Identifying (territorial) tensions in the servitization value chain

Jamie Burton, Vicky Story, Judy Zolkiewski, Chris Raddats, Tim S. Baines, Dominic Medway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Published conference outputConference publication


Purpose: To understand the tensions that servitization activities create between actors within networks.
Design/methodology/approach: Interviews were conducted with manufacturers, intermediaries and customers across a range of industrial sectors.
Findings: Tensions relating to two key sets of capabilities are identified: in developing or acquiring (i) operant technical expertise and (ii) operand service infrastructure. The former tension concerns whom knowledge is co-created with and where expertise resides. The latter involves a territorial investment component; firms developing strategies to acquire greater access to, or ownership of, infrastructures closer to customers. Developing and acquiring these capabilities is a strategic decision on the part of managers of servitizing firms, in order to gain recognized power and control in a particular territory. Originality/value: This paper explores how firms’ servitization activities involve value appropriation (from the rest of the network), contrasting with the narrative norm for servitization: that it creates additional value. There is a need to understand the tensions that servitization activities create within networks. Some firms may be able to improve servitization performance through co-operation rather than competition, generating co-opetitive relationships. Others may need to become much more aggressive, if they are to take a greater share of the ‘value’ from the value chain.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationServitization : the theory and impact
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the spring servitization conference 18 – 19 May 2015, SSC2015
EditorsTim Baines, David K. Harrison
Place of PublicationBirmingham (UK)
PublisherAston University
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)978-1-85449-492-4
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
EventSpring Servitization Conference SSC2015 - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 May 201519 May 2015


ConferenceSpring Servitization Conference SSC2015
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

Bibliographical note

© Aston Business School


  • servitization infrastructure
  • capabilities
  • territory


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