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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 16 December 2021

Milad Kolagar, Wiebke Reim, Vinit Parida and David Sjödin

The purpose of this study is to understand how digital servitization enables the process of internationalization for industrial SMEs.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how digital servitization enables the process of internationalization for industrial SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study has adopted an exploratory multiple case study, conducting a total of 40 interviews in a two-phased approach to data collection. The first phase consisted of exploratory interviews with twenty-six industrial SMEs connected to the manufacturing industry in Sweden and Finland. Then, six SMEs were selected in the second phase to participate in additional in-depth interviews.

Findings

First, this study identifies three gradual enabling phases concerned with the digital service maturity of SMEs consisting of digital awareness, digital service innovation and digital service mass customization. Second, the three interdependent phases of ecosystem knowledge synergy, ecosystem integration and ecosystem value co-creation were identified to improve ecosystem involvement. Finally, a process framework has been developed for SME internationalization consisting of a digital servitization innovation strategy, a digital servitization ecosystem strategy and a digital servitization scaling strategy.

Originality/value

The present research contributes to how digital servitization enables SME internationalization by demonstrating how the development of digital service offerings and ecosystem partnerships supports the internationalization process. This research extends the literature by proposing a process framework for the digital-servitization-enabled internationalization of SMEs. This process perspective provides a richer explanation of the complex interplay between servitization, digitalization and ecosystems choices, which supports the expansion into international markets.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article
Publication date: 20 December 2021

Jingsi Zhang, Liangqun Qi, Chengdong Wang and Xichen Lyu

This study aims to examine how servitization affects the environmental and social performance of manufacturing firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how servitization affects the environmental and social performance of manufacturing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses are tested using fixed-effect panel models based on secondary data of 1,413 manufacturing firms publicly listed in the USA.

Findings

Results show that servitization is positively related to the social performance of manufacturing firms; this positive relationship is more prominent under high levels of human resource slack. However, the impact of servitization on environmental performance depends on the level of absorptive capacity and human resource slack. Servitization improves environmental performance under high levels of absorptive capacity and human resource slack, while this positive impact is insignificant under low levels of absorptive capacity and human resource slack.

Research limitations/implications

The study focuses on the degree (depth) of servitization but ignores the scope of services provided by manufacturing firms (breadth of servitization).

Practical implications

This research suggests that servitization is an effective way of achieving simultaneous improvements in environmental and social performance. However, high levels of absorptive capacity and human resource slack are needed to achieve this goal.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the servitization literature by demonstrating the environmental and social sustainability benefits of servitization. The findings also highlight the crucial role of absorptive capacity and human resource slack on improving environmental and social performance through servitization.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2021

María‐José Pinillos, Eloísa Díaz-Garrido and María-Luz Martín-Peña

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the origins and evolution of the concept of servitization by studying the definitions of servitization provided in the literature…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the origins and evolution of the concept of servitization by studying the definitions of servitization provided in the literature. Servitization represents an academic field that has grown rapidly since its inception. However, the conceptualization of servitization varies greatly, in part because of the number of studies on this topic and the fact that it has been analyzed in a range of disciplines using a number of theoretical approaches. There is a need to standardize the vocabulary to create a general definition that can support the development of theory in this domain and help legitimize servitization as a research area.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducts a systematic, quantitative analysis of a broad set of definitions of servitization. Specifically, this study performs content analysis (combining co-word analysis and social network analysis) and consensus analysis. This study develops a strategic diagram to represent the morphology of the research network.

Findings

The definitions of servitization are deconstructed and analyzed in depth to create a comprehensive picture of the research on this topic. This analysis reveals the origins and evolution of this research area. The results show a low degree of consensus among scholars regarding the concept of servitization. This study proposes a definition that should be widely accepted thanks to its inclusion of the core terms from other definitions. Explicit recognition of multiple approaches to defining the term can help practitioners and researchers. Predictions about future progress in this area are discussed.

