The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between innovative culture, innovation efforts, and their performance among knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS). Innovation intensity is evaluated in the technical and administrative domains. Performance indicators include customer-related outcomes and market and financial results relative to competition. To provide insight into how innovativeness contributes to sustaining a KIBS' competitiveness, the mediating role of its predisposition to involve customers and front-line employees in new service development is also considered.
In accordance with the objectives of the research, and from an extensive review of the literature, the authors develop a conceptual model and test it on a sample of 154 Spanish KIBS using structural equation modelling.
The results show that KIBS' appraisal of customers' and front-line employees' participation in new service co-creation is strongly determined by the firm's innovative culture. Organizations with a greater predisposition to new service co-creation achieve higher innovation rates which lead to sustained performance.
As dynamism of the KIBS sector has an impact on the whole economy it is also necessary to understand the most advisable management practices in KIBS to foster innovation and improved performance, although relatively few studies have approached this issue. The importance of customers and front-line employees as co-creators in new service development (NSD) is generally appreciated, although the literature is not conclusive with respect to the feasibility of co-creation and its influence on a firm's performance. The present research introduces an organizational perspective to approach co-creation by analyzing how various organizational cultural types (innovativeness, and the appraisal of front-line employees and customers as co-creators in NSD) interact and contribute to KIBS' competitiveness.
Received 27 January 2010Revised 14 March 201110 October 2011Accepted 2 November 2011The authors wish to thank the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation for the financial support provided for this research under the 2008-2011 Call for R&D projects (Project reference number: ECO2008-03698/ECON).
Leticia Santos-Vijande, M., González-Mieres, C. and Ángel López-Sánchez, J. (2013), "An assessment of innovativeness in KIBS: implications on KIBS' co-creation culture, innovation capability, and performance", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 28 No. 2, pp. 86-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/08858621311295236Download as .RIS
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