• Scott Wagstaff

Student thesis: Doctor of Business Administration


Oil remains the lifeblood of many states and international organisations, with far reaching political and environmental consequences. Thus, the research contained within this thesis will be of interest to those practitioners within governments, oil companies, NGOs and environmental groups. This thesis will also be of interest to members of the academic community wishing to understand the theory and practice of servitization within this industry. The central question of this thesis explores why the oil industry is not as servitized as one would expect. The answer to this question provides several new additions to theory and practice which provide some explanation of the oil industry’s prolonged servitization attempts. This research finds that a darker form of mimetic isomorphism facilitates distrustful adversarial relationships, exacerbated by external economic factors and a lack of management strategy. The journal paper format was selected when creating this thesis, creating three separate papers. Each individual paper employs a mixed method approach allowing triangulation of the findings, first within each paper and then between all three papers. This approach combines the strengths, whilst minimising the weaknesses, of each individual method. The research provides insight into a ‘dark side of servitization’ from both the customer and manufacturer perspectives and challenges current theory by arguing that the benefits derived from the progression from base to advanced levels of servitization are complex and may be detrimental at base and intermediate levels. Finally, this research adds to the theory of servitization paradox within the oil industry, arguing that advancements in servitization are abandoned to return to intermediate levels to take the short-term advantages that high levels of distrust can provide.
Date of Award31 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorJudith Zolkiewski (Supervisor) & Jamie Burton (Supervisor)

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