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Understanding the influence of servitization on global value chains: a conceptual framework

Ismail Gölgeci (Aarhus University, Herning, Denmark)
David Marius Gligor (Department of Marketing, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Mississippi, USA)
Ewelina Lacka (University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK)
Jawwad Z. Raja (Department of Operations Management, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 11 May 2021

Issue publication date: 13 August 2021




This paper examines the servitization phenomenon in the context of global value chains (GVCs) and presents a conceptual framework by connecting the two literature streams—servitization and GVCs—to depict the interconnected multilevel processes by which the influence of servitization on GVC structure and governance is manifested.


Drawing on cross-disciplinary literature, the authors develop a multilevel conceptual framework. The theoretically informed framework advances research on servitization and GVCs and provides a line of inquiry to be explored as avenues for future research opportunities.


The authors argue that servitization instigates the formation of new ecosystems and collaborative structures within GVCs, reduces the fragmentation of the overall network structure and increases embeddedness within the subclusters of GVCs. These changes are expected to be reflected in the increase in the complexity of firms' GVC governance tasks, a greater reliance on relational governance, and an increase in the dependency on local partners in terms of the governance of GVCs.


This conceptual paper establishes the link between servitization and GVCs, anchors the servitization phenomenon in GVCs, explains how servitizing firms can engage in and shape GVCs and offers insights into the servitization-driven changes in GVCs. The conceptual framework is intended to lay the foundation for future empirical research on the link between servitization and GVCs.



The authors would like to state our deep gratitude to Marko Bastl, reviewers, and guest editors of the special issue, for their valuable and constructive comments in developing this paper.


Gölgeci, I., Gligor, D.M., Lacka, E. and Raja, J.Z. (2021), "Understanding the influence of servitization on global value chains: a conceptual framework", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 645-667.



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