Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to study the role of field service in product development in manufacturing firms.
Design/methodology/approach – The study employed a case study research design. Multiple data collection techniques such as interviews and internal reports were utilized to study two contrasting cases.
Findings - The paper makes three primary contributions. First, it links service literature to product development in manufacturing firms. Second, it investigates how firms use different mechanisms for building capabilities required to manage contradictory requirements between R&D, manufacturing and field service. Third, it demonstrates how two successful firms, in spite of very different prerequisites, actually exhibit strikingly similar challenges and mechanisms.
Research limitations/implications – Limitations are primarily associated with methodology, a case study approach based on two cases.
Practical implications – Managers can learn from firms in other contexts and implement similar mechanisms, but they need to make adaptations on the operational level.
Originality/value – The paper investigates a topic that is rarely studied.
Contradictory requirements, organizational interfaces, product development, field service, manufacturing firms