Exploring Digital Servitization Trajectories within Product–service–software Space

Juliana Hsuan*, Marin Jovanovic, Diego Honorato Clemente

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose:This study shows various pathways manufacturers can take when embarking on digital servitization (DS) journeys. It builds on the DS and modularity literature to map the strategic trajectories of product–service–software (PSSw) configurations.
Design/methodology/approach: The study is exploratory and based on the inductive theory building method. The empirical data were gathered through a workshop with focus groups of 15 servitization manufacturers (with 22 respondents), an on-site workshop (in-depth case study), semi-structured interviews, observations and document study of archival data.
Findings: The DS trajectories are idiosyncratic and dependent on design architectures of PSSw modules, balancing choices between standardization and innovation. The adoption of software systems depends on the maturity of the industry-specific digital ecosystem. Decomposition and integration of PSSw modules facilitate DS transition through business model modularity. Seven testable propositions are presented.
Research limitations/implications: With the small sample size from different industries and one in-depth case study, generalizing the findings was not possible.
Practical implications: The mapping exercise is powerful when top management from different functional departments can participate together to share their expertise and achieve consensus. It logs the “states” that the manufacturer undergoes over time.
Originality/value: The Digital Servitization Cube serves as a conceptual framework for manufacturers to systematically map and categorize their current and future PSSw strategies. It bridges the cross-disciplinary theoretical discussion in DS.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)598-621
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 16. Marts 2021.


  • Digital servitization
  • Business-model modularity
  • Product-service-software trajectories

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