Establishing an international service network in industrial context - capability perspective

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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Objectives of the study Service-based business logic and solution business are the hot topics of marketing today. The solution business has not, however, been discussed widely yet from the perspective of offering solutions via networks. The objective of the study is to find out how an international service network is established in an industrial context. The goal is also to examine what kind of actors and roles are present in the studied context and how partners are found and identified. Furthermore, capability perspective is applied as different kind of managerial capabilities needed to establish an international service network are recognized. Methodology The research method of the study was a single case study as the primary goal was to understand properly the underlying dynamics related to the context. The objectives were studied in the context of an industrial case company by conducting 6 semi-structured interviews. The interviewees consisted from senior and middle management of the case company. Secondary data was collected through observation and company materials. The collected material was analysed by collecting common themes from the data and eventually, represented in the form of a case story narrative. The research was prepared from the perspective of a network hub. Conclusions This study offers a new perspective to solution business discussion. The research focused on explaining the dynamics related to service network creation. In the studied context, the solution business strategy was dependable on each market’s specific conditions such as competition and prior knowledge from the market. Thus, network solution strategy was flexible in the studied context. Two kinds of solution partners were identified in the context, smaller solution provider outlets and larger storage-like-outlets. The identified solution partners with different kinds of roles existed in the markets next to another distribution channel, retail-dealers, who focused merely on product selling. The role of smaller solution providers is to provide a complete solution to private and professional customers while larger storage-like-outlets focus on guaranteeing the availability of products to professional builders and sometimes on providing products to smaller solution providers. Typically, the network partners were familiar to the case company from the past with a good reputation and business sense in them. The managerial capabilities identified were classified into four groups; strategic and technical capabilities, interaction and communication skills, relationship skills and business support capabilities and finally, international experience and market knowledge.
services, solution business, networks, roles, managerial capabilities
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