Originality/value

A universal definition of servitization is proposed based on the results of co-word and network analysis. This definition unifies a range of multidisciplinary viewpoints. From a practical perspective, the key vocabulary in servitization research is highlighted.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2021

Jon Sundbo, Luis Rubalcaba and Faïz Gallouj

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the role of servitization in the creative and cultural industries (CCI).

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for understanding the role of servitization in the creative and cultural industries (CCI).

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model is proposed based on five elements: servitization drivers (digitalization in particular), agents, modes (based on the standardization/customization dynamics), servitization mechanisms (the authors provide a new classification) and service experiences.

Findings

CCI is not considered a natural part of the service sector. They drive economic and social development and are part of the innovation ecosystem. They are confronting a set of emerging dynamics in which servitization plays a leading role. Servitization is a way to move toward value co-creation by transforming existing business models. Servitization – with digitalization facilitates the co-creation of CCI-based experiences for customers, users and other stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

In terms of further research implications, these theoretical and managerial considerations call for empirical research of the servitization of CCI to investigate how and how much it develops.

Practical implications

CCI companies need new business models that combine servitization, digitalization and value co-creation in the right mix. “One size fits all” does not work. Business models have to consider the right mix.

Originality/value

The proposed conceptual model provides a novel understanding of servitization and CCI and changes the focus from the “production” or push side (e.g. artistic creativity and messages) that has characterized much CCI theory toward the demand or pull side and buyers’ (users) increased power.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2021

Emanuel Gomes, David W. Lehman, Ferran Vendrell-Herrero and Oscar F. Bustinza

The purpose of this study is to develop a history-based framework of servitization and deservitization.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a history-based framework of servitization and deservitization.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on three history-based management theories, i.e. industry lifecycle, strategic pivoting and strategy restoration, to develop a conceptual framework of how servitization and deservitization pivots influence firm performance in different stages of the industry lifecycle. A series of examples involving configurations and reconfigurations in production illustrate the theoretical propositions.

Findings

The proposed framework predicts that servitization pivots positively influence firm performance in the ferment phase, but this effect gradually diminishes as industries advance into transition and mature phases. In contrast, the framework predicts that deservitization pivots negatively influence firm performance in the ferment phase; this effect, too, becomes negligible in the transition phase but positive in the mature phase. Moreover, the proposed framework predicts that deservitization pivoting outperforms servitization pivoting in mature servitized industries to the extent that such pivots are restorative in nature, thereby suggesting that deservitization may represent a strategic opportunity for firms in mature industries.

Originality/value

This study highlights the role of history-based management theories in enhancing our understanding of servitization and deservitization.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 41 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2020

Christina Öberg

This chapter reviews the literature on servitization to understand whether and how mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have been dealt with and what the portrayed consequences…

Abstract

This chapter reviews the literature on servitization to understand whether and how mergers and acquisitions (M&As) have been dealt with and what the portrayed consequences are of servitization through M&As. Servitization refers to how manufacturing firms extend and remodel their offerings to focus on value in use rather than product transfer. The rationale of the chapter follows from how business model innovation or business modeling has been predicted as the next M&A wave, while the focus on servitization has been pronounced in research and practice as a means for manufacturing firms to refocus operations during the past decade. The chapter concludes that while the servitization literature is vibrant, the mode of reaching service competence and renewing business is not well explored in the literature. In line with the predicted next M&A wave, servitization through M&As would thereby create an interesting path for future research.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Maria Vincenza Ciasullo, Francesco Polese, Raffaella Montera and Luca Carrubbo

The purpose of this paper is to understand the strategic management of a technology-enabled shift from a product-centric to a service-centric logic and to identify the…

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1480

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the strategic management of a technology-enabled shift from a product-centric to a service-centric logic and to identify the sociotechnical dynamics underlying this transition. The study focuses on how manufacturers manage to create value in industrial markets through digital servitization.

Design/methodology/approach

An abductive research approach is used to investigate two manufacturing firms, and an interpretive framework is used as an analytical template. A cross-case analysis is conducted.

