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Exploring the root causes of servitization challenges: an organisational boundary perspective

Ali Ziaee Bigdeli (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Kawaljeet Kapoor (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Andreas Schroeder (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)
Omid Omidvar (Aston Business School, Aston University, Birmingham, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 1 June 2021

Issue publication date: 13 August 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper explains how servitization disrupts long-established internal and external boundaries of product-focused manufacturers and investigates the root causes of servitization challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw from the collective experiences of 20 senior executives from ten multinational manufacturers involved in servitization, using a multiple case study approach, and employ a codebook thematic analysis technique.

Findings

The authors develop an integrative framework based on the theoretical notions of power, competency and identity boundaries to offer insights into the root causes of various servitization-related challenges.

Research limitations/implications

Although the extant literature discusses servitization challenges, it does not examine the underlying root causes that create them in the first place. This study contributes to the extant research by establishing rational links between organisational boundaries (internal and external) and servitization challenges in the interest of building a coherent and systematically integrated body of theory that can be successfully applied and built upon by future research.

Practical implications

This study provides a foundation for managers to recognise, anticipate and systematically manage various boundary-related challenges triggered by servitization.

Originality/value

It is one of the first studies to employ the concept of organisational boundary to understand the challenges created by servitization and to account for both internal (between different functions of the same organisation) and external boundaries (between an organisation and its external stakeholders) to establish a holistic understanding of the impacts of servitization on manufacturers.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the UK's Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant Ref ES/P010148/1 ‘Pathways towards Servitization: A trans-national study of Organisational Transformation.

Citation

Ziaee Bigdeli, A., Kapoor, K., Schroeder, A. and Omidvar, O. (2021), "Exploring the root causes of servitization challenges: an organisational boundary perspective", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 547-573. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-08-2020-0507

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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