Inter-organizational tensions in servitization: A dialectic process model

Xander Stegehuis*, Ariane von Raesfeld Meijer, Bart Nieuwenhuis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


This study investigates inter-organizational tensions in servitization and develops a dialectic process model to better understand the emergent nature of servitization. Inter-organizational tensions have gained increasing attention in servitization literature recently, but their role in the emergent nature of servitization requires further research. By combining dialectic theory and the ARA framework from the Industrial Marketing and Purchasing (IMP) tradition, we develop a dialectic process model that identifies inter-organizational tensions as generative forces in servitization. We present a single case study about the implementation of a circular service proposition in the construction industry called “Façade-as-a-Service. Our results reveal multiple tensions in a servitization context and how they emerged as a result of contradictory relationship structures in the existing and envisioned situations. We found that the tensions may be either anticipated as a result from direct clash between the status quo and an envisioned situation or unanticipated because they are indirectly as a result of interdepend ARA dimension. Our findings contribute to the existing literature by (i) extending knowledge on servitization tensions to a circular economy context, (ii) portraying servitization as a dialectic process that requires integration of competing interests, and (iii) opening the black box of inter-organizational tensions by adopting the ARA framework.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)204-220
Number of pages17
JournalIndustrial marketing management
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Servitization
  • Business networks
  • Dialectic theory
  • Inter-orgnanizational tensions
  • Circular Economy
  • UT-Hybrid-D


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