Paths Toward Radical Service Innovation in Manufacturing Companies: A Service‐Dominant Logic Perspective

René Chester Goduscheit, Rita Faullant

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Research on servitization of manufacturing companies concentrates on typologies of product–service bundles, on transition pathways to increased servitization, and on resource and capabilities configurations necessary to accomplish this transition. Missing from existing research is an analysis of the degree of novelty of service innovations introduced by manufacturing companies. Therefore, this article shifts the focus from the transition process itself to the question of how manufacturing companies can introduce radical service innovations to the market. This article links servitization literature with service innovation literature and investigates how manufacturing companies can introduce radically new services in terms of three forms of innovations: service concept innovations, customer experience innovations, and service process innovations. Service-dominant logic (SDL) is applied as the theoretical lens because it covers four significant factors influencing the success of companies’ innovation activities: actor value networks, resource liquefaction, resource density, and resource integration. Based on a multiple case study of 24 Danish business-to-business manufacturing small- and medium-sized enterprises and through a fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis, different configurations of the principles of SDL are analyzed. They describe the paths to radical service innovation. Digitalization appears as a central causal condition in the bulk of the configurations. Big and rich data generated internally within the focal company in combination with for instance customer data can enhance the innovativeness of the service offerings. However, digitalization is not a sufficient condition for launching radical service innovation—it should be combined with an efficient mobilization of resources internally within the focal company and/or collaboration with other organizations within the value system. In addition, the analysis hints to a need to detach from immediate customers as the prime driver of service innovation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)701-719
Publication statusPublished - 1. Sept 2018


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