Subject International Business Date 26.4.2016
Author(s) Roope Warro
Student number 501464
Number of pages 98 + appendices
Professional service productization and its implications for knowledge transfer in
internationalization processes –
Case: Company X in Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian markets
Ph.D. Esa Stenberg
M.Sc. Jonathan Mumford
As a result of globalization, two thirds of the world’s business takes place nowadays in the service
sector. In line, professional service firms are growing their share of the global service production.
However, saturation of the professional service sector has forced professional service firms to
search for more heuristic ways to conduct business in the international markets. By leveraging
effectively the firm’s professionals, a professional service firm can lower its costs to clients and
simultaneously generate additional value for the company and thus gain competitive advantage.
Even though the academic field has shown growing interest towards services for decades, the fields
of service productization and service internationalization are heavily understudied even today.
Hence, the objective of this study was to contribute to the research on professional service
internationalization and productization. The study concentrated on examining the impact that
productization has on knowledge sharing and leveraging in professional service firms operating
internationally. The research question focused on examining what implications productization has
on knowledge transfer and leveraging during professional service internationalization by leaning
on the existing research and on an empirical research.
The empirical research was conducted as a single case study within a professional service firm
operating in debt-related administrative service business. The case company is one of the leading
operators in its field of business and therefore offered a fruitful environment to observe and analyze
the topics in question. Additionally, the case company has a strong international presence and a
large scale of operations in the selected markets, Finland, Norway and Sweden.
Based on the previous literature and on the empirical research, this study found that for professional
service firms to efficiently utilize individual, tacit knowledge, in its internationalization processes, it
must be shared with the whole organization. By exploiting productization as a knowledge
leveraging mechanism, a PSF can apply and transfer knowledge profoundly during its
internationalization processes that would otherwise be difficult to tap into. Productization might not
be sufficient alone, but by complementing it with a favorable organizational structure and culture,
and by encouraging open communication, a PSF may take advantage of the whole potential that
productization has to offer.
Key words productization, professional service, service internationalization, knowledge leverage,
knowledge leverage mechanism
x Master´s thesis