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Capability perspective on service business development in small and medium suppliers

Marco Paiola, Heiko Gebauer & Bo Edvardsson

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abstract This paper aims at the exploration of trajectories for the service business development followed by small and medium suppliers (SMSs). Each trajectory is further investigated according to its underlying dynamic and operational capabilities.

The research design is based on case study research. Altogether, we conducted seven case studies from Germany, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.

We observed three trajectories of service business developments: (A) incremental enhancement of relational value to the existing supplier-buyer relationships, (B) financial value-seeking behavior in existing and new supplier-buyer relationships, and (C) radical leap towards a new value constellation downstream in the value chain.
These trajectories share similarities, but also entail differences in the co-evolvement of dynamic and operational capabilities.

Research limitations are mainly due to the nature of the qualitative research approach.

Managers could use the described organizational capabilities as guidance for (A) incremental enhancement of relational value to the existing supplier-buyer relationships, (B) financial value-seeking behavior in existing and new supplier-buyer relationships, and (C) radical leaps into new value constellations downstream in the value chain.

Social implications
SMSs represent the backbone of employment in many European industries. Exploring trajectories and capabilities for the service business development helps SMSs to (re)gain competitive advantages retaining employment in European manufacturing industries.

Originality/value
The study offers a comprehensive framework to help researchers to conceptualize trajectories and to operationalize capabilities in service business development. For managers, the value lies in the described guidelines for the service business development.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords Service business development, organizational capabilities
   
name of conference AMA SERVSIG International Service Research Conference (Porto)
date of conference 23-7-2010
page(s) 20
publisher AMA American Marketing Association (Chicago)
review internal review
   
citation Paiola, M., Gebauer, H., & Edvardsson, B. (2010). Capability perspective on service business development in small and medium suppliers. In , pp.20. Chicago: AMA American Marketing Association.