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Reconciling and reconceptualising servitization research: drawing on modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risk and governance to develop mid-range theory

Mark Johnson (Operations Group, Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK)
Jens K. Roehrich (HPC Supply Chain Innovation Lab, Information, Decisions and Operations Division, School of Management, University of Bath, Bath, UK)
Mehmet Chakkol (Operations Group, Warwick Business School, Coventry, UK)
Andrew Davies (Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex Business School, Brighton, UK)

International Journal of Operations & Production Management

ISSN: 0144-3577

Article publication date: 3 May 2021

Issue publication date: 13 August 2021

622

Abstract

Purpose

This research bridges disparate research on servitization, namely product–service systems (PSS) and integrated solutions (IS), to provide valuable insights for the progression of the field. It acts as a reconciliation of these research streams and offers a reconceptualised agenda incorporating recent research on platforms, ecosystems, modularity, risk and governance as key conceptual themes to synthesise and build theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual, theory development article focused on advancing thinking on servitization by identifying systematic and theoretically informed research themes. It also proposes future research opportunities to advance theoretical contributions and practical implications for servitization research.

Findings

By reviewing and synthesising extant PSS and IS research, this article identified five core themes – namely modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risks and governance. The importance of these five themes and their linkages to PSS and IS are examined and a theoretical framework with a future research agenda to advance servitization is proposed.

Originality/value

This paper considers the similarities and differences between PSS and IS in order to develop a theory and to reconcile formerly disparate research efforts by establishing linkages between core themes and identifying valuable synergies for scholars. The importance of the core themes and current gaps within and across these themes are shown, and a mid-range theory for servitization is positioned to bridge the servitization-related PSS and IS communities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the SI Editors and The anonymous reviewers who provided constructive feedback that enabled us to strengthen the manuscript. All errors are the authors.

Citation

Johnson, M., Roehrich, J.K., Chakkol, M. and Davies, A. (2021), "Reconciling and reconceptualising servitization research: drawing on modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risk and governance to develop mid-range theory", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 41 No. 5, pp. 465-493. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOPM-08-2020-0536

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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