Digital servitization business models in ecosystems: A theory of the firm

Marko Kohtamäki*, Vinit Parida, Pejvak Oghazi, Heiko Gebauer, Tim Baines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study extends the discussion of digital servitization business models by adopting the perspective of the theory of the firm. We use four theories of the firm (industrial organization, the resource-based view, organizational identity, and the transaction cost approach) to understand digital servitization business models of firms in the context of ecosystems. Digitalization transforms the business models of solution providers and shapes their firm boundary decisions as they develop digital solutions across organizational boundaries within ecosystems such as harbors, mines, and airports. Thus, digitalization not only affects individual firms' business models but also requires the alignment of the business models of other firms within the ecosystem. Hence, business models in digital servitization should be viewed from an ecosystem perspective. Based on a rigorous literature review, we provide suggestions for future research on digital servitization business models within ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-392
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Research
Early online date24 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • Business model innovation
  • Digital servitization
  • Digitalization
  • Ecosystems
  • Firm boundaries
  • Industry 4.0
  • Platforms and sustainability
  • Product-service systems (PSS)


Dive into the research topics of 'Digital servitization business models in ecosystems: A theory of the firm'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this