Call for papers:
Digitalization and Servitization in International Entrepreneurship
Journal of International Entrepreneurship welcomes submissions for a special issue exploring the creation and deployment of digital dynamic capabilities in the digitized international entrepreneurial ventures enabling to enter and compete effectively
in the rapidly expanding online global marketplace.
Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain; Alex Rialp,
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; Josep Rialp,
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain; and Maria Ripollés,
Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain.
Deadline for full paper submissions:
November 30, 2022
Digitisation is the process of converting information
from a physical format into a digital one. When this process is leveraged to improve business processes, i.e. to convert business processes over to use digital technologies instead of analogue or offline systems, it is called
digitalisation. The impact or results of this digitalisation process are called
digital transformation. The concept of digital capability derives from firms’ ability to mobilize and deploy digital resources to support value creation in their business activities (Cahen and Borini, 2020; Lee et al., 2019). A
dynamic digital capability (DDC) is about the effective orchestration of exponential advancements in digital technologies, global digital platforms, Internet connectivity and global use of smart mobile devices to assist technical, production or marketing
capabilities (Cahen and Borini, 2020). Such dynamic capabilities occur when firms deliberately invest in actions to orchestrate digital technologies,
resources and skills combined with, and enhance, other organizational resources and capabilities (Bharadwaj, 2000) resulting in highly complementary digital sensing, seizing and reconfiguring capabilities deployment (Ruey-Jer and Kim, 2020).
The scant DDC existing literature has described what could constitute the micro-foundations influencing DDC. For example, Cahen and Borini (2020) propose
to study DDC through cross-cultural programming practices, virtual global networking activities and cross-border digital monetization adaptability. Nambisan et al. (2017) have associated DDC with dynamic problem–solution practices and with activities to expand
firms’ boundaries. Lenka et al. (2017) have related DDC with intelligence, connect and analytical digital practices. Glavas et al. (2017) consider organizational practices in using digital tools as the main informing factors for DDC, such as the Internet (Reuber
and Fischer, 2011), platforms and websites (Ruey-Jer and Kim, 2020), or social media (Alarcón et al., 2018).
In the context of International Entrepreneurship (IE),
it is widely acknowledged that DDC and digitalization can provide international entrepreneurial ventures (IEVs) with higher internationalization scope and speed
by fostering their quicker adaptation to new, and rapidly changing, international market conditions (Hervé et al., 2020; Westerlund, 2020; Etemad,
2017). However, many
questions can still emerge regarding the factors potentially enhancing DDC in the context of IEVs, especially for those firms not born in the
digital logic context, and its role in successful product-service transition. Exploring how IEVs move towards a more digitalized business models warrants further research, especially in the post-COVID reality, which
seems to increasingly demand further customer online integration in value-creation processes through innovation processes in digitally-based business
(re)modelling (Holmes, 2020); Zahra, 2020).
On the other hand, the term
servitization has become an accepted label for the process of becoming an increasingly service-focused business (Fliess and Lexutt, 2019). With its origins in the tendency of manufacturing firms to “offer fuller market packages or bundles of customer-focused
combinations of goods, services, support, self-service, and knowledge” (Vandermerwe and Rada, 1988, p. 314). Currently, servitization delineates business model configurations to support the customer-related functions by
offering customized and total solutions (Lenka et al., 2017).
In particular, past studies have given significant focus to the transition toward more servitized business models and have broadly assumed that firms follow
a unidirectional transformational path along a product-to-service continuum (Lenka et al., 2017). This path starts with the offer of physical products, and led to offer product-service systems, solutions and smart PSS, which are based on cloud platforms and
conceived as a multilayered technology aimed at covering the customer’s needs (Martín-Peña, et al. 2018). However, this process is being recognized to be largely iterative and context-specific (Brax and Visintin, 2017). In addition, Valtakoski (2017) have
suggested that a service paradox does exist, which indicates that advancing in the process of servitization does not always yield the expected positive impact on organizational performance, and may even have a negative effect. Accordingly, different internal
and external factors are expected to have key roles in helping international entrepreneurial firms to transit and move forward in the servitization process (Fliess and Lexutt, 2019), including digital capabilities (Kohtamäki et al., 2019). Digital capabilities
do not only contribute to the process of servitization, but can facilitate the interactions between the front- and back-office service activities (Jovanovic et al., 2019). Kohtamäki et al. (2019, p.380) suggest “It is now time to shed light on the role of
digitalization in servitization and let digitalization rewrite the servitization narrative”. However, the past literature does not point to a consensus on the critical drivers for a successful service transition research (see Fliess and Lexutt, 2019; Díaz-Garrido
et al., 2018; Brax and Visintin, 2017 for comprehensive literature reviews). In addition, the fact that there are many different conceptualizations of what constitutes a service transition strategy, interferes with the applicability of obtaining results from
one context to another. Therefore, it is pertinent to explore the factors that impact on the servitization process in the context of IEVS and the role of digitalization in between.
