University of Twente Student Theses


Organizational structure : how to offer a product-service system? A multiple case study.

Prinsen, L. (2020) Organizational structure : how to offer a product-service system? A multiple case study.

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Abstract:In servitization literature, many authors have described which business areas need to be adapted to achieve a positive servitization performance. One area that is often described as a success factor related to servitization performance is the organizational structure. However, literature research has shown that in addition to the structural dimensions, several contextual factors have an impact on organizational design. As a result, within this exploratory research, a viable organizational structure has been examined in order to offer product-service systems. Emphasis has been placed on the, servitization degree, the structural organizational dimensions (de)centralization, departmentalization, formalization, hierarchy (of authority), responsibilities, specialization, and the contextual factors culture, commitment, (cross-functional) communication, flexibility, infrastructure and synergies. A multiple case study at a technology-driven software company has been performed, because within the company a research group is currently developing a new product-service offering. Furthermore, the company consists of multiple business-units who are servitizing or already made the transition. Subsequently, a method was developed that uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to generate in-depth insights into the various organizational structures and the associated contextual factors per business unit. Analysis has shown that a viable organizational structure should be vertically decentralized in which employees have a high degree of autonomy and freedom of doing business. Furthermore, the structure should be departmentalized based on function, where different teams are responsible for a part of or a task related to the offering. These teams have to find the right balance regarding formalization in order to create transparency, clarity and frameworks regarding quality. In addition, the infrastructure has to be focused on gathering and sharing information, with an emphasis on translating market need, market complexity and feedback.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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