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What service transition?: Rethinking established assumptions about manufacturers’ service-led growth strategies
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4081-9737
The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland, New Zealand.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Dübendorf, Switzerland.
2015 (English)In: Industrial Marketing Management, ISSN 0019-8501, E-ISSN 1873-2062, Vol. 45, 59-69 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Both academics and practitioners emphasize the importance for product firms of implementing service-led growth strategies. The service transition concept is well established, namely a unidirectional repositioning along a product-service continuum—from basic, product-oriented services towards more customized, process-oriented ones—ultimately leading to the provision of solutions. We challenge this service transition assumption and develop alternative ones regarding how product firms should pursue service-led growth. Using ‘problematization methodology’, and drawing on findings from thirteen system suppliers, we identify three service-led growth trajectories: (1) becoming an availability provider, which is the focus of most transition literature; (2) becoming a performance provider, which resembles project-based sales and implies an even greater differentiation of what customers are offered; and, (3) becoming an ‘industrializer’, which is about standardizing previously customized solutions to promote repeatability and scalability. Based on our critical inquiry, we develop two alternative assumptions: (a) firms need to constantly balance business expansion and standardization activities; and (b) manage the co-existence of different system supplier roles. Finally, we consider the implications for implementing service-led growth strategies of the alternative assumptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2015. Vol. 45, 59-69 p.
Keyword [en]
Service transition; Solutions; Manufacturing companies; Service strategy; Problematization methodology
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-117411DOI: 10.1016/j.indmarman.2015.02.016ISI: 000353088700008OAI: diva2:807903
Available from: 2015-04-25 Created: 2015-04-25 Last updated: 2015-05-20Bibliographically approved

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