Limitations

Every research has its limitations, as is the case with the research presented in this thesis. I discuss limitations on generalization, limitations due to perspectives taken in the initial research design and limitations due to the scope of the study.

The advantage of case study research is the level of detail that can be reached and its suitability to develop hypotheses. The disadvantage of case studies is that generalization is difficult (Yin, 2003). Generalization of case studies should be done analytically. Multiple case studies, conducted under the same circumstances can enhance generalization. This research is a multiple case study, but only included two cases. More comparable case studies conducted under the same circumstances and with comparable results can improve generalization.

For this thesis, I only did research on digital products in the form of music. The research goal and the resulting research framework and hypotheses did not address only digital products in the form of music, but digital products in general. This is a limitation of this thesis, because different digital products have different characteristics. For example, music can be experienced while doing something else, because music can be experienced by sound only. Digital music in the form of movies for example requires one to watch it, which is different compared to music. The site selection criteria and availability of cases resulted in two cases that offer digital products in the form of music. Case studies that will be conducted under the same circumstances with different types of digital products and with comparable results can further improve generalization.

Another limitation of this thesis is that only empirical data from suppliers was collected. The research objective targets consumers, but due existing literature which primarily addresses customization from the perspective of the supplier, I had to stick with the suppliers of digital products.

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