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  • Aspara, Jaakko; Chakravarti, Amitav (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2015)
  • Kowalkowski, Christian; Windahl, Charlotta; Kindström, Daniel; Gebauer, Heiko (Elsevier Inc., 2015)
    Both academics and practitioners emphasize the importance for product firms of implementing service-led growth strategies. The service transition concept is well established, namely a unidirectional repositioning along a product-service continuum—from basic, product-oriented services towards more customized, process-oriented ones—ultimately leading to the provision of solutions. We challenge this service transition assumption and develop alternative ones regarding how product firms should pursue service-led growth. Using ‘problematization methodology’, and drawing on findings from thirteen system suppliers, we identify three service-led growth trajectories: (1) becoming an availability provider, which is the focus of most transition literature; (2) becoming a performance provider, which resembles project-based sales and implies an even greater differentiation of what customers are offered; and, (3) becoming an ‘industrializer’, which is about standardizing previously customized solutions to promote repeatability and scalability. Based on our critical inquiry, we develop two alternative assumptions: (a) firms need to constantly balance business expansion and standardization activities; and (b) manage the co-existence of different system supplier roles. Finally, we consider the implications for implementing service-led growth strategies of the alternative assumptions.
  • Dube, Apramey; Helkkula, Anu; Strandvik, Tore (2014)
  • Neganova, Irina (2014)
    Purpose: to investigate a concept of service-based dominant logic, define it, reveal its dimensions, theoretical framework, and managerial implications. Design/methodology/approach: the topic is approached by theoretical analysis and conceptual development. Using a definition of the dominant logic as a mind set or a world view the present article suggests ‘service-based dominant logic’ as a name for a generic theoretical concept instead of the widely used ‘service-dominant logic’ which can be easily misinterpreted as logic dominated by service only. Service-based dominant logic is ‘pure’ logic of service: it considers service as the fundamental basis of business and doesn’t include any goods-centric aspects. This logic relates to a firm’s facilitation and support of customer value creation processes using different types of resources obtained from a company. Findings: the study proposed the definition and revealed three dimensions of service-based dominant logic found in the relevant literature: ‘service logic’, ‘service-dominant logic’ and ‘customer-dominant logic’. The study showed similarities and differences between these three research streams in regard to how they defined a value, a product, a service, value creation, role of customer, role of company, and how important interactions were in value creation. The paper also described the theoretical framework of service-based dominant logic: it stated that service-based dominant logic had originated from service marketing, relationship marketing and value creation literature, and it interrelated with customer relationship management and business networks and channels research. Finally, the article classified the managerial implications of service-based dominant logic into three groups: company’s decision making, company’s organizing and company’s activities. Originality: the paper contributes conceptually to the service marketing literature by delineating the concept of service-based dominant logic. This term that before have not been widely used serves as the “umbrella” for three research streams exploring service as business perspective: ‘service logic’, ‘service-dominant logic’ and ‘customer-dominant logic’. This approach allows making deeper comparison between the main propositions of these research streams that could be interesting for the academic community for further application of research methods to collect empirical data from the corporate sector to check the findings.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Holmlund, Maria; Grönroos, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2014)
    Special Issue: Back where we belong – Marketing as the organization’s core strategy
  • Dube, Apramey (Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2014)
  • Edvardsson, Bo; Kowalkowski, Christian; Strandvik, Tore; Voima, Päivi (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2014)
  • Kauppinen-Räisänen, Hannele; Gummerus, Johanna; von Koskull, Catharina; Finne, Åke; Helkkula, Anu; Kowalkowski, Christian; Rindell, Anne (Emerald Group Publishing, 2014)
  • Lipkin, Michaela; Heinonen, Kristina (2014)
  • Editorial 
    Kindström, Daniel; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2014)
  • Kindström, Daniel; Kowalkowski, Christian (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2014)
  • Diaz Ruiz, Carlos; Kowalkowski, Christian (Elsevier Inc., 2014)
    A central question in industrial marketing is whether the form in which the external environment of a firm is represented influences the marketing strategy. This influence has been studied generally through case study research, and quantitative evidence is limited. In response to this limitation, this paper reports on a quasi-experiment investigating whether market representations have a constructive aspect in business. Empirically, this study compares two types of ostensive and performative market representations—service focus and product differentiation—in order to test for influence exacted by industrial marketing on strategies. Results indicate that service focus is selected when market representations rely on agency in firms (i.e., performative), and product strategies are selected when structures are emphasized (i.e., ostensive). This paper contributes to methodology development by expanding the link between a case study approach and quasi-experiments explaining how quasi-experiments can replicate findings in industrial marketing.
