Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) are becoming more and more relevant both for their innovative content and as innovation boosters for manufacturing firms and, with this scenario in mind, this book first offers an in-depth analysis of what innovation in KIBS is and its performance outcomes, and then synthesizes what we know about KIBS firms’ innovation models, as well as their specific peculiarities and limitations.
This book examines the recent trends in innovation, service design and development in KIBS, starting from a review of the extant literature, explaining the role and specific traits of innovation in KIBS. Then, it progresses our knowledge about KIBS and about how new technologies are offering unique opportunities to use and share their knowledge, within and across boundaries. The book also includes several cases that show how, at the micro level, firms can effectively design their services and boost their innovation performance, by overcoming some of the traditional limits of innovation in services. While KIBS literature traditionally emphasizes that innovative and performing KIBS firms rely on tight client–provider interactions with service customization, recent research suggests that alternative modes of innovation are viable for performing KIBS firms: KIBS firms can develop mass customization strategies, ease interactions with clients via ICT interfaces and leverage on focused collaborations with expert clients. Particularly, the digitalization and ICT technologies are fostering platform and modular architectural designs of KIBS, as in the software and web design services.
The book seeks a broader understanding of innovation in KIBS in the digital era and will be an essential guide for both academics and practitioners interested in KIBS innovation and design.