Challenges in transforming manufacturers into product-service providers

Claes, Björn and Martinez, Veronica (2010). Challenges in transforming manufacturers into product-service providers. In: POMS Annual conference, 7-10 May 2010, Vancouver, BC, Canada.



The last decades have shown an increasing interest in servitization strategies. Important advances have been reported in the understanding of this phenomenon. Whilst research has extensively highlighted the design and benefits of integrated goods-service strategies, much less attention has been dedicated to the difficulties that companies experience when transforming their “goods only” strategies to integrate services. Experience shows that servitization constitutes a major managerial challenge because it alters the core business model of an organization. Adaptation problems can seriously delay the implementation of changes. Recognizing this research gap, this paper addresses the lack of understanding of the servitization related change processes. We empirically identify factors that are obstacles in the transformation process towards servitization. We theoretically validate these obstacles by mapping them onto the antecedents and tenets proposed by the organizational ecology theories. We conclude by discussing the significance of our findings and highlight the opportunities for further research.

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