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Tensions in Digital Servitization through a Paradox Lens

Tóth, Zsófia; Sklyar, Alexey; Kowalkowski, Christian; Sörhammar, David; Tronvoll, Bård; Wirths, oliver

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Alexey Sklyar

Christian Kowalkowski

David Sörhammar

Bård Tronvoll

oliver Wirths


Two of the most disruptive changes in today’s business markets are servitization and digitalization. Their increasing convergence into digital servitization leads to tensions both within and between organizations. The authors investigate such intra- and interorganizational tensions by applying a paradox theory lens. The study draws on 56 depth interviews and multiple site visits from two cases in the aerospace and maritime industries. Linked to the paradoxes of organizing, learning, belonging, and performing, eight tensions emerge from the findings. The intra-organizational tensions include digitally enabled control, digital upkeep, professional identity, and performance priorities. In turn, the interorganizational tensions comprise platform-based coopetition, information superabundance, organizational identity, and data utilization. For practitioners working with digital services, this study suggests an audit of tensions to inform continued formulations of a mitigation strategy.


Tóth, Z., Sklyar, A., Kowalkowski, C., Sörhammar, D., Tronvoll, B., & Wirths, O. (2022). Tensions in Digital Servitization through a Paradox Lens. Industrial Marketing Management, 102, 438-450.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 18, 2022
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date Feb 17, 2022
Publicly Available Date May 16, 2022
Journal Industrial Marketing Management
Print ISSN 0019-8501
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 102
Pages 438-450
Keywords digital servitization; tensions; digitalization; digital transformation; business network; paradox theory
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