Tensions in digital servitization through a paradox lens

Zsófia Tóth, Alexey Sklyar*, Christian Kowalkowski, David Sörhammar, Bård Tronvoll, Oliver Wirths

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Two of the most disruptive changes in today's business markets are servitization and digitalization. Their increasing convergence into digital servitization leads to tensions both within and between organizations. The authors investigate such intra- and interorganizational tensions by applying a paradox theory lens. The study draws on 56 depth interviews and multiple site visits from two cases in the aerospace and maritime industries. Linked to the paradoxes of organizing, learning, belonging, and performing, eight tensions emerge from the findings. The intra-organizational tensions include digitally enabled control, digital upkeep, professional identity, and performance priorities. In turn, the interorganizational tensions comprise platform-based coopetition, information superabundance, organizational identity, and data utilization. For practitioners working with digital services, this study suggests an audit of tensions to inform continued formulations of a mitigation strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalIndustrial Marketing Management
Pages (from-to)438-450
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 18.02.2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • digital servitization
  • tensions
  • digitalization
  • digital transformation
  • business network
  • paradox theory

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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