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Customer-focused and service-focused orientation in organizational structures
EAWAG – Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Research, Dübendorf, Switzerland.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4081-9737
2012 (English)In: The journal of business & industrial marketing, ISSN 0885-8624, Vol. 27, no 7, 527-537 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The paper aims to provide a better understanding of the interrelatedness of customer and service orientations in the organizational structures of capital goods manufacturing companies.

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, multi-case research design was employed using 36 European capital goods manufacturing companies.

Findings – This article explored four different patterns of how companies move from being product-focused to service-focused, and from having an organizational structure that is geographically focused to one that is customer-focused. The four patterns are termed as follows: emphasizing service orientation, service-focused organizational structure, emphasizing customer orientation, and customer-focused organizational structure.

Research limitations/implications – Although the study is based on 36 case studies, the external validity (generalizability) of the findings could not be assessed accurately.

Practical implications – The description of the four organizational approaches offers guidance for managers to restructure their companies towards service and customer orientations.

Originality/value – The article links the relatively independent discussions of service and customer orientations in the context of organizational structures. The four patterns provide a better understanding of how capital goods manufacturers integrate increased customer and service focuses in their organizational structures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2012. Vol. 27, no 7, 527-537 p.
Keyword [en]
Case studies, Customer orientation, Manufacturing industries, Organizational structures, Service orientation, Services in manufacturing companies
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80053DOI: 10.1108/08858621211257293ISI: 000312354800004OAI: diva2:545249
Available from: 2013-03-13 Created: 2012-08-18 Last updated: 2014-04-14Bibliographically approved

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Kowalkowski, Christian
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