Current studies on collaborative interorganisational servitization innovation only consider the traditional lead-firm view.•
This paper explores larger industry and research consortiums undertaking collaborative servitization innovation projects.•
The study shows that project success demands that dissimilar partners achieve close collaboration and clear value sharing.•
We show success also requires real servitization maturity in their servitization framework and market-oriented innovation.
Although current literature indicates that openness and collaboration are crucial for success in an innovative servitization solution within interorganisational servitization projects, research is limited compared to that on product and technology innovation projects. Moreover, this emerging servitization literature is limited to the traditional lead-firm perspective within larger consortiums. To help redress the balance, our research studied six collaborative servitization projects in mobile information and communication technologies (mICT) to explore why some open innovation efforts succeed in simultaneous service and product innovation with a market application of innovative solution, while others do not. The study provides empirical evidence that only a small number of projects resulted in an effective servitization innovation solution. This conclusion emphasises the complexity of creating service innovation in the mICT sector. By comparing better performing servitization projects with those that were less successful suggests that higher performance, in terms of novel service development, requires more than mere strong intention, adequate leadership and change management competencies. Rather, it also requires real servitization maturity in terms of a shared servitization framework and market-oriented innovation.