R., Marques, L. and Arkader, R. (2020), "Servitization impact on performance moderated by country development", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 302-318. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-10-2018-0311
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