PurposeThis study aims to investigate the contribution of knowledge-intensive business services firms to small- and medium-sized manufacturers' digital servitization journeys, addressing the standardization versus customization dichotomy of services and solutions provision. Design/methodology/approachTo identify the challenges that small- and medium-sized firms must face in the digital servitization journey and the role that knowledge-intensive business services firms may play in the innovation processes, the authors conduct a review on two still unrelated literature streams and develop a longitudinal single-case study, with a particular focus on knowledge generation mechanisms. FindingsDigital servitization is a particularly challenging transformational journey for minor firms. Knowledge-intensive business services firms can act as sources, facilitators, and carriers of knowledge, and they can orchestrate further contributions of other external partners and firms. Research limitations/implicationsThe paper contributes to theory describing the roadmap and the role of external service providers in digital servitization journeys of smaller firms', that are frequently excluded from mainstream research although being the backbone of European economies. Practical implicationsDigital servitization in minor manufacturing firms requires a long-term orientation and a multi-stage roadmap. Mixing standardized technology-based solutions and complementary professional services, knowledge-intensive business services firms can significantly contribute to lowering the journey's uncertainties, operational complexity, and costs. Originality/valueThe paper sheds lights on how the collaboration between knowledge-intensive business services firms and small manufacturers generates novel knowledge and capabilities that contribute to takle the challenges of the different stages of the digital servitization roadmap.

Digital servitization journey in small- and medium-sized enterprises: the contribution of knowledge-intensive business firms

Paiola, M
;
2023

Abstract

PurposeThis study aims to investigate the contribution of knowledge-intensive business services firms to small- and medium-sized manufacturers' digital servitization journeys, addressing the standardization versus customization dichotomy of services and solutions provision. Design/methodology/approachTo identify the challenges that small- and medium-sized firms must face in the digital servitization journey and the role that knowledge-intensive business services firms may play in the innovation processes, the authors conduct a review on two still unrelated literature streams and develop a longitudinal single-case study, with a particular focus on knowledge generation mechanisms. FindingsDigital servitization is a particularly challenging transformational journey for minor firms. Knowledge-intensive business services firms can act as sources, facilitators, and carriers of knowledge, and they can orchestrate further contributions of other external partners and firms. Research limitations/implicationsThe paper contributes to theory describing the roadmap and the role of external service providers in digital servitization journeys of smaller firms', that are frequently excluded from mainstream research although being the backbone of European economies. Practical implicationsDigital servitization in minor manufacturing firms requires a long-term orientation and a multi-stage roadmap. Mixing standardized technology-based solutions and complementary professional services, knowledge-intensive business services firms can significantly contribute to lowering the journey's uncertainties, operational complexity, and costs. Originality/valueThe paper sheds lights on how the collaboration between knowledge-intensive business services firms and small manufacturers generates novel knowledge and capabilities that contribute to takle the challenges of the different stages of the digital servitization roadmap.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3473115
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