Uncertainty profiles in engineering-service development: Exploring supplier co-creation

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Engineering-service (ES) development, particularly with supplier co-creation, is nontrivial, and the literature has acknowledged the high relevance of uncertainty in this context. This study investigates the relationship between different supplier co-creation modes (operationally independent [OI] and operationally dependent [OD]) and uncertainty criticality arising during ES development.

Design/Methodology/Approach: This study develops a conceptual framework of five uncertainty types by synthesizing the relevant literature from service management and new product development. This framework guided the empirical work of two in-depth case studies, describing uncertainty criticality in OI and OD supplier co-creation.

Findings: The findings show that environmental and organizational uncertainty were generally of high criticality for ES development independently of the supplier co-creation mode. Moreover, uncertainty criticality varied between the two cases, with higher criticality of technical and relational uncertainty as well as less resource uncertainty experienced by the focal organization in the OD case. This suggests that supplier co-creation constitutes an uncertainty reallocation.

Research Limitations/Implications: Further research is needed to test the generalizability of the qualitative results through quantitative studies.

Originality/Value: This research contributes to the service management literature by showing the varying uncertainty profiles manufacturing organizations face when engaging in different supplier co-creation modes. Furthermore, this research provides novel insights on ES development to the broader discussion on ES management.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Service Management
ISSN1757-5818
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Servitization
  • Uncertainty management
  • Engineering services
  • Engineering-service development
  • Co-creation

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