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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2011

Rajshekhar (Raj) G. Javalgi, Andrew C. Gross, W. Benoy Joseph and Elad Granot

The dramatic growth and international scope of knowledge‐intensive business services (KIBS) are evident in emerging markets such as China and India. Nations, like firms…

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Abstract

Purpose

The dramatic growth and international scope of knowledge‐intensive business services (KIBS) are evident in emerging markets such as China and India. Nations, like firms, seek to capitalize on their available resources and capabilities (e.g. people, technology, skills) in order to build and maintain core competencies in certain industry sectors. This paper has the following objectives: to discuss the classification of KIBS, to marshal conceptual and statistical evidence on KIBS in major emerging markets, to compare and contrast selected major emerging markets in regard to their KIBS activities, and to discuss policy implications.

Design/methodology/approach

In this conceptual paper, extant literature is reviewed and discussed pertaining to the KIBS sectors. Several existing data sources are used to assess the comparative performance of major emerging markets in the KIBS sectors.

Findings

The emphasis is on finding comparative longitudinal statistics that are useful for comparison and contrast among major emerging markets. The analysis indicates that while the major emerging markets are building competitive advantage by focusing on knowledge‐intensive business services, their progress differs sharply. For example, China shows the lead, followed by India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Turkey, and Indonesia. Smaller nations lag behind these in most indicators. It is evident that leading major emerging nations have not reached parity with highly industrialized countries.

Research limitations/implications

The results show ranking and contribution of various major nations in the global knowledge economy, but additional time series and analysis are needed to assess comparative rankings. However, the classification and the indicators illustrated here offer a panoramic, comparative picture over the past decade. Using international business theories, research can develop statistical models to explain foreign market entry strategies of knowledge‐intensive service firms.

Practical implications

The paper is of value to managers considering entry and/or expansion into major emerging markets in various sub‐sectors of knowledge‐intensive sectors. The specific industry and function pursued by a firm need to be identified and matched up with host nation characteristics (e.g. more software design and pharmaceutical research in India v. more manufacturing design and R&D facility in China). The paper also provides guidelines to policy makers to sustain their country's competitive advantage in the KIBS sectors.

Originality/value

The paper looks at knowledge‐intensive business services in major emerging markets. It offers both conceptual contributions and statistical evidence that key nations differ in their activities in regard to such high‐level and complex service offerings.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Ian Douglas Miles, Veronika Belousova and Nikolay Chichkanov

The substantial growth in literature on knowledge-intensive business services (KIBSs) has thrown light on their contributions to innovation and innovation systems. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The substantial growth in literature on knowledge-intensive business services (KIBSs) has thrown light on their contributions to innovation and innovation systems. This paper is the first of a set that examines major debates and conclusions to have emerged from this growing body of evidence.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review essay, which also presents relevant statistics. It addresses definitional issues and controversies, and sets out basic trends and characteristics of the KIBS industries. The focus is mainly on KIBS firms, though the production of similar services in other types of organisation is also considered.

Findings

Many of the conclusions of an earlier (2005) review in this journal remain valid, though difficulties in capturing these activities in official statistics mean that there are many issues that demand closer inspection. Understanding the role and future prospects of KIBS will also require looking beyond the literature that focuses just on KIBS industries.

Research limitations/implications

This study involves literature review and statistical analysis. Future work would benefit from involvement of practitioners and users of KIBS.

Practical implications

More explicit consideration of KIBS in statistical frameworks is still required, and novel approaches to data conceptualisation and production should be explored.

Originality/value

The growing literature on KIBS, and its implications for understanding the roles and future development of the firms and their relationships to innovation systems, requires systematic analysis. Available statistics have been brought together, and this paper also reflects critically on the trajectories of research on these topics.

Details

foresight, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 30 September 2014

Seema Joshi

The growing importance of knowledge and innovation in the present era motivated the author to study knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) in general and the case of…

Abstract

Purpose

The growing importance of knowledge and innovation in the present era motivated the author to study knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) in general and the case of India in particular. The purpose of this paper is to track in brief the strength of India’s economy lying in growth of knowledge-intensive services (KIS), which if harnessed properly can lead to its transition to a knowledge economy. More specifically, the paper tries to address two important questions: first, what constitutes KIS and KIBS? And second, how has KIBS been performing in India?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper makes use of secondary sources of data including various reports, books, journals and statistical tools. An attempt has been made in this paper to review those studies which try to define KIS and KIBS. The data analysis of KIBS in the case of India has been done for the period 2004-2005 to 2011-2012 for which information was available from National Accounts Statistics published by Central Statistical Organization.