Findings

The case companies strategically managed sociotechnical processes of digitization to co-create value. Their service orientation delineates dissimilarity in terms of digital servitization. It reflects a viable ecosystem that moves toward datatization through adaptation in one case and a viable ecosystem that moves toward digitization through reconfiguration in the other case.

Practical implications

A theoretically grounded, empirically informed framework is proposed to detect transformational mechanisms to manage value co-creation in digitally servitized contexts, thus contributing to ecosystem viability.

Originality/value

This is the first study to adopt a system perspective such as the viable system approach combined with service-dominant logic to reconceptualize the overall sociotechnical processes and the underlying mechanisms leading to digitized value creation. In line with a systems view and a systematic process based on a transformative attitude toward digital servitization, the empirically informed framework identifies specific co-creation activities and recursive feedback loops.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 13
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2021

Scott Wagstaff, Jamie Burton and Judy Zolkiewski

An abundance of literature suggests that organisations adopting a cooperative approach achieve greater rewards than those that act in opposition or isolation. An emerging…

Abstract

Purpose

An abundance of literature suggests that organisations adopting a cooperative approach achieve greater rewards than those that act in opposition or isolation. An emerging body of work also highlights the multiple actors involved in servitization. Despite this, in some contexts the benefits of servitization are not apparent. This paper examines business relationships in the oil industry and how they affect levels of servitization.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method study employing qualitative and quantitative methods was used to fully explore the context. In the quantitative phase, 48 oil industry specialists responded to a scenario based on game theory. This aimed to determine if the relationships between their respective organisations are cooperative or adversarial. Abduction drove a second qualitative phase. This consisted of a series of semi-structured interviews used to explore the servitization level and influence of servitization on relationships and vice versa.

Findings

The statistical results suggest that all parties used adversarial strategies despite the publicised intent to work cooperatively. The interviews suggested that increasing (decreasing) servitization could increase (decrease) cooperation and, in turn, value co-creation but revealed nuances to this effect. It also adds to our understanding of the darker side of servitization by illustrating the impact of mimetic isomorphism.

Originality/value

The findings add to understanding of the complex dynamics around servitization by showing that it is only at advanced levels of servitization that cooperative behaviour is observed, and base and intermediate levels result in non-cooperative behaviour and thus illustrate the importance of adopting a multi-actor lens to explore servitization.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Servitization Strategy and Managerial Control
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-845-1

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Birgit Andrine Apenes Solem, Marko Kohtamäki, Vinit Parida and Thomas Brekke

The present study sets out to understand how a manufacturing company in the maritime industry utilized creative design principles and developed service design routines to…

Abstract

Purpose

The present study sets out to understand how a manufacturing company in the maritime industry utilized creative design principles and developed service design routines to advance digital servitization (i.e. the transition to offering smart product-service-software systems–PSS) and realize subsequent positive growth outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

We build upon a longitudinal single case of a marine solution provider. Using an action research approach, we collected data through in-depth interviews and informal conversations involving senior managers, project members and customer representatives over a three and a half-year period. In addition, secondary data such as documentary data, service design tools and visualization were utilized.

Findings

The inductive analysis highlights the underlining role of four service-design routines that drive creativity and an innovative approach to digital servitization transformation. More specifically, we identify (a) user insights through creative customer data acquisition, (b) smart PSS collaboration through co-creation across departments, (c) smart PSS ideation through creative forms of collaboration and (d) effective smart PSS delivery and commercialization through creative concept design as the drivers of the case company digital servitization transformation.

Practical implications

We encourage senior managers within large manufacturing companies to promote the development of service design routines as these promote the transformation process from being a product-centric to service-centric firm. The four service design routines are built on a set of service design sub-activities providing concrete actions that can be applied by senior managers to successfully develop and deliver smart PSS offerings and achieve growth outcomes.

Originality/value

This study contributes by integrating digital servitization and service design literatures. We illustrate how manufacturing firms can drive a transition to digital servitization through service design activities and routines development for smart PSS strategy implementation.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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