The revitalization of service orientation: a business services model

Albert Plugge*, Shahrokh Nikou, Harry Bouwman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Due to the convergence of rapid business developments and digitization challenges, service orientation is back on the research agenda as a concept to improve firms’ business services. Yet, little is known about the type of determinants that are relevant and to what degree they affect a firm’s service-oriented strategy. Design/methodology/approach: Building on structural equation modeling (SEM) and a unique data set of 131 international firms from different continents, the authors identify and analyze the key determinants in the context of a firm’s service-oriented strategy. Findings: The findings show that in order to cater for changes, organizations have to manage and adapt the coherence of the determinants’ business services, business processes and knowledge sharing continuously. Moreover, the results show that a service-oriented strategy is not only influenced by business services as such, but business services mediate the relationships between business processes, governance and process-aware information systems to a service-oriented strategy. Research limitations/implications: A limitation is imposed by the limited sample size and the unbalanced response of participants (executive management). In future research, a more extensive survey among a broader group of participants will help the authors to develop their model further in order to generalize the results, as well as more finely grained research related to geography and size might be pursued. Future empirical research is necessary to identify and test the relationships between other constructs and study their effect on a firm’s service-oriented strategy. Practical implications: On a practical level, the authors postulate that an organization’s executive management should pay attention to invest in an organizational entity (department) that manages business services continuously. This organizational entity has to ensure that related processes and knowledge sharing are in place to establish and maintain a service-oriented strategy. Originality/value: This research contributes to service-oriented literature by operationalizing the implementation of an organization’s service-oriented strategy. The authors’ insights go beyond the findings of Aier et al. (2011). The authors found that a service-oriented strategy influences service-oriented project success positively. The authors extended these findings, based on a unique data set, by studying business services and influencing determinants (i.e. business processes, governance, PAIS and knowledge sharing) within the context of service orientation. The renewed attention to the concept of service orientation provides insights into critical determinants that influence the implementation of a service-oriented strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalBusiness Process Management Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Business processes
  • Business services
  • Governance
  • Organizational readiness
  • Process-aware information systems
  • Service orientation


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