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Exploring Product-Service Systems and Servitization


The Assignment Task

It is becoming increasingly rare for a product or service to be sold in isolation. Most products come with some form of service benefit, whilst most services have some form of associated product. The development of so called Product-Service Systems (PSS) is a highly competitive field where rapid change and a clear focus on the customer are critical success factors.

The transition from product-dominant to service-dominant thinking presents many challenges for researchers and practitioners alike. Innovative thinking is required to understand how organisations should be configured, measured and managed.

You are to conduct a short literature review of the PSS concept, illustrating the academic derivation of the concept of servitization. Following your review, you are to apply your knowledge to a company of your own choosing, deriving some clear recommendations for their future development in an ever-increasingly competitive world.

The overall document should not exceed 2400 words in length, excluding references.

An appendix may be used to include diagrammatic or other information necessary to complete the assignment task, though as a general principle figures and tables should be placed next to the discussion of them.

Some key references will be provided. All sources you quote should be appropriately referenced using the Harvard System.

Assessment Breakdown

a. Define the key terms Product-Service System, Servitization, Value in Exchange and Value in Use.

b. Provide a short literature review of the development of Service Operations thinking through to the concept of Servitization. Ensure that you include a minimum of ten references. Sources before 1999 should only be included if absolutely seminal.

c. Identify a company of your own choosing. Introduce their operations by detailing:

i. Who their main customers are,

ii. The main products and services,

iii. The main order winners and order qualifiers.

d. Consider the work of Nudurupati et al (2015). Apply the Eight Questions framework to your chosen company, providing answers to at least four of the eight questions, with a view to enhancing the quality of their operations.

e. How will the company achieve the necessary change?

Learning Outcomes

The learning outcomes that are being assessed in this assignment are:

b. Distinguish between key supply chain concepts and techniques and apply appropriate ones for controlling and planning cross functional operations.

c. Evaluate and synthesise the various definitions of quality in an operational context and identify opportunities for quality improvement.

f. Demonstrate an ability for problem-solving in complex scenarios.

Your grade will depend on the extent to which you meet these learning outcomes in the way relevant for this assignment. Please see the grading rubric at the end of this assignment brief for further details of the criteria against which you will be assessed.

Word Limits (where appropriate)

The maximum word limit for this assignment is 2400 words.

In accordance with the stated in section 4.40 where a submission exceeds the stipulated word limit by more than 10%, the submission will only be marked up to and including the additional 10%. Anything over this will not be included in the final grade for the assessment item. Abstracts, bibliographies, reference lists, appendices and footnotes are excluded from any word limit requirements.

In line with section 4.41 of the same Policy, where a submission is notably under the word limit, the full submission will be marked on the extent to which the learning objectives have been met.

Assignment Support

Time will be allocated within our scheduled sessions to review sources and approaches to answering this assignment. One session (expected to be in Week 8) will be set aside wholly for this purpose.

Generic Grading Criteria

You will find the generic grading criteria for achievement at .  Also explained here are the meanings of the various G grades at the bottom of the grading scale.

Assessment Submission

To submit your work, please go to the ‘Submit your work’ area on the NILE site and use the relevant submission point to upload your report. The deadline for this is 11.59pm (UK local time) on the date of submission.

Written work submitted to TURNITIN will be subject to anti-plagiarism detection software.  Turnitin checks student work for possible textual matches against internet available resources and its own proprietary database.  

When you upload your work correctly to TURNITIN you will receive a receipt which is your record and proof of submission.

If your assignment is not submitted to TURNITIN rather than a receipt you will see a green banner at the top of the screen that denotes successful submission.

N.B Work emailed directly to your tutor will not normally be marked. The only exception to this is when you are instructed to do so because TURNITIN is down.

Late submission of work

For first sits, if an item of assessment is submitted late and an extension has not been granted, the following will apply:

· Within one week of the original deadline – work will be marked and returned with full feedback and awarded a maximum bare pass grade.

· More than one week from original deadline – maximum grade achievable LG (L indicating late).

At the second opportunity deadline (resits) work submitted late will be awarded a LG grade.  There is no opportunity to submit work late for a bare pass.


The University of Northampton’s general policy with regard to extensions is to be supportive of students who have genuine difficulties, but not against pressures of work that could have reasonably been anticipated.  

For full details please refer to the  The module leader can, where appropriate, authorise a short extension of up to two weeks from the original submission date for first sits only. There are NO extensions for resits. The TWO weeks means 14 calendar days including weekends and any University closed days.

Mitigating Circumstances

For guidance on Mitigating circumstances please go to  where you will find detailed guidance on the policy as well as guidance and the form for making an application.

Please note, however, that an application to defer an assessment on the grounds of mitigating circumstances should normally be made in advance of the submission deadline or examination date.  

Plagiarism and Academic Integrity

Unless this is a group assignment, the work you produce must be your own with work taken from any other source properly referenced and attributed. The University of Northampton policy will apply in all cases of copying, plagiarism or any other methods by which students have obtained (or attempted to obtain) an unfair advantage.

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