The roles of services for manufacturers: themes and research priorities

Chris Raddats, Christian Kowalkowski, Ornella Benedettini, Jamie Burton, Heiko Gebauer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Services are an important way for manufacturers to differentiate products, achieve revenue growth through helping customers with product use and create new business opportunities. The aim of this study is to identify the key themes and research priorities on the roles of services for manufacturers. The study includes papers from four major Management and Organization Studies (MOS) research streams: general management, marketing, operations and service management. Prior multi-theme literature reviews have tended to focus on operations/engineering management journals, overlooking the crucial role that marketing journals have played in the development of the body of knowledge in this field. A systematic literature review of 193 papers informed the study, identifying five themes: 1) service offerings, 2) strategy and structure, 3) motivations and performance, 4) resources and capabilities and 5) service processes. Gaps in the literature are identified and eight research priorities presented. The review highlights the focal-manufacturer perspective of most studies (including terms such as ‘servitization’) and calls for future research to take a multi-actor, relational perspective (termed ‘service coevolution’). The study provides an agenda for future research in this important field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Inaugural Industrial Marketing Management Summit
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Oct 2017


  • Service coevolution
  • Service infusion
  • Servitization
  • Solution
  • Systematic literature review


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