Adoption and optimal configuration of smart products: The role of firm internationalization and offer hybridization

Ferran Vendrell-Herrero*, Oscar F. Bustinza, Yancy Vaillant

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Drawing on the digital organization of production leading to Smart Systems, this article analyzes the factors influencing the adoption of product analytic capabilities as well as the optimal smart product capability configuration. In this way, the interplay between smart products, firm internationalization, offer hybridization, and firm performance is examined. By using a unique sample of Spanish industrial SMEs, this study differentiates from previous ones that have mainly used case studies to analyze product smartness. The quantitative analysis yields three contributions. First, it provides rare evidence that the adoption of basic analytic capabilities, i.e. monitoring capabilities, is a relatively frequent activity (about 35%), whereas the adoption of fully analytic capabilities, i.e. autonomous capabilities, is much less usual (less than 10%). Second, through binary choice models the study shows direct and mutually reinforcing positive effects of offer hybridization (combined product-service offer) and firm internationalization (foreign production and sales) on the adoption of monitoring capabilities. Third, through the use of a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) it is demonstrated that monitoring capabilities are necessary and sufficient conditions to obtain superior firm performance. By exploring different sub-samples, other optimal configurations are identified. For instance, fully internationalized firms achieve superior performance by implementing autonomous capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-53
Number of pages13
JournalIndustrial Marketing Management
Early online date8 Apr 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Apr 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • autonomous solutions
  • monitoring capabilities
  • servitization
  • smart products
  • SMEs


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