Operating in business networks and increasing service- and knowledgeintensiveness of solutions offerings are prevalent phenomena in the business world. While studies on product-service bundles and servitization of industrial companies are abundant in solutions literature, integration of services and the related capabilities at business network level have attracted sparse attention. This doctoral thesis aims to increase understanding of companies co-creating integrated service solutions in business networks. The research employs a qualitative case study approach based on 101 in-depth interviews in 13 supplier companies and 17 customer companies. Industrial services and knowledgeintensive business services (KIBS) in marketing, advertising and consulting fall within the scope of this research. Drawing on the in-depth empirical evidence and selected theoretical perspectives of value creation, service management, knowledge management and key account management, this thesis extends and complements prior research on integrated solutions. The novelty value of this research is derived from the application of new theoretical perspectives to the study of integrated solutions and the identification of the corresponding central capabilities and activities. As a result, the identified organizational and knowledge integration capabilities complement the previously depicted core capability of systems integration with a relational and interactive co-creation aspect of integrating services in a business network. Activities such as agreeing on network positions and sharing knowledge between network actors are then pivotal to ensuring successful value co-creation and a seamless customer experience. Consequently, this thesis enhances the shift of mindset in solution business from goods-oriented thinking towards strong customer focus and a relational and collaborative nature of value co-creation. In addition to contributing theoretically, this thesis provides managerial advice in terms of the central activities in co-creating integrated service solutions within a group of suppliers and their common business customer.
|Award date||19 Dec 2014|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|MoE publication type||G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)|
- solution business
- integrated solution
- business network