Service innovations in manufacturing firms
Journal article, 2010

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and describe certain critical dimensions related to service innovation in manufacturing firms. The paper focuses on dimensions related to the service transition, the offering and the development project. Design/methodology/approach: A multiple case study was conducted in order to trace specific service innovations and to explore critical dimensions and events throughout their development. A total of 16 interviews were held, covering service innovations in SKF, Volvo Buses, and Volvo Trucks. Findings: Each of the three service innovations studied are examples of recombinative innovations. While there are some differences in terms of what is innovative, a common theme is the bundling of technology and services. Recombinative innovation opens up the possibility to combine standardization and customization, which has been identified as a success factor for services in manufacturing companies. Originality/value: Although a large number of manufacturing firms are introducing services to utilize the entire life-cycle of the installed base, there is a shortage of literature that includes elaborate empirical accounts of service innovations in manufacturing firms. The study expands the scope for viewing service innovation by not only focusing on the offering but also taking into account service transition and the development project. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Case studies

Customer service management


Manufacturing industries


Ida Gremyr

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Quality Sciences

Nina Löfberg

Karlstad University

Lars Witell

Karlstad University

Linköping University

Managing Service Quality

0960-4529 (ISSN)

Vol. 20 2 161-175

Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified



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