Findings

The paper concludes that no unanimously accepted definition of KIBS has been given so far. In the Indian context it is defined as; “business services include services like computer-related services, R&D, accounting services and legal services and renting of machinery in order of importance (shares) as per India’s National Accounts”. An analysis of performance of KIBS in India shows that among KIBS there are two T-KIBs (with a technology base), namely IT and ITeS, and that R&D services occupy the first and second position in India’s gross domestic product (GDP), originating from business services (KIBS). R&D services registered the highest average annual growth rate followed by computer-related services, renting of machinery, legal services and accounting and auditing services during the seven-year period from 2004-2005 to 2011-2012. However, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) was highest in the case of R&D services followed by renting of machinery, computer-related services, legal and accountancy and auditing services. KIBS registered a CAGR of 13.04 per cent, which was higher compared to overall GDP growth rate (at 7.36 per cent), and also compared to the CAGR of the real estate and ownership of dwellings and business services segment as a whole (7.62 per cent). Therefore, there is a need to tap the potential of all these KIBS, i.e. knowledge-intense high-tech services (KIHTS) and knowledge-intense marketing services taken in the study through policy initiatives. There is also a need to deal with emerging issues and challenges in KIBS, especially in KIHTS.

Originality/value

Although there is empirical research on the KIS and KIBS of European Economies, KIBS in India has not received enough research attention. This paper will therefore mainly focus on the performance of KIBS in India.

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Abdelkader Daghfous, Nicholas Jeremy Ashill and Michel Roger Rod

The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge transfer processes of knowledge intensive business service firms by focusing on the knowledge for customer, which is…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the knowledge transfer processes of knowledge intensive business service firms by focusing on the knowledge for customer, which is the knowledge about the service provider's products and services, specifically “before‐sale” knowledge, and the transfer of this knowledge in order to develop customers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted an in‐depth qualitative study of the knowledge transfer process undertaken by a sample of six global knowledge intensive service firms, to use knowledge transfer as a means of customer development.

Findings

The results of this study suggest that customer absorptive capacity influences the role that knowledge for customers has in ultimately determining whether customer development will occur. Where tacit knowledge transfer occurs, it is restricted to loyal, high share customers. With respect to methods of transfer, the findings reveal that knowledge‐intensive business service firms transferring explicit knowledge utilise both formal and informal methods.

Research limitations/implications

Data collection was cross‐sectional and longitudinal research would have the benefit of examining how customer knowledge transfer changes over time during the customer development process (pre‐sale, during sale and post‐sale customer development). Future research studying other types of knowledge transfer, such as during‐sale and after‐sale knowledge transfer, are also encouraged.

Practical implications

Managers should be open to employing numerous types of media in transferring both explicit and tacit knowledge rather than restricting themselves to the normative “explicit‐formal‐media lean” versus “tacit‐informal‐media rich” categorisations in the literature.

Originality/value

Understanding the role of customer knowledge transfer in the development of existing organisational customers is particularly important in the context of knowledge intensive business service firms. The extant literature recognises that customer development efforts are critically important in increasing service adoption and firm performance but there exists a dearth of research on customer knowledge transfer in the context of professional service organisations.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2018

Eija-Liisa Heikka and Satu Nätti

The purpose of this paper is to explore what value dimensions and related value components are highlighted in the value proposition of knowledge-intensive business services

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore what value dimensions and related value components are highlighted in the value proposition of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), both at the relationship and project levels, how value propositions can differ between new and established customer relationships, and finally what is characteristic to the evolution of value proposition in the KIBS context.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a comparative, qualitative multiple case study method.

Findings

The aim is to offer a comprehensive picture of the variety of value components in KIBS relationships, likewise, how the nature and composition of value proposition changes as a relationship evolves from conducting a single project toward a more established customer relationship. Individual experts seem to possess a crucial role in that development.

Originality/value

This study contributes theoretically by providing insights into the current literature on core dimensions and components of value propositions in this specific context, and differences there can be between new and established customer relationships. The study also offers much-needed, context-specific knowledge of knowledge-intensive services for managers. Empirically, these findings reflect the perspectives of both the service provider and four of its customers, ensuring a multi-sided description of the phenomenon.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 11 January 2021

Silke Bambauer-Sachse and Thomas Helbling

Agile methods have considerably transformed project management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of agile (as compared to plan-driven) methods on…

Abstract

Purpose

Agile methods have considerably transformed project management. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of agile (as compared to plan-driven) methods on customer satisfaction in the context of knowledge-intensive business services.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a survey examining the experiences of 361 customers with different outsourced software projects in Switzerland and a regression-based model to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The findings show that agile approaches can lead to higher customer satisfaction than plan-driven approaches, but the impact size is not as substantial as expected. The effect does not depend on the number of specification changes.

Practical implications

Managers must be aware that merely switching from a plan driven to an agile approach will not lead to substantial improvement in customer satisfaction. Satisfaction with the process is a more important driver of overall customer satisfaction than satisfaction with the service outcome. Thus, providers of knowledge-intensive services should train their employees in recognizing the importance of the cooperation process.

