6th International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS 2017 - Barcelona)


Esteban Lafuente
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Ferran Vendrell-Herrero
University of Birmingham
Ivanka Visnjic
ESADE Business School

This book abstracts summarizes the proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS 2017), held at the Barcelona School of Building Construction (EPSEB), Barcelona, Spain.

This edition of the International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) deals with the Servitization of Regions. The analysis of what drivers, processes and actors play a crucial role in enabling and promoting manufacturing renaissance, technological upgrading and product-service innovation in regions is of crutial importance for understanding how regions can efficiently transit to a more knowledge-based development models. The servitization of regions offers an opportunity for local manufacturing economies to resume growth and sustain long-term competitiveness. As such, the renaissance of manufacturing through territorial servitization not only facilitates the upgrading of existing manufacturing competences, but it also offers an opportunity to develop and anchor new technological capabilities across regions.

As such, the research collection in the pages below provide a better understanding of the factors that enable manufacturing sectors to transit to more innovation-intensive and difficult-to-imitate business models based on services.

The competitiveness of manufacturing businesses increasingly relies on their ability to introduce value-adding services into their operations, and to offer integrated packages of goods and services; a process described in the literature as the servitization of manufacturing or product-service systems. There is a growing number of manufacturing firms adding services to their offer, with recent evidence indicating that the proportion reaches up to two thirds of manufacturers in developed economies. However, the integration of services in-house has considerable risks and therefore manufacturers, especially SMEs, have an increased demand for externalizing knowledge-based services.

Knowledge intensive business service (KIBS) firms inject advanced services—i.e., servitization—across new and incumbent manufacturing businesses. Local KIBS are both sources and carriers of knowledge that might impact the competitiveness of local manufacturing firms. The colocation of product and service firms in the same space enhance territorial and urban performance by providing high value-adding services to other organizations, and fuelling job creation.

At the territorial level, the renaissance of local manufacturing sectors, including traditional manufacturing sectors and new approaches to production such as the Makers movement and 3D manufacturing, seems to be related to growth in KIBS sector. Knowledge-intensive service ventures tend to agglomerate together with new and incumbent manufactures, developing linkages and strategic alliances, and therefore opening a virtuous entrepreneurial circle, which in turn positively influence the renaissance of manufacturing. As such servitization and the benefits of knowledge-intensive service provision do not necessarily have to be fully integrated within the manufacturer’s internal value chain. There are benefits to ‘Territorial Servitization’.

In this 6th edition of the ICBS we have brought together more than 45 researchers from 36 Universities and Research Institutes located in 13 countries across Europe and America. In summary, the conference is organized in ten different parallel sessions that seek to fuel the academic debate around the different aspects of Territorial Servitization.

Additionally, this conference welcomes relevant keynote speakers as Prof. Yancy Vaillant (Toulouse Business School, TBS) analyzing “The Servitization of Regions” and Dr. Ivanka Visnjic (ESADE) speaking about “Product innovation, service business model innovation and their impact on performance”.

Cover for 6th International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS 2017 - Barcelona)