The purpose of this special issue is to shed new light on how international entrepreneurial ventures (IEVs) support customer
demands and requirements in international markets by developing digitalized and/or servitized business models and their respective impacts on their international growth and performance. We invite researchers to submit
conceptual and empirical
papers on issues addressing digitalization and servitization in IEVs. Specifically, this issue
invites papers that advance knowledge on the micro-foundations that deploy DDC and digitalized business models under which a service logic emerges, develops
and is implemented by IEVs, especially for those not born in the on-line context.
It would be also interesting for papers to further highlight the problems and challenges associated with enacting
digitalization and/or servitization in IEVs by the way of DDC deployment and their impact on growth. Other interesting inquiries can address
the circumstances in the IEVs’ external environment under which digital and servitized business models are demanded and how external forces interact with
internal processes. Multidisciplinary papers are also well received. Consequently,
potential topics include, but are not limited to:
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Journal of International Entrepreneurship
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for format and styling instructions. Please submit your full manuscript via
no later than November 30, 2022.
If asked whether you are submitting to a special issue, reply “Yes” and select the relevant title from the drop-down menu. We recommend
that you mention that you are submitting to this special issue in your cover letter as well.
Submitted contributions should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. Manuscripts will undergo rigorous
peer review through the journal’s double-blind peer review process.
Guest Editors (by alphabetical order):
Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.
Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, Spain.
Alarcón, M.C., Rialp, A., & Rialp, J. (2018).
Examining the impact of managerial involvement with social media on exporting firm performance.
International Business Review, 27(2), 355- 366.
Bharadwaj, A. S. (2000). A resource-based perspective on information technology capability and firm performance: an empirical investigation.
MIS Quarterly, 24(1), 169-196.
Brax, S. A., & Visintin, F. (2017). Meta-model of servitization: The integrative profiling approach.
Industrial Marketing Management, 60, 17-32.
Cahen, F., & Borini, F. M. (2020). International digital competence.
Journal of International Management, 26(1), 100691.
Díaz-Garrido, E., Pinillos, M. J., Soriano-Pinar, I., & García-Magro, C. (2018). Changes in the intellectual basis of servitization research: A dynamic analysis.
Journal of Engineering and Technology Management, 48, 1-14.
Etemad, H. (2017). The emergence of online global market place and the multilayered view of international entrepreneurship.
Journal of International Entrepreneurship,
Fliess, S., & Lexutt, E. (2019). How to be successful with servitization–Guidelines for research and management.
Industrial Marketing Management, 78, 58-75.
Glavas, C., Mathews, S., & Bianchi, C. (2017). International opportunity recognition as a critical component for leveraging Internet capabilities and international market performance.
Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 15(1), 1-35.
Hervé, A., Schmitt, C., & Baldegger, R. (2020). Digitalization, entrepreneurial orientation and internationalization of micro-, small-and medium-sized enterprises.
Technology Innovation Management Review, 10(4), 5-16.
Holmes, L. (2020). 2020 Industry Insights. Euromonitor International.
Huikkola, T., Rabetino, R., Köhtamaki, M., Gebauer, H. (2020).
Firm boundaries in servitization: Interplay and repositioning practices.
Industrial Marketing Management, 90, 90-105.
Jovanovic, M., Raja, J. Z., Visnjic, I., & Wiengarten, F. (2019). Paths to service capability development for servitization: Examining an internal service ecosystem.
Journal of Business Research, 104, 472-485.
Kohtamäki, M., Parida, V., Oghazi, P., Gebauer, H., & Baines, T. (2019). Digital servitization business models in ecosystems: A theory of the firm. Journal of Business Research,
Lee, Y. Y., Falahat, M., & Sia, B. K. (2019). Impact of Digitalization on the Speed of Internationalization.
International Business Research, 12(4), 1-11.
Lenka, S., Parida, V., & Wincent, J. (2017). Digitalization capabilities as enablers of value co‐creation in servitizing firms.
Psychology & Marketing, 34(1), 92-100.
Martín-Peña, M.L., Díaz-Garrido, E., & Sánchez-López, J. M. (2018).
The digitalization and servitization of manufacturing: A review on digital business models.
Strategic Change, 27(2), 91-99.
Nambisan, S. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Toward a digital technology perspective of entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 41(6), 1029-1055.
Reuber, A. R., & Fischer, E. (2011). International entrepreneurship in internet-enabled markets.
Journal of Business Venturing, 26(6), 660-679.
Ruey-Jer “Bryan”, J., and Kim, D. (2020). Internet and SMEs' internationalization: The role of platform and website.
Journal of International Management, 26, 100690.
Valtakoski, A. (2017). Explaining servitization failure and deservitization: A knowledge-based perspective.
Industrial Marketing Management, 60, 138-150.
Vandermerwe, S., & Rada, J. (1988). Servitization of business: adding value by adding services.
European Management Journal, 6(4), 314-324.
Westerlund, M. (2020). Digitalization, internationalization and scaling of online SMEs.
Technology Innovation Management Review, 10(4), 48-57.
Zahra, S. A. (2020). International entrepreneurship in the post Covid world.
Journal of World Business, 56(1), 101143.