Continuous co-creation of knowledge-intensive business services

Thesis event information

Date and time of the thesis defence

Place of the thesis defence

Via remote connection:

Topic of the dissertation

Continuous co-creation of knowledge-intensive business services

Doctoral candidate

Master of Science, eMBA Seppo Kuula

Faculty and unit

University of Oulu Graduate School, Faculty of Technology, Industrial Engineering and Management

Subject of study

Industrial Engineering and Management


Professor Petri Parvinen, University of Helsinki

Second opponent

Professor Janne Huiskonen, LUT University


Professor Harri Haapasalo, University of Oulu

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How does a knowledge-intensive business service provider maintain its relevance in constantly changing market conditions

The internet is connecting suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders together as ecosystems for
sharing and integrating resources in value creation. In this transformation customers have shifted
from passive sales targets to active players. This phenomenon is often called digitalization.
Digitalization is service centric, which is further accelerating the transition towards service
economy and service-dominant logic (SDL). This is changing the value stream beginning from the customer, and therefore the whole business logic from push to pull. The prerequisites for success in this transformation are continuous value co-creation, iterative market testing, and an agile and lean response to opportunities.

This study demonstrates that agile responsiveness to the transforming market requires SDL, co-creational business model development, lean operations with a modular solution structure, and the continuous review of value creation (design thinking). The study provides four kinds of new knowledge. Firstly, it clarifies the practicality of the SDL approach in professional services, explaining the organizational encountering requests. Secondly, the study provides a framework for continuous business model transformation in the constantly changing market environment. Thirdly, the study modularizes a solution to a co-creational commercial service portfolio and repetitive technical structures in seeking delivery efficiency. Lastly, the study demonstrates how design thinking can be used to connect service portfolio management to the customers’ business needs, maintaining the co-creational and iterative value creation.
Last updated: 1.3.2023