University of Oulu

Erävala, K. T., Muhos, M., & Rämi, K. A. (2021). Competence development needs for micro-enterprises entering servitisation. International Journal of Value Chain Management, 12(1), 86-105.

Competence development needs for micro-enterprises entering servitisation

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Author: Taipale-Erävala, Kyllikki1; Muhos, Matti1; Ala-Rämi, Katariina1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Kerttu Saalasti Institute, Microentrepreneurship Center of Excellence, Pajatie 5, 85500 Nivala, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Inderscience, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-22


Servitisation, as a means to drive growth, provides a great business opportunity for micro-enterprises (micros), offering the possibility of longer and more profitable customer relationships. However, such enterprises possess limited human resources and, thus, competences. Competence-related challenges must be understood in order to operate successfully in the field of servitisation. This study produces new knowledge about competence development needs. The study material consists of interviews conducted in ten Finnish subcontracting micros in the fields of forestry, agriculture, and mining. Using a multiple case approach allows for an extensive examination of the insufficiently studied phenomenon of interest — micros engaging in servitisation — utilising Tukker’s (2004) product-service system. The results contribute both academically and practically by showing that micros face competence-related servitisation challenges in terms of entrepreneurship, change management, and financing. The study broadens Tukker’s product-service categorisation to include product manufacturing industries that offer assembly services.

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Series: International journal of value chain management
ISSN: 1741-5357
ISSN-E: 1741-5365
ISSN-L: 1741-5357
Volume: 12
Issue: 1
Pages: 86 - 105
DOI: 10.1504/IJVCM.2021.112846
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Copyright information: © 2021 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. The final authenticated version is available online at