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Determinants of integrated solutions: exploring the role of technological context
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Purpose – Existing literature on integrated solutions has neglected the influence of technological context. Given the increased interest in solutions as a means of meeting an increasing competition in many different industries, there is reason to investigate this issue further. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to develop a conceptual model of the relation between technological context and solutions offerings.

Design/methodology/approach – Qualitative data from in-depth interviews with executives at seven furniture manufacturing firms were investigated and a conceptual model was developed from the data.

Findings – The empirical data reveals that aspects of solutions offerings may exist also in industries with products conventionally seen as relatively low in complexity. A model for relationships between different aspects of complexity and solutions is proposed and an expansion of the complexity concept suggested. As such, the paper expands the knowledge on both solutions strategy and complexity.

Practical implications – A conceptual model is suggested that may guide managers in the development of their marketing strategies, where the adoption of a solutions strategy is guided by the degree of complexity of the product or system being developed and offered to their customers.

Research limitations/implications – The proposed conceptual model needs to be refined and further investigated empirically, and influences of other contextual factors than the degree of complexity should be investigated.

Originality/value – The paper focuses on the relevance of solutions as a strategy in different technological contexts and contributes with a novel perspective on solutions strategy, incorporating influences of dimensions of the technological context.

Keyword [en]
Solutions, Services, High-Tech, Low-Tech, Product Complexity
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75150OAI: diva2:504015
Available from: 2012-02-17 Created: 2012-02-17 Last updated: 2012-02-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Design-led organisations: A multiple-case study of the interplay between design and marketing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design-led organisations: A multiple-case study of the interplay between design and marketing
2011 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall purpose of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge base concerning the interplay between design and marketing. Based on the findings from the empirical studies, the aim of this thesis is to describe and analyze how marketing and design interplay in companies and the main reasons for such interplay. The research builds upon a multiple-case study of companies mainly within the furniture manufacturing industry. The research focus is the study of companies described as “design led”, i.e. “characterized by a dominant logic that views design as central to the companies’ strategic positioning”(Beverland and Farrell, 2007). Three different interfaces between design and marketing within the company and towards its external actors are studied.

The studied companies illustrate how a company’s desire to create a brand that is closely related to product design creates an effect on internal activities as well as the interfaces to external actors, e.g. customers and suppliers. Based on empirical findings, it is proposed that by being design-led, companies may not only create a competitive advantage connected to the good itself and its product design, but also through its potential to offer new products based on the company’s design competence and its brand image. One such example of new potential is the offering of an integrated interior solution and the concept of “aesthetic complexity” that is introduced and suggested as a driver for such solutions.

Moreover, a more general model on the interplay between product design and marketing compared to those previously presented in literature is suggested. This model considers the different company approaches to design, e.g. more or less selforiented, and marketing, e.g. more or less market-oriented. It is proposed that depending on the company’s approach to design and marketing, the coordination between design resources and marketing within the company should be managed differently.

This thesis also presents a tentative model on the relationship between the companies’ different desired brand images and their sourcing of external designers. It is proposed that a company’s desired brand image and its design philosophy affect the company’s practices when sourcing external design resources, e.g. in the choice of contracting more or less well-known designers.

The conclusions presented in this licentiate thesis may serve as a starting point for managers to understand the interplay between design and marketing in companies. Although still tentative, the conclusions suggest a number of marketing-related prerequisites and consequences when a company aims to be design-led. By considering these different aspects, companies might improve their chances of being successful when creating a brand image that is closely connected to design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2011. 55 p.
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1467
Design, marketing, design-led
National Category
Business Administration
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-72200 (URN)LiU-TEK-LIC-2011:6 (Local ID)978-91-739-3235-6 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-LIC-2011:6 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-LIC-2011:6 (OAI)
Available from: 2012-02-20 Created: 2011-11-22 Last updated: 2012-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Nordin, FredrikLindahl, IngelaBrege, Staffan
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