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Use of services to support the business of a project-based firm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


Project-based firms that have traditionally focused on product-centric project deliveries as their core business are increasingly complementing their deliveries with different types of service offerings to create customer specific solutions. Such deliveries frequently encompass the design and delivery of a fully operational system with additional components such as maintenance and optimization of system during its life cycle. From the perspective of customer value, solution deliveries can be divided in to three elements: core project delivery, facilitating service products that are mandatory for use of the core project delivery and supporting service products that create additional value for the customer. In this paper we aim to increase the understanding on the impact of the addition of different types of services such as consultation, conceptual design, feasibility studies, training, maintenance, operation support, and production optimization may have on the business of a project-based firm. We analyze their contribution from five distinct perspectives: strategic, marketing and sales, project implementation, learning and innovation and financial. We carried out an empirical multi-case study within three large-sized project-based firms representing different industries. The results indicate that services play a versatile role in supporting the business of project-based firms - a role which goes beyond simply ensuring the short term profitability of the firm. Furthermore, delivering a specific service, such as consultation or process optimization, may often contribute favorably to more than one of the five perspectives analyzed in this study.


  • Project, Project business, Project life cycle, Project-based firm, Service dominant logic, Services