University of Oulu

Härkönen, J., Tolonen, A. and Haapasalo, H. (2017), "Service productisation: systematising and defining an offering", Journal of Service Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 936-971.

Service productisation : systematising and defining an offering

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Author: Härkönen, Janne1; Tolonen, Arto1; Haapasalo, Harri1
Organizations: 1Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2017
Publish Date: 2019-11-21


Purpose: The previous literature has indicated that the productisation of services may play a role in service management, although a certain level of obscurity still surrounds the concept. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to clarify the meaning of service productisation (SP) as well as to contribute to a greater understanding of the concept.

Design/methodology/approach: An inductive analysis was applied to 13 instances of activities related to the productisation of services, with secondary data being analysed to identify practices relevant to SP and to examine their significance. The analysis is guided by an extensive literature review.

Findings: SP has been found to play a role in systematising and tangibilising a service offering and its related processes as well as in formalising the processes and service offerings. The potential elements of SP have been identified and supporting evidence has been provided. The findings indicate that SP has a specific focus on the offering and its related processes, with the aim being to create a service product that can be sold, delivered and invoiced. SP may utilise various practices and techniques, and customer orientation also plays a significant role. A typology of SP has been created by reflecting on its commercial and technical aspects.

Practical implications: This study has important implications for the service industry as it provides a structure and key considerations for productising services.

Originality/value: This study is one of the first to seek evidence for the concept of SP from multiple instances of SP as well as an extensive literature base. The typology created provides a context for discussing SP as well as reflecting on its commercial and technical aspects.

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Series: Journal of service management
ISSN: 1757-5818
ISSN-E: 1757-5826
ISSN-L: 1757-5818
Volume: 28
Issue: 5
Pages: 936 - 971
DOI: 10.1108/JOSM-09-2016-0263
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 222 Other engineering and technologies
Copyright information: © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Service Management. The final authenticated version is available online at: