Customer-focused and service-focused orientation in organizational structures

Heiko Gebauer, Christian Kowalkowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose – The paper aims to provide a better understanding of the interrelatedness of customer and service orientations in the organizational structures of capital goods manufacturing companies.

Design/methodology/approach – A qualitative, multi-case research design was employed using 36 European capital goods manufacturing companies.

Findings – This article explored four different patterns of how companies move from being product-focused to service-focused, and from having an organizational structure that is geographically focused to one that is customer-focused. The four patterns are termed as follows: emphasizing service orientation, service-focused organizational structure, emphasizing customer orientation, and customer-focused organizational structure.

Research limitations/implications – Although the study is based on 36 case studies, the external validity (generalizability) of the findings could not be assessed accurately.

Practical implications – The description of the four organizational approaches offers guidance for managers to restructure their companies towards service and customer orientations.

Originality/value – The article links the relatively independent discussions of service and customer orientations in the context of organizational structures. The four patterns provide a better understanding of how capital goods manufacturers integrate increased customer and service focuses in their organizational structures.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Business & Industrial Marketing
Volume27
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)527-537
Number of pages11
ISSN0885-8624
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed

Keywords

  • 512 Business and Management
  • KOTA2012

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