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Paper info: How do Goods-Centric Businesses use Relationships to Develop Service-led Growth?


How do Goods-Centric Businesses use Relationships to Develop Service-led Growth?


Christopher Raddats,
Judy Zolkiewski
Manchester Business School
United Kingdom
Judy Zolkiewski and Vicky Story

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.


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Purpose of paper and literature addressed: Many formerly goods-centric businesses
(GCBs) operating in a business-to-business (B2B) environment are using services to grow
their businesses, with this process sometimes described as service infusion (Brax, 2005). The
purpose of this paper is to understand how GCBs develop suitable relationships with actors in
their network to help them to enhance service(s) innovation in order to facilitate services-led
growth. The literature review addresses how GCBs have traditionally constituted their
services offerings based on their goods, and the problems this creates, in terms of not fully
addressing customer requirements. Product and service innovation literature is considered to
seek guidance on how GCBs can successfully develop new services. Literature addressing the
development of relationships within industrial networks is reviewed, both in terms of
relationships with customers and other actors in the network. These relationships form central
tenets of the theoretical framework for the research, based on possible options for servicesled
growth that GCBs can undertake.
Research method: Multiple case studies will be used to investigate services-led growth in
GCBs and the part that relationships play in this process.
Research findings: Results from the first case will be presented at the IMP Conference.
Main contribution: The research will contribute to service infusion research by identifying
how GCBs can develop new services offerings to facilitate growth and the part that network
relationships have in the innovation process.
Keywords: B2B, goods-centric businesses, innovation, service infusion, services-led growth.