Servitization, Customer Solutions, and Service Business Models

Moving towards an increased focus on services, a reality in many industries, holds the potential not only to increase competitive advantage but also to find new ways of creating value, to deepen customer relationships, and to design new business models. This research aims at understanding and designing new strategies for service and for value creation.
This research track focuses on how to design and implement profitable service growth strategies and business models. In order to generate and capture more value, companies need to harness the potentials of digitalization, institutionalize service innovation, and have a profound understanding of evolving customer needs.

Servitization is a strategy for increasing financial performance and enhancing customer relationships by transforming from a product-centric to a service-centric business model. Increasingly, having world-class products is no longer enough to combat commoditization and stem rampant erosion of margins in many markets. More than ever, to keep competition at bay and sustain growth, companies must redefine what they do for (and with) customers and seize novel growth opportunities, strategically competing though advanced services and customer solutions. 

Current research investigates the interplay between digitalization and servitization, service growth strategies, service pricing, mobility-based services, and business model innovation.

LiU is a world-leading academic institution in the field of servitization and service business models. For over 15 years, we have conducted research on the topic in collaboration with market-leading manufacturers and prominent international business researchers. This has resulted in both world class research and practical guidelines for how to design and implement a service-growth strategy.

Research projects

  • “B2B Data Sharing for Industry 4.0 Machine Learning,” ELLIIT, 2021-2025
  • “SE:Kond 2 LIFE – ekosystem för återanvändning av fordonskomponenter,” Vinnova (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), 2019-2022
  •  “CarE-Service: Circular Economy Business Models for innovative hybrid and electric mobility through advanced reuse and remanufacturing technologies and services,” Horizon 2020 – Research and Innovation Framework Programme, 2018-2021
  • “Value Creation in Innovative Service Systems: A Research Project on the Dynamics of Service Transition Processes in Industrial Networks”, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation), 2016-2018
  • “Värdeskapande genom tjänsteorienterad affärslogik: Samspel och dynamik i industriella nätverk”, Torsten Söderbergs Stiftelse, 2015-2016
  • “Flexible Business Models”, Vinnova, 2010-2013
  • “Developing Industrial Offerings”, Vinnova, 2006-2009
  • “Industrializing After-Sales Services”, Vinnova, 2004-2006

Selected publications

  1. Rabetino, Rodrigo, Marko Kohtamäki, Christian Kowalkowski, Tim Baines, and Rui Sousa (2021) “Servitization 2.0: Evaluating and advancing servitization-related research through novel conceptual and methodological perspectives”, International Journal of Operations and Production Management, Vol. 41 Issue 5, pp. 437-464.
  2. Nansubuga, Brenda and Christian Kowalkowski (2021), “Carsharing: A systematic literature review and research agenda,” Journal of Service Management, Vol. 32, Issue 6, pp. 55-91.
  3. Rapaccini, Mario, Nicola Saccani, Christian Kowalkowski, Marco Paiola, and Federico Adrodegari (2020), “Navigating disruptive crises through service-led growth: The impact of COVID-19 on Italian manufacturing firms,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 88, pp. 225-237.
  4. Witell, Lars, Christian Kowalkowski, Helen Perks, Chris Raddats, Maria Schwabe, Ornella Benedettini, and Jamie Burton (2020), “Characterizing customer experience management in business markets,” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 116, pp. 420-430.
  5. Tronvoll, Bård, Alexey Sklyar, David Sörhammar, and Christian Kowalkowski, (2020), “Transformational shifts through digital servitization,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 89, pp. 293-305.
  6. Raja, Jawwad Z., Frandsen, Thomas, Kowalkowski, Christian, & Jarmatz, Martin (2020), “Learning to discover value: Value-based pricing and selling capabilities for industrial services,” Journal of Business Research, Vol. 114, pp. 142-159.
  7. Raddats, Chris, Christian Kowalkowski, Ornella Benedettini, Jamie Burton, and Heiko Gebauer (2019), “Servitization: A contemporary thematic review of four major research streams,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 83, pp. 207-223.
  8. Helkkula, Anu, Christian Kowalkowski, and Bård Tronvoll (2018), “Archetypes of service innovation: Implications for value cocreation,” Journal of Service Research, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 284-301.
  9. Breidbach, Christoph F., Sunmee Choi, Ben P. Ellway, Byron W. Keating, Katerina Kormusheva, Christian Kowalkowski, Chiehyeon Lim, and Paul P. Maglio (2018), “Operating without operations: How is technology changing the role of the firm?,” Journal of Service Management, vol. 29, Issue 5, pp. 809-833.
  10. Perks, Helen, Christian Kowalkowski, Lars Witell, and Anders Gustafsson (2017), “Network orchestration for value platform development,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 67, pp. 106-121.

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