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Transition to Service - When organizational structures limit your service success

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abstract Product-oriented companies are moving more and more into the service business. As market competition rises and clear technological superiority is not only hard to achieve but especially hard to maintain, companies find new opportunities of differentiating themselves from competitors through service offerings. Starting with product-related services companies move along the transition line from products to services and finally offer a broad range of services including sophisticated customer support services. During this reorientation in a company's vision and objectives changes in its organizational arrangement regarding the service-sales and -delivery are to expect. Traditional manufacturing companies mostly start into service business with an integrated approach for service-sales and delivery. We observed in a survey based on 212 answers, that the separation of service business from product business offers possibilities in terms of higher service-orientation of corporate culture, a higher service-orientation of human resource management and better financial service-related performance outcomes. We assumed that the integration of service business in product-oriented functions limits the development of professional service business on companies' transformation towards service business.
Additionally to the findings from the survey the paper provides an analysis based on 9 in-depth case studies to examine relevant impacts of organizational structures limiting service-related performance outcomes. On the one hand side the analysis follows the contingency approach and on the other hand side a dialectical approach is applied to understand the need for organizational change when moving towards professional service business. We start from a strategic level to understand the implications on organizational structures and the development of a service-portfolio as well as service-sales. As one of the brake shoes for developing a company towards a solution-provider we identified conflicts between different entities within the company, but going deeper into the case-studies we observed, that these conflicts could be understood as drivers for the change from products to service as well. Finally we understood that strategy-translation and conflict-management are two key elements for a successful transformation from product-business to service business, but have never been elaborated in detail. We identified appropriate structures which drive service business and furthermore draw a picture on most important conflicts which need to be solved before or during the change towards the self-conception of a company as a service-provider.
   
type conference paper (English)
   
keywords service management, industrial services, service organization, organizational structure
   
name of conference Frontiers in Service Conference (Washington)
date of conference 5-10-2008
review external review
   
citation Puetz, F., Gebauer, H., & Fleisch, E. (2008). Transition to Service - When organizational structures limit your service success. In .