Collaboration as a mechanism for servitization in the automotive industry: The case of China and Sweden
Abstract: An increasing amount of companies have starting to embrace a transition from focuspurely on products to provide service offerings to customers, also termed as servitization. Theautomotive industry is one example which has identified the potential of creating value throughservices. It is suggested by literature that services should be developed by several actors, socalledco-creation. The process of developing new initiatives has although been considered asexpensive, resource-intensive and connected with risks. To open up boundaries betweencompanies is perceived as a way to improve the process for new initiatives. There is although alack of research regarding how companies can collaborate in order to develop services in atraditionally product-focused industry. This study thus aims to examine how collaborations areused as a mechanism for developing services in the automotive industry. This was investigatedthrough a qualitative strategy, and more specifically with the means of multiple-case studytogether with a comparative perspective between China and Sweden. Findings show that there isan absence of a clear structure regarding service development, such as formal processes anddecision paths. Moreover, collaborations concerning service development are increasing acrossboundaries and are perceived as essential for future success. The collaborative perspectivebetween China and Sweden reveals company-specific rather than country-specific differences.
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