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Article

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…

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

Keywords

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Article

Heiner Evanschitzky, Dieter Ahlert, Günther Blaich and Peter Kenning

The main purpose of this paper is to analyze knowledge management in service networks. It analyzes the knowledge management process and identifies related challenges. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to analyze knowledge management in service networks. It analyzes the knowledge management process and identifies related challenges. The authors take a strategic management approach instead of a more technology‐oriented approach, since it is believed that managerial problems still remain after technological problems are solved.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper explores the literature on the topic of knowledge management as well as the resource (or knowledge) based view of the firm. It offers conceptual insights and provides possible solutions for knowledge management problems.

Findings

The paper discusses several possible solutions for managing knowledge processes in knowledge‐intensive service networks. Solutions for knowledge identification/generation, knowledge application, knowledge combination/transfer and supporting the evolution of tacit network knowledge include personal and technological aspects, as well as organizational and cultural elements.

Practical implications

In a complex environment, knowledge management and network management become crucial for business success. It is the task of network management to establish routines, and to build and regularly refresh meta‐knowledge about the competencies and abilities that exist within the network. It is suggested that each network partner should be rated according to the contribution to the network knowledge base. Based on this rating, a particular network partner is a member of a certain knowledge club, meaning that the partner has access to a particular level of network knowledge. Such an established routine provides strong incentives to add knowledge to the network's knowledge base

Originality/value

This paper is a first attempt to outline the problems of knowledge management in knowledge‐intensive service networks and, by so doing, to introduce strategic management reasoning to the discussion.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article

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

Kristin Brandl

Despite increasing interest in offshoring of knowledge-intensive services, it is still undetermined as to whether the sourcing of services truly creates the anticipated…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite increasing interest in offshoring of knowledge-intensive services, it is still undetermined as to whether the sourcing of services truly creates the anticipated value for clients. Moreover, even less is known about whether value is created for service providers in the process beyond the general service trade. This lack of knowledge is due to the challenges of capturing value creation, the unique production process of the services, and the impact of offshoring on both value creation and the production process. The purpose of this paper is to study offshored service production processes of knowledge-intensive services in order to identify direct and indirect value creation for clients as well as service providers in the process.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies a multiple case study method and studies one conglomerate with three offshored service production processes. The chosen method allows for the investigation of the service production process and indirect/direct value creation within the process.

Findings

The study finds that there is direct value creation for the client and the service provider towards the end of the production processes as expected. However, more importantly, it finds additional indirect value creation in various production stages. The indirect value is reflected in enhanced understanding of problems and own operations for the client and increased knowledge about clients and problem-solving approaches for the service provider.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to offshoring literature by providing a comprehensive understanding of value creation in service offshoring for clients as well as service providers. It also contributes to the service management literature as a study of direct and indirect value creation in services, particularly within the production process of the services.

Practical implications

The study allows practitioners to gain insights on the value creation logic of offshored services and the value created beyond that logic. More specifically, it allows client firms to gain details of various values and benefits of service offshoring and service provider firms to gain a focused perspective on value creation in their own service production that can lead to competitive advantages.

Originality/value

The paper is novel and original through its approach to study offshoring from a value creation logic perspective, including not only the client but also the service provider perspective. It also applies a service production process perspective that is novel in offshoring literature.

Details

International Journal of Physical Distribution & Logistics Management, vol. 47 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0960-0035

Keywords

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Article

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. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article

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

Keywords

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Article

Ronnie Jia, Blaize Horner Reich and Heather H. Jia

This study aims to extend service climate research from its existing focus on routine service for external clients into a knowledge-intensive, internal (KII) service

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to extend service climate research from its existing focus on routine service for external clients into a knowledge-intensive, internal (KII) service setting. This extension was important because internal knowledge workers may operate from a monopolistic perspective and not view themselves as service providers because of the technical/professional nature of their work.

Design/methodology/approach

Two surveys were distributed in participating organizations. One survey, completed by employees in information technology (IT) service units, contains measures of service climate, climate antecedents and technical competence. The second survey, filled out by members of their corporate customer units, taps their evaluations of service quality.

Findings

Service climate in IT service units significantly predicted service evaluations by their respective customer units. Importantly, service climate was more predictive than IT service employees’ technical competency. Role ambiguity, empowerment and work facilitation were also found to be significant service climate antecedents.

Research limitations/implications

These results provided strong empirical evidence supporting an extension of the existing service climate research to KII service settings. To the extent that front-line service employees rely on internal support to deliver quality service to external customers, managers should work to enhance the service climate in internal support units, which ultimately improves external service quality.

Originality/value

This is the first study that establishes the robustness of the service climate construct in KII service settings. It makes service climate a useful managerial tool for improving both internal and external service quality.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article

Aku Valtakoski and Katriina Järvi

The purpose of this paper is to study the antecedents of service innovation success in the knowledge-intensive business services context, especially why the participation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the antecedents of service innovation success in the knowledge-intensive business services context, especially why the participation of frontline employees and multiple organizational units is not enough for succeeding in knowledge-intensive service productization.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study of two polar cases with longitudinal data, participant observation, and key personnel interviews.

Findings

Case evidence indicates that frontline employee participation and cross-unit collaboration are not sufficient antecedents for successful service productization. Instead, to facilitate employee knowledge sharing, managers need to align the project goals with the goals of participating employees, and promote trust among the project workgroup. Moreover, to enable effective cross-unit collaboration, managers need to facilitate the establishment of common vocabulary for productization work and services, and to resolve any emerging conflicts between participating organizational units.

Practical implications

The findings indicate the importance of enabling knowledge sharing and cross-unit collaboration for service productization. The identified antecedents translate to practical strategies for achieving these. The results also highlight the importance of bottom-up service innovation, and the management of service innovation on the group level.

Originality/value

The study indicates that common antecedents for successful service innovation may not be sufficient in the knowledge-intensive context, calling into question the assumptions about individual and group behavior in service innovation, and suggesting the importance of multi-level perspective on service innovation.

Details

Journal of Service Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-5818

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Article

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

Norman T. Sheehan, Ganesh Vaidyanathan and Suresh Kalagnanam

Most, if not all, management control tools were formulated for firms employing an industrial value creation logic (i.e., Ford, McDonald’s, and Wal‐Mart). We argue that…

Abstract

Most, if not all, management control tools were formulated for firms employing an industrial value creation logic (i.e., Ford, McDonald’s, and Wal‐Mart). We argue that given the growth, both in number and importance, of firms employing a knowledge value creation logic (i.e., Accenture, Goldman Sachs, and Clifford Chance) and firms employing a network logic (i.e., Verizon, eBay, and Expedia) that these control tools should be revisited in light of this potentially critical contingency. This paper outlines the key characteristics of knowledge intensive firms and network service firms and then examines how these contingencies impact Simons’ (1995) Levers of Control and Kaplan and Norton’s (1996) Balanced Scorecard. We find that whilst each lever/perspective is still relevant for each value creation logic, the relative importance and thus intensity of use should vary between logics.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

Keywords

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