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Servitization as business model contestation: A practice approach


  • Palo, Teea
  • Åkesson, Maria
  • Löfberg, Nina


In principle, organizations know how to do servitization, but in practice, many struggle to change their business models to include service offerings. To understand this struggle, this paper examines servitization in a large multinational manufacturer within the pulp and paper industry. Utilizing practice theory, the study explicates the servitization process as a contestation of a company's parallel business models — one existing and dominant; one emerging. As business models materialize in organizational practices, and therefore have the potential to frame and organize servitization efforts, the models give rise to contestations in the practices performed by actors in the organization and the ecosystem. The elements of such contestations provide a better understanding of the ways in which practices may be disrupted to support servitization. Contestations can thus be creative instead of problematic. As a result, this paper extends the conceptualization of servitization as a bottom-up, emergent and iterative process of business model contestation.

Suggested Citation

  • Palo, Teea & Åkesson, Maria & Löfberg, Nina, 2019. "Servitization as business model contestation: A practice approach," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 486-496.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:104:y:2019:i:c:p:486-496
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.10.037

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Yuan Chang & Xinguo Ming & Xianyu Zhang & Tongtong Zhou & Xiaoqiang Liao & Sijia Cao, 2021. "Servitization and Sustainable Value Creation Strategy for China’s Manufacturing Industry: A Multiple Case Study in the Belt and Road Initiative," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(20), pages 1-28, October.
    3. Kohtamäki, Marko & Parida, Vinit & Oghazi, Pejvak & Gebauer, Heiko & Baines, Tim, 2019. "Digital servitization business models in ecosystems: A theory of the firm," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 380-392.
    4. Santos-Vijande, María Leticia & López-Sánchez, Jose Ángel & Pascual-Fernández, Primitiva & Rudd, John M., 2021. "Service innovation management in a modern economy: Insights on the interplay between firms’ innovative culture and project-level success factors," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).
    5. Ying Wang & Martin Agyemang & Fu Jia, 2021. "Resource Orchestration in Supply Chain Service-Based Business Model: The Case of a Cross-Border E-Commerce Company," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(21), pages 1-24, October.

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