Business As Usual,No Business At All? : Exploring the Role of Servitization in theProcess of Business Model Innovation

Detta är en Master-uppsats från KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.); KTH/Industriell ekonomi och organisation (Inst.)

Sammanfattning: To survive a technological shift has — on numerous occasions — proved to be difficult forincumbent firms. Quintessential examples can be found in various industries where incumbent firmshave suffered financial losses as they have failed to adapt their business model to a new technological paradigm. Despite the troubling history, instead of exploring the process, researchers have more often than not only addressed the outcome of firms' business model innovation, leaving aknowledge gap in the literature. More alarming, in the limited research addressing the innovation process scholars have argued for contradictory purposes. Business model innovation literature has concluded that firms innovate their business model through a trial-and-error process. Conversely, servitization literature has often argued that firms innovate their business model through a series of deliberate and sequential steps along a linear continuum. The thesis aims to contribute with knowledge to bridge this gap by addressing the following purpose: explore the role of servitization in the process of business model innovation in the face of a potential technology shift. The thesis is anchored in an embedded case study at an incumbent manufacturing firm in the automotive industry. Findings show that the case company is utilizing servitization on a small scaleto test multiple business model innovations simultaneously across disperse organizational units. Itindicates that servitization can be utilized on a local level within the organization as a tool to changethe organizational culture. Furthermore, findings show that the servitized business models can be utilized to create test environments to explore the commercialization of radical technological innovations, enabling an incumbent firm to learn double ambidexterity. Subsequently, findings highlight that engaging in servitization is not simply a way to create complements to products, only important when products reach maturity. Instead, findings suggest that servitization may be a tool allowing firms to understand the importance of a symbiotic interplay between technology and business model innovation, in particular in the face of a technology shift. The thesis makes three contributions. First, findings from this thesis contribute with knowledge on how an incumbent manufacturing firm is innovating its business model utilizing servitization. Second, the study contributes with an increased understanding of the innovation process of going from one business model to a new. Third, the thesis makes an analytical contribution by amalgamating the research areas of business model innovation, ambidexterity, and servitization.

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