Servitization and 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
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  • “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, 2018-2020 
    www.careserviceproject.eu
  • “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
  • “Resource-efficient and effective solutions based on a circular economy thinking”, SEK 40 million, The Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra), 2015-2019
  • “Värdeskapande genom tjänsteorienterad affärslogik: Samspel och dynamik i industriella nätverk”, Torsten Söderbergs Stiftelse, 2015-2016
  • “Flexible Business Models”, Vinnova (the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), 2010-2013
  • “Developing Industrial Offerings”, Vinnova, 2006-2009
  • “Industrializing After-Sales Services”, Vinnova, 2004-2006

Selected publications
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  1. 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, forthcoming.
  2. Sklyar, Alexey, Christian Kowalkowski, David Sörhammar, and Bård Tronvoll (2019), “Organizing for digital servitization: A service ecosystem perspective,” Journal of Business Research, forthcoming.
  3. Sklyar, Alexey, Christian Kowalkowski, David Sörhammar, and Bård Tronvoll (2019), “Resource integration through digitalisation: A service ecosystem perspective,” Journal of Marketing Management, forthcoming.
  4. 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.
  5. Perks, Helen, Christian Kowalkowski, Lars Witell, and Anders Gustafsson (2017), “Network orchestration for value platform development,” Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 67, pp. 106-121.
  6. Kowalkowski, Christian, Heiko Gebauer, and Rogelio Oliva (2017), “Service growth in product firms: past, present, and future”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 60, pp. 82-88.
  7. Kowalkowski, Christian, Heiko Gebauer, Bart Kamp, and Glenn Parry (2017), “Servitization and deservitization: overview, concepts, and definitions”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 60, pp. 4-10.
  8. Adrodegari, Federico, Nicola Saccani, Christian Kowalkowski, and Jyrki Vilo (2017), “PSS business model conceptualization and application,” Production Planning & Control, Vol. 28, Issue 15, pp. 1251-1263.
  9. Kowalkowski, Christian, Daniel Kindström, and Per Carlborg (2016), “Triadic value propositions: when it takes more than two to tango”, Service Science, Vol. 8, Issue 3, pp. 282-299.
  10. Kowalkowski, Christian, Charlotta Windahl, Daniel Kindström, and Heiko Gebauer (2015), “What service transition? Rethinking established assumptions about manufacturers’ service-led growth strategies”, Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 44, Issue 2, pp. 59-69.

Related research
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About the division and department 
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