Exploring the journey to services
Firms are increasingly providing services to complement their product offerings. The vast majority of studies on the service journey, also known as servitization or service transition, examine the challenges and enablers of the process of change through cases studies. Investigations that provide an in-depth longitudinal analysis of the steps involved in the service journey are much rarer. Such a detailed understanding is required in order to appreciate fully how firms can leverage the enablers while overcoming the challenges of servitization. This study investigates what does a service journey look like? It analyzes in some detail the actual service journeys undertaken by three firms in the well-being, engineering and learning sectors. The paper offers four contributions. First, in the change literature, there are two dominant theories: The punctuated equilibrium model and the continuous change model. This study demonstrates that servitization follows a continuous change rather than a punctuated equilibrium. It shows that such continuous change is neither logical nor structured but much more emergent and intuitive in nature. Second, the study provides empirical evidence to support a contingency view of the dominance and sequencing of the different process models of change across the change journey. Third, this research shows the pace of service development and when the coexistence of basic, intermediate and complex services occurs. Finally, it contributes to the literature in the service field by presenting three actual service journeys and the associated seven stages of the service strategy model that organizations should consider when managing their service journeys.
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