Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to present challenges experienced by UK manufacturing companies undergoing a servitization journey to becoming product‐service providers. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses an exploratory single‐case study approach based on semi‐structured interviews, and archival data. A total of 22 senior managers were interviewed from the product‐service provider and its two suppliers, resulting in more than 400 pages of interview data. Data were analysed through an inductive research analysis by an emergent identification of patterns. Findings – This research identifies critical and frequent challenges experienced by UK manufacturing companies undergoing a servitization journey to becoming product‐service system (PSS) providers. They are condensed into five pillars, which constitute the architecture of challenges in servitization. The architecture of challenges in servitization provides a full description of the strategy and operations of PSSs. Research limitations/implications – This is qualitative research based on a single case study. Given the nature of research design, the identified patterns cannot be used as a predictive tool. Practical implications – This research provides a framework to understand, analyse and plan the strategic transformations to more highly servitized organisational forms. Originality/value – This paper contributes to knowledge with a new model called “the architecture of challenges in servitization”. This is the only model that explains the importance of the strategic, operational and social tests that organisations confront when adopting servitization strategies. If companies understand these challenges, they have the potential to create unique sets of values for a variety of stakeholders.
Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 4, 2010
Keywords: Change management; Product management; Strategic change; Manufacturing industries; United Kingdom; Organizational change
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