  • Lindberg-Repo, Kirsti Helena; Dube, Apramey (Brand Audit Group, 2014)
    TITANS OF SERVICE combines theory with practical insights, examples and references from experts. Bringing together 14 service experts, this book offers the most up-to-date knowledge from this field of academia in the U.S., Europe and Asia. In addition to offering theoretical insights, practical guidance and examples, this book also gives an overview of the current and future role of services. Titans of Service provides a framework for thinking about ways in which new knowledge on services is integrated with high profit and growth. This book is a guide for everyone interested in managing services profitably. It is based on substantial research with leading academic experts whom we call Titans, and provides a practical and insightful framework for business leaders, the educational community and students.
  • Strandvik, Tore; Helkkula, Anu (Department of Business Studies. Uppsala University, 2013)
  • Strandvik, Tore; Heinonen, Kristina; Mickelsson, Karl-Jacob (2013)
    The emancipation of customers has raised an interest into how service providers can involve customers in their processes. In contrast, we argue that the key challenge for companies will become how they can get involved in customers’ processes and that represents an unexplored area open for academic research. Our paper is conceptual with empirical illustrations and builds on a Customer Dominant business Logic approach. It presents a model of how the customer’s logic is grounded in customers’ rather stable interest structure and perception of service providers and how this forms different styles of using service and interacting with service providers.
  • Kowalkowski, Christian; Witell, Lars; Gustafsson, Anders (Elsevier Inc., 2013)
    Manufacturing firms have always delivered services, by supplying spare parts, installing equipment, training employees, or performing maintenance. In competitive markets though, firms seek new ways to differentiate their business, including an increased focus on service, often referred to as service infusion. Of the studies that seek to understand this phenomenon, most focus on large multinational firms; little is known about service infusion in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study adopts an explorative approach to investigate how SMEs construct new value constellations that enable value creation through services. The findings, based on in-depth interviews with key informants from 13 SMEs, suggest that there is no predefined transition process for service infusion in SMEs, which seldom have the resources to build new organizational units or create new specialties. Instead, they differentiate themselves through new value constellations within business networks. The heterogeneity of service offerings and business networks means those value constellations take many forms.
  • Heinonen, Kristina; Helkkula, Anu; Holmlund, Maria (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2013)
  • Kowalkowski, Christian; Kindström, Daniel; Gebauer, Heiko (Emerald Group Publishing Ltd., 2013)
    Purpose – Information and communication technology (ICT) is a key enabler for new product- and process-oriented services. The article investigates how ICT can enable service differentiation and in doing so act as a catalyst for a service business orientation. Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, multi-case research design with eight multinational goods manufacturers. Findings –Two distinct types of service-oriented differentiation are identified; services in support of the product (SSP), and services in support of the client’s actions (SSC). The study finds that SSC have the largest positive impact on firms’ service business orientation. Research limitations/implications – Western firms in a limited sample of industries are studied. Furthermore, the service business orientation construct does not include any measurements of service profitability or impact on overall competitive advantage. Practical implications – To various extend, successful firms are likely to pursue both SSP and SSC differentiation traits through ICT. The two options are interdependent and the framework presented helps managers to understand both key specificities and their interrelatedness. Originality/value – The study contributes to theory on service strategies by specifically focusing on the enabling role of ICT for new services and its effects on each of the three dimensions of the service business orientation construct.