Servitization and deservitization: Overview, concepts, and definitions

Christian Kowalkowski, Heiko Gebauer, Bart Kamp, Glenn Parry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

378 Citations (Scopus)


The topic of servitization has generated a considerable body of research and many conferences, as well as industry engagement. Yet, despite the extensive literature associated with this now-mature discipline, there is no broad-based consensus on the core concepts and definitions deployed by servitization scholars, and both terminology and usage often seem ambiguous. This paper examines challenges related to service growth strategies, as well as strategies involving deservitization or a retreat from service offers. Showing that these strategies have been pursued for more than fifty years, clarification is sought here by framing the corresponding processes and proposing definitions for four core terms: servitization, service infusion, deservitization and service dilution. It becomes clear that in focusing on the organizational change entailed by these processes, future research must elucidate “softer” issues such as leadership and business logic.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Issue numberJanuary
Pages (from-to)4-10
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 05.01.2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Servitization
  • Deservitization
  • Service infusion
  • Service dilution
  • Product-service system
  • Industrial services
  • Business, Markets and Societal Dynamics
  • Service
  • customers and relations


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