Service-oriented business models

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Erwin Fielt
Senior Lecturer
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


With services becoming more and more prominent, a viable, service-oriented business model is a critical requirement for commercial success. For example, many Internet services are provided for free and, therefore, challenging their providers to find alternative sources of revenue such as advertisements or premium services. Moreover, many industries are moving towards adding services to their products or providing their products as services. For example, IT providers are moving towards Cloud and software Services and manufacturing firms are offering added value services and total solutions.

In addition, the theoretical foundation for service and value creation has been developing over the last years, in particular the Service-Dominant Logic (SDL). This offers promising and interesting avenues for developing mid-range theory in relation to business models based on new insights into, for example, how value is created, relations between firms and customers, the sources of value creation, the influence of the wider ecosystem, the ways of generating revenues, etc.

In this project, you can analyse and design the business models of interesting or innovative service providers as a case study or action research. Alternatively, you can focus on one or more aspects that make a business model service-oriented and study this in greater detail with literature and real world examples. Your contribution will be embedded in a larger project targeting at developing a methodology for the design and innovation of service-oriented business models.

Research activities

In this project you can expect to be involved in the following activities:

  • Studying the academic literature on business models, servitization and Service-Dominant Logic
  • Conducting empirical research into service-oriented business models (e.g., case studies, surveys, simulations, action design research)
  • Understanding, integrating and developing (new) theory


The objective of this research will be on providing insights into service-oriented business model, in particular those that can disrupt traditional business models. It will identify different types of service-oriented business models and also articulate the underlying rational of value creation and capture that will be more and more based on service logic. A PhD project can also include the transformation of existing, traditional companies driven by service-oriented business models. In addition, you will provide practical insights that can support those involved in developing or evaluating service-oriented business models.

Skills and experience

The candidate should have a good understanding of Management/Business/Information Systems and/or Service Management, a reasonable understanding of research methodology, and a basic understanding of either qualitative or quantitative research methods.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.