Servitization in the manufacturing industry implies a shift from an offer based mainly on standard goods, to a wider value proposition composed of solutions aimed at solving specific customers’ problems, obtained by integrating tangible and intangible elements. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the servitization strategies of manufacturing firms, more specifically about: (i) how manufacturing companies move toward servitization (servitization pattern); (ii) how they achieve the capabilities needed; and (iii) which factors enable this transition. We did so by comparing the state of the art of academic research with a qualified sample of case studies of global companies that famously improved their competitiveness by shifting from products to solutions. The results show some gaps between research and practice, concerning in particular: the impact (either transformational or integrative) of servitization on the manufacturing organization; the role of financial resources in shaping the capability achievement strategy, particularly for external acquisitions, and; the role of servitization enablers poorly considered by the extant literature, such as time, leadership and continuity, operational excellence and digital technologies. These findings lead to the definition of seven formalized research directions, thus outlining an agenda for future research.
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