Industrial Services as a Research Discipline

  • Ralf Gitzel ABB AG Corporate Research Center Germany
  • Björn Schmitz Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Hansjörg Fromm Karlsruhe Service Research Institute (KSRI) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • Alf Isaksson ABB AB Corporate Research
  • Thomas Setzer Institute of Information Systems and Marketing (IISM) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
Keywords: industrial services, research discipline, research challenges, research trends


Services in the industrial sector—commonly referred to as industrial services—are an important source of profit, differentiation and future growth for their providers. This sector includes industries such as heavy equipment manufacturing, energy production, chemical production and oil and gas. Despite its importance, neither the term industrial service(s) nor its concrete subareas are unambiguously defined. The goal of this paper is to motivate research which addresses the challenges currently faced in the industrial sector with regard to service. For this purpose, we review existing definitions of industrial services and identify the services in scope as well as the scientific disciplines that can contribute. The main part of the paper is a list of relevant current and future challenges which have been encountered by the authors during their daily practice.
Research Articles