Capabilities for advanced services: a multi-actor perspective

Vicky M. Story*, Chris Raddats, Jamie Burton, Judy Zolkiewski, Tim Baines

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Servitization involves manufacturers developing service offerings to grow revenue and profit. Advanced services, in particular, can facilitate a more service-focused organization and impact customers' business processes significantly. However, approaches to servitization are often discussed solely from the manufacturer's perspective; overlooking the role of other network actors. Adopting a multi-actor perspective, this study investigates manufacturer, intermediary and customer perspectives to identify complementary and competing capabilities within a manufacturer's downstream network, required for advanced services. Interviews were conducted with 24 senior executives in 19 UK-based manufacturers, intermediaries and customers across multiple sectors. The study identified six key business activities, within which advanced services capabilities were grouped. The unique and critical capabilities for advanced services for each actor were identified as follows: manufacturers; the need to balance product and service innovation, developing customer-focused through-life service methodologies and having distinct, yet synergistic product and service cultures; intermediaries, the coordination and integration of third party products/services; customers, co-creating innovation and having processes supporting service outsourcing. The study is unique in highlighting the distinct roles of different actors in the provision of advanced services and shows that they can only be developed and delivered by the combination of complex interconnected capabilities found within a network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-68
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date9 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note



  • advanced services
  • capabilities
  • complementary capabilities
  • network actors
  • servitization


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