Driven by the highly cyclical nature of their increasingly commoditised product offerings, many capital goods manufacturers are seeing the benefits of delivering services integrated with their core product offerings. Whilst existing research is almost unanimous in advocating the value of a servitization strategy, understanding how these product-service systems (PSSs) can be developed and delivered remains a significant challenge. The closely related PSS field, which has its heritage in the environmental and social science disciplines, is more mature in this area and a number of models have been proposed. The research reported within this thesis contributes to knowledge by investigating whether the approaches to PSS development, reported within the PSS literature, reflects the PSS development practice of servitized manufacturers. More specifically, soft systems methodology was used to explore the delivery of PSSs within the UK railway industry in order to gain an understanding of the implications for developing new PSSs. With this understanding, the existing approaches to PSS development were evaluated with respect to one servitized manufacturer through an in-depth single case study. The findings highlighted a number of significant differences between the practice of the servitized manufacturer and the literature. A survey was used to investigate whether the differences were generalisable to a larger sample of servitized manufacturers. The findings point towards the simplification of the reported phases within PSS development and the inclusion of a number of previously unreported processes and activities. Based on these results a new model of PSS development is proposed to better reflect the practice of servitized manufacturers. The model, consisting of four phases and seventeen processes, was operationalised in the form of a workbook and tested through application. Applying the workbook resulted in the successful creation of a number of new PSS concepts.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.