Reconciling and reconceptualising servitization research: Drawing on modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risk and governance to develop mid-range theory

Mark Johnson, Jens Roehrich, Mehmet Chakkol, Andrew Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This research bridges disparate research on servitization, namely product–service systems (PSS) and integrated solutions (IS), to provide valuable insights for the progression of the field. It acts as a reconciliation of these research streams and offers a reconceptualised agenda incorporating recent research on platforms, ecosystems, modularity, risk and governance as key conceptual themes to synthesise and build theory.

This is a conceptual, theory development article focused on advancing thinking on servitization by identifying systematic and theoretically informed research themes. It also proposes future research opportunities to advance theoretical contributions and practical implications for servitization research.

By reviewing and synthesising extant PSS and IS research, this article identified five core themes – namely modularity, platforms, ecosystems, risks and governance. The importance of these five themes and their linkages to PSS and IS are examined and a theoretical framework with a future research agenda to advance servitization is proposed.

This paper considers the similarities and differences between PSS and IS in order to develop a theory and to reconcile formerly disparate research efforts by establishing linkages between core themes and identifying valuable synergies for scholars. The importance of the core themes and current gaps within and across these themes are shown, and a mid-range theory for servitization is positioned to bridge the servitization-related PSS and IS communities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)465-493
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Operations & Production Management
Issue number5
Early online date3 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 13 Aug 2021

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