9th International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS 2022)
17-18 November 2022, Malaga, Spain

Click here to download the Final program

Paper edition: Amazon.com, Amazon.es

Digital Edition (Open Access): pdf

Focal theme: Servitization as a springboard for enhancing Sustainable manufacturing

Competitive strategies exclusively focused on the use of non-renewable resources are no longer viable in today's manufacturing settings. The 21st century's global business landscape call for companies to be committed to the societal welfare while meeting strict market and regulatory demands for sustainable and environmentally benign production processes and products. A shift towards more innovation-based business models that permit companies to enhance competitiveness along with sustainability impacts on the economy, society, and the environment is increasingly required. Such transition, however, is already underway, led by the adoption of servitized strategies that contemplate the integration of differentiated services into manufacturing offerings—as a means to innovate in manufacturing contexts. The innovative nature of servitization calls for firms to (re)adjust their organizational and competitive strategies, privileging service infusion over products, thus incentivising the provisioning of product-service solutions that contribute to lower environmental impacts. Hence, servitization can be regarded as a mechanism to expand competitive capabilities through service development in product-based firms, and thus, simultaneously provide a new means to reduce the environmental burdens of production and product performance. For instance, servitization provides an incentive of increasing product lifespan and stop planned obsolescence practices. According to the Business Innovation Observatory of the European Commission, servitization represents a transformational change that increases at a consistent rate in western economies, providing manufacturers with a sustainable medium to achieve differentiation that leads to an enduring competitive advantage, in accordance with the demands for sustainable business development. 

Covered topics include the identification of servitization pivotal factors for promoting innovative ways for sustainable production systems, such as Knowledge/Talent, Strategy, Marketing, Operations, Technology capacity, Territory, Sector/Industry related to intra-organizational and/or inter-organizational collaboration, partners, customers and/or KIBS, as well as tools or frameworks for developing, assessing, implementing, and governing sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacturing solutions. 

This year's edition of the International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) aims at debating and shaping such critical questions for the future development of the field. Accordingly, the focus of this year is on environmental sustainability. This year's conference aims to discuss what the challenges in implementing environmental-friendly production are, and how can the servitization community contribute to this domain. 

ICBS is a conference traditionally targeted to business professionals, policymakers and researchers. While the focus of this year’s conference will be “Servitization as a springboard for enhancing Sustainable manufacturing systems”, as in previous editions the organizers also endeavor to connect works related to other relevant issues linked with servitization such as business engineering, strategy, business models, international business, operations management, and supply chain management. The conference will engage current research on the emerging field of servitization, which focuses both on theoretical developments and on practical applications of the methods and techniques. The conference aims to provide a platform to the researchers and practitioners from both academia as well as industry to meet & share the cutting-edge developments in the field of servitization.


Special sessions on specific topics are also encouraged. Topics of interest mainly include, but not limited to:
  • Sustainable manufacturing systems
    • Product-end-of-life (EoL) strategy (reuse, repair, reconditioning, remanufacture, and recycling)
    • Product lifespan approach (reduced vs. extended life cycles)
    • Product life cycle assessment (LCA)
    • Product stewardship
    • Operations strategy (market push vs. market pull)
    • Production system (make-to-stock vs. make-to-order)
    • Resource efficiency (renewable and non-renewable)
    • Companies' sustainable transition (including large firms and SMEs)
    • Reduction of manufacturing/plants environmental impacts (emissions, waste, and/or hazardous materials)
    • Process, product, and/or functional upgrading aimed at sustainable outcomes
    • Environmental management practices
  • Business models and strategy 
    • Partnerships, strategic alliances, outsourcing, joint-ventures, M&As and servitization 
    • Advanced business services and collaborative practices in business model innovation 
    • The internationalization of product-service offering
    • Financial, legal and risk aspects of services
    • Talent management, human resources, and recruitment needs
    • Resilience, agility, ambidexterity and other firm capabilities 
  • Supply chain management and marketing 
    • Servitization and collaborative supply chain management 
    • Internet of things and linking channels 
    • Product-service innovation processes and organizational performance indicators 
    • Servitization and customer value perception
    • Servitization role on business ecosystems and networked production systems
  • Business engineering 
    • Industry 4.0 - Hybridization of the physical and digital worlds
    • Internet of things, Cloud Computing, and Sensors enabled services
    • Service system and Service network design 
    • Tools and toolkits for engineering servitization processes
    • Smart manufacturing, big data and machine learning for services development
  • Territorial Servitization 
    • Economic assessment of the impact of collaborative product-service innovation on firm and territorial competitiveness 
    • What are the antecedents, moderators/mediators, and outcomes of knowledge-intensive service-manufacturing collaborations on organizational resilience and performance? 
    • Conceptualization and provision of evidence on collaborative approaches to cluster and industrial district policies formed by multi-sector, including manufacturing and service, firms. 
    • Do KIBS firms offer opportunities for local manufacturing SMEs to outsource service provision? And for multinationals to reshoring their production to the home country? Which is the relevance of geographical distance when it comes to transferring knowledge from service to product firms?

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