In an attempt to maintain competitiveness, more and more firms are moving towards business models that integrate equipment, goods and services, such as in a product-service system (PSS), with a view to delivering value. This transition requires a shift in business thinking for developing arrangements to provide integrated product-service (PS) offerings that are sustainable, technical and/or marketable. The aim of this article is to offer insights into work systems for providing integrated PS offerings by competitive firms. It adopts 'work system theory' as a research lens and an inductive multiple-case logic consisting of an in-depth exploratory study of four competitive micro-engineering firms, to capture 'what' and 'how' information and service systems contribute to the sustainability, technical and marketability themes for competitiveness using PSSs. The article finds that technical requirements of competitive PSSs are best fulfilled in work systems that emphasise individual timeliness/ buy-ins, synchronous communications managed by strategic roles and tie-ins offered by service contracts. The study also revealed an emphasis, by the case firms, on relationship building and policy implementation for achieving PSS marketability and sustainability, respectively.
Competitive Product-Service Systems: Lessons From a Multicase Study
by Christopher Durugbo
May 29, 2013