Innovation, Service Types, and Performance in Knowledge Intensive Business Services

  • Diego CampagnoloEmail author
  • Anna Cabigiosu


Knowledge Intensive Business Services or KIBS are defined as customized and innovative business services. In this chapter, we argue that not only innovation and customization are complementary in KIBS, but also that replication via standard and modular services determines a KIBS firm’s performance. Using fuzzy sets qualitative comparative analysis (fs/QCA) on a sample of 319 KIBS firms, we explored the best-performing configurations resulting from a combination of different service innovations with different service types. In doing so, we separately considered product and process innovations and four different types of services (customized, standard, standard with minor customizations, and modular). Our results emphasize the complementarity between process innovations and service standardization on a firm’s profitability, while highlighting the complementarity between process innovations, service customization, and modularity of a firm’s growth. The work described in this chapter contributes to the KIBS literature and provides deeper insights into the interaction between innovation and service types.


Knowledge intensive business services Modularity Innovation Service types Performance 



We wish to thank Nicola Cenedese for his help in the analysis of the data. This research is part of the Project of Excellence “Economics and Management of Knowledge Intensive Business Services: Innovation Processes in Services and Competitiveness of Firms and Territories.” We thank the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Padova e Rovigo for the financial support and all the researchers of the University of Padua involved in the for project for helpful discussions. The usual disclaimer applies.


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© Springer-Verlag London 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Economics and Management “M. Fanno”University of PaduaPaduaItaly
  2. 2.Department of ManagementCa’ Foscari University of VeniceVeniceItaly

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