Servitization: A contemporary thematic review of four major research streams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Authors:
  • Christopher Raddats
  • Christian Kowalkowski
  • Ornella Benedettini
  • Jamie Burton
  • Heiko Gebauer


Servitization describes the addition of services to manufacturers’ core product offerings to create additional customer value. This study aims to identify the key themes and research priorities in this body of literature over thirteen years from 2005 and 2017, based on four major research streams (general management, marketing, operations, and service management). Prior multi-theme literature reviews have focused on operations journals, overlooking important work in other streams, particularly marketing. Informed by a systematic literature review of 219 papers, the study identifies five main themes: service offerings; strategy and structure; motivations and performance; resources and capabilities; service processes. Within each theme, gaps in the literature are identified and eleven research priorities presented to provide a research agenda. The review shows that the literature on servitization has evolved significantly in recent years, becoming increasingly diverse. A recent noteworthy topic is the use of digital technologies, which may be indicative of the increasing relevance of technological developments to manufacturers’ service activities. Our review highlights that there are still some fundamental aspects of servitization that warrant further research, primarily the need to replace the focal-manufacturer perspective of early research with a multi-actor perspective that highlights the important role of relationships with existing actors such customers, intermediaries, suppliers and potentially new actors as a result of technological developments.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019

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