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Krupskaya, Anastasia (2018) New service development in knowledge intensive business services: dynamic links between knowledge base, performance and innovation. [Ph.D. thesis]

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Abstract (english)

Knowledge–Intensive Business Services (KIBS) rank among the most innovative sectors in the European Union’s Community Innovation Survey (CIS) (Miles et al., 2017). The growth of the sector is connected with the shifting of society to the ‘knowledge-based economy’, i.e. an economy which is directly based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information (OECD, 1996). Actually, for many years knowledge has been recognized as the driver of productivity and economic growth thus leading to a new focus on the role of information, technology and learning in economic performance (OECD, 1996).
Despite the growing importance of the sector, the research on KIBS is still fragmentary. Scholars underline that many gaps still exist starting from lack of agreement on basic definitions and finishing with a scarcity of empirical verification of the conceptual notions and interpretative models (Menor et al., 2002; Pina and Tether, 2014).
The purpose of this thesis is to try to understand through empirical research how companies that belong to the Knowledge-Intensive Business Service (KIBS) sector implement their New Service Development (NSD) processes.
The study adopted the case study method given the complexity and the exploratory aim of the research (Yin, 2003; Eisenhardt, 1989). In particular, the NSD processes of twelve companies were analyzed collecting information through various sources, but especially by interviewing the companies’ managers.
The final choice of the specific topic, were drawn from the articles written by Pina and Tether from 2014 to 2016. The authors, in fact, were among the first ones who concentrated on KIBS companies at the individual level, and not at the sector and geographical level (Asheim, 2007, 2012), as the unit to analyze their knowledge base.
Having undertook a large review of the research on KIBS sector, especially concerning basic concepts and the connection between the knowledge base and the innovation produced by the companies, they underlined the lack of qualitative research on the issue, and suggested as a topic for future research the study of the dynamic links that exist between the knowledge base of a company and its performance and innovation.
The analysis of the NSD process started from studying the process of service development in the service sector, globally understood. The second goal was to understand if the companies try to look for new ideas or new knowledge to develop new service offerings and how they look for these ideas. The last goal was to understand if the differences in the companies that can be expressed in the differences of their knowledge bases can affect the NSD processes in the companies and their performance and innovation in general.
The research conducted for this study led to new concepts in the scholarship on the New Service Development process, including the following contributions:

1. The research systemized the existing literature devoted to NSD in KIBS companies and highlighted several related research streams.
2. The empirical investigation of companies from different KIBS sectors and geographