A review of servitization theoretical foundations

Agustín Ruiz-Martín, Eloísa Díaz-Garrido


Purpose: This study seeks to analyse how the servitization topic has been addressed through different theoretical approaches. More specifically, the aim is to answer two key questions: What theoretical approaches have been used to study the phenomenon of servitization? What specific aspects of the servitization process have been analysed through each theoretical approach?

Design/methodology/approach: This paper adopts a systematic literature review. The first step involves a descriptive analysis, which is then followed by a thematic one.

Findings: The results show that the topic of servitization has been analysed according to the main boundary of the firm theories (Resource-based view, Game theory, and Transaction cost economics) and to organizational boundaries (Contingency theory and Resource dependence theory), among others. From the perspective of these theoretical frameworks, the following topics have received the most scholarly attention: Performance, Capabilities, Supply Chain Management, Business Model, Strategy, and Sustainability.

Originality/value: Observations are made on the relevance that diverse theories have on the development of research into servitization. The most suitable theoretical lenses are recommended for future research.


Servitization, organisational boundary theory, boundary of the firm theory, systematic literature review

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.3926/jiem.3466

Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2024

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience