Adversarial Service Networks: A Study of Service Firms’ Response to Manufacturer-led Servitization in Aviation

Oliver Wirths, Zsófia Tóth*, Carlos Diaz Ruiz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


This study examines the adversarial dynamics that emerge when service firms assess that manufacturers' servitization initiatives pose an existential risk to their survival as independent organizations. Adopting an industrial networks perspective, this investigation explores how service firms respond to manufacturers' servitization initiatives that threaten to disintermediate them. The study explores how Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul firms (MROs) in the aviation industry respond to servitization initiated by Original Equipment Manufacturing firms (OEMs). Empirically, interviews with 49 experienced managers were conducted in the service network to understand their strategic pathways. Their responses reveal that MROs can resist servitization by strengthening their relationships with airlines or developing service-led advanced services. Alternatively, MROs can support OEMs' servitization by becoming subcontractors or licensed resource integrators. This study shows that servitization depends on the orchestration of service network actors with differing interests, making it contingent and multilateral.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)162-177
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 02.05.2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Servitization
  • Service network
  • Industrial network
  • MRO
  • Repair
  • Aviation


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