Originality/value

So far, the positive impact of agile methods is often only based on anecdotal evidence as well as on surveys examining the supplier perspective. This study provides support for the positive impact of agile methods on customer satisfaction, an important response variable from a marketing perspective, which has not been examined before in the context considered here.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 36 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Carla C.J.M. Millar, Martin Lockett and John F. Mahon

This paper aims to further research on leadership and knowledge management through formal knowledge strategies in knowledge-intensive organizations (KIOs), and analyse…

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2048

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to further research on leadership and knowledge management through formal knowledge strategies in knowledge-intensive organizations (KIOs), and analyse knowledge management challenges and approaches within KIOs, especially tacit knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on conceptual and literature research.

Findings

Managing knowledge as an organizational asset involves how knowledge is obtained, stored and organized, and accessed and shared when needed. This is crucial for KIOs. Knowledge that is not captured, understood and transferred, throughout the organization, is useless. This requires the integration of systems and processes with people and leadership. Tacit knowledge generation and transfer is especially important in KIOs. In particular, the success of KIOs depends crucially on management’s ability to give leadership in a way that supports knowledge-intensive teamwork. The global nature of internal and external knowledge networks adds to the leadership challenge. This can be made more complex by cultural differences, intellectual property protection (formal and informal) and talent scarcity.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to identify the types of KIO and to better understand sound common knowledge management and related leadership principles across all types of KIO and those that are more context-dependent on the type of KIO and/or its business and cultural context. More research is needed on policy making organizations, in-company policy-making research and development and creative industries.

Originality/value

The paper takes forward research on leading knowledge management in KIOs and introduces 14 challenging new papers in this specific field of research.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Abstract

Details

Fostering Productivity: Patterns, Determinants and Policy Implications
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-840-7

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2020

Ingi Runar Edvardsson, Guðmundur Kristján Óskarsson and Susanne Durst

This paper aims to present findings on outsourcing practices in small service firms in Iceland, where the prime focus is on knowledge-intensive service firms.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present findings on outsourcing practices in small service firms in Iceland, where the prime focus is on knowledge-intensive service firms.

Design/methodology/approach

To gain information on the scope and reason for outsourcing, telephone and online surveys were used. In total, 802 firms participated in the surveys, which were conducted in the period 2009-2018.

Findings

The results show that knowledge-intensive firms outsource far more than other service firms and are also more likely to have an outsourcing strategy. The grounds for increased outsourcing are cost reduction and strategic reasons, such as a focus on core competency and the search for external knowledge. In comparison with other firms, knowledge-intensive firms are increasingly outsourcing cleaning, security services, canteen and transportation, IT processes, human resource management, training and consulting. Additionally, managers of these firms select suppliers more on the basis of cost and quality. They also realize more cost savings as a consequence of outsourcing. Outsourcing had a very limited effect on employment in the firms, while cost reduction was achieved in 48.3 per cent of the firms involved.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are in line with the resource-based theory and, interestingly, this is not limited to knowledge-based firms, but to a large portion of service firms as well.

Originality/value

This is the first in-depth study on outsourcing patterns in knowledge-intensive firms, which uses theoretical classification in empirical analysis.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Ian Miles

The purpose of this paper is to examine knowledge intensive business services, or KIBS for short. KIBS are one of the fastest growing areas of the European economy, and

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine knowledge intensive business services, or KIBS for short. KIBS are one of the fastest growing areas of the European economy, and are increasingly important contributors to the performance of the sectors who are their clients.

Design/methodology/approach

KIBS are distinguished from other services and knowledge‐intensive activities, and statistics on KIBS in the European Union are examined, highlighting key similarities and differences in their development across Member States

Findings

KIBS are continuing to grow at rapid rates, and are experiencing qualitative change. The growth is associated with outsourcing, the internationalisation of services, and the growth in demand for certain forms of knowledge. Many KIBS sectors are becoming more concentrated (though most KIBS sectors feature a higher share of small firms than does the economy as a whole). As KIBS supply a wider range of services, overlap and convergence between different KIBS sectors has grown. But as some KIBS become more involved with their major clients' strategies, it is possible that some services will become specialised, while others integrate their inputs for clients.

Research limitations/implications

Scenario analysis is used to examine policy issues concerning KIBS. These are based on deskwork: group discussion would be a valuable complement to this approach.

Practical implications

A range of policy issues, responses to these issues, and the rationales and challenges that policies may confront are spelled out. The article calls for much more explicit consideration of KIBS in innovation and other policy areas.

Originality/value

KIBS remain poorly studied, and their future development has rarely been considered. The implications for innovation and other policies are examined more explicitly and in greater depth than in previous studies.

Details

Foresight, vol. 7 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

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