Disentangling the Effect of Services on B2B Firm Value: Trade-Offs of Sales, Profits, and Earnings Volatility
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Research in Marketing. 2018, 35 (2), 205-223. 10.1016/j.ijresmar.2017.12.002
In the face of declining business and growing pressures from low-cost competitors, many business-to-business (B2B) manufacturers have moved from their previously successful product-centric strategies to more service-oriented business models. Yet despite their substantial investments in services, firms fail to understand the performance ramifications of these offerings. With a longitudinal data set (2001–2016) of 227 B2B manufacturers listed in the S&P 1500 index, this study disentangles the simultaneous effects of financial-based mechanisms that link the service ratio (i.e., share of a firm’s revenue generated from selling services) to firm value. The findings reveal significant trade-offs across these mechanisms. Although the service ratio monotonously boosts sales growth, it has U-shaped curvilinear relationships with profitability and earnings volatility. These effects also depend on industry- and firm-level factors. Industry maturity positively moderates the effects of the service ratio on sales growth and profitability. However, business scope has an adverse effect on the service ratio–profitability relationship. Finally, industry turbulence negatively moderates the effect of services on earnings volatility.