Servitization, strategy and platforms

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisCollection of Articles


Global competition and commoditization of product offerings have posed difficulties to the manufacturing industry in recent decades. Many companies have responded by "servitizing" – changing the business focus from manufacturing to service provision. This transition, which was already seen to be demanding, has grown more complex due to digitalization and increasing information intensity in service-driven manufacturing. New kinds of service offerings are made possible – but at the same time diversifying customer needs, complex inter-firm networks and rapid pace of technological development escalate the challenges. The change emphasizes the relevance of strategy-related discourse, as different market conditions require different strategic approaches and related organizational structures. However, although there has been a great deal of research regarding servitization during the last three decades, systematic approaches from a strategy perspective remain scarce. In this study, a strategy approach is deployed with a systematic literature review and four qualitative multi-case studies. It is found that service-driven manufacturers are moving toward a systemic perspective in service business. The strategic role of technological resources in solutions is decreasing. Complex socio-technical relationships are preferred. Service networks are seen to hold strategic potential related to forming new resource and capability combinations, and fostering co-specialization. Furthermore, platforms are identified as potential offering and organizational structures to address the new strategic requirements. It is reported that organizing service networks with platforms provides firms a way to leverage network complexity. In addition, service-driven manufacturers seem to construct platforms to allow strategic flexibility in a dynamic environment.
Translated title of the contributionPalvelullistuminen, strategia ja alustat
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor's degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
  • Järvenpää, Eila, Supervising Professor
  • Turunen, Taija, Thesis Advisor
Print ISBNs978-952-60-6771-1
Electronic ISBNs978-952-60-6772-8
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)


  • service
  • servitization
  • service infusion
  • industrial services
  • strategy
  • competitive advantage
  • platform
  • digitalization


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