The servitization of manufacturing: a review of literature and reflection on future challenges

Tim S. Baines, Howard W. Lightfoot, Ornella Benedettini, John M. Kay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report the state-of-the-art of servitization by presenting a clinical review of literature currently available on the topic. The paper aims to define the servitization concept, report on its origin, features and drivers and give examples of its adoption along with future research challenges.

Design/methodology/approach – In determining the scope of this study, the focus is on articles that are central and relevant to servitization within a wider manufacturing context. The methodology consists of identifying relevant publication databases, searching these using a wide range of key words and phrases associated with servitization, and then fully reviewing each article in turn. The key findings and their implications for research are all described.

Findings – Servitization is the innovation of an organisation's capabilities and processes to shift from selling products to selling integrated products and services that deliver value in use. There are a diverse range of servitization examples in the literature. These tend to emphasize the potential to maintain revenue streams and improve profitability.

Practical implications – Servitization does not represent a panacea for manufactures. However, it is a concept of significant potential value, providing routes for companies to move up the value chain and exploit higher value business activities. There is little work to date that can be used to help practitioners.

Originality/value – This paper provides a useful review of servitization and a platform on which to base more in-depth research into the broader topic of service-led competitive strategy by drawing on the work from other related research communities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-567
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • manufacturing industries
  • product innovation
  • services


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