Platform thinking for services: the case of human resources

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This paper tests the utility of platform thinking, a design principle that has so far been applied to product development yet under-researched in service settings, for improving the value of services. A key principle of platform thinking is to balance the reuse of service components with the heterogeneity in user needs. Tuning services to specific user needs is valuable, but differentiating services when user needs are homogeneous may decrease service quality and increase cost. Using data from 676 human resource management services, this study finds that the service value is highest when the service provision is matched with the commonality potential of the services. The results indicate that using the wrong delivery channel decreases the service value which eventually could decrease the service value for an organization's external customers. These empirical findings demonstrate the relevance of platform thinking for service design and challenges conventional design criteria used for optimizing service delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-132
JournalService industries journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • METIS-307742
  • IR-93479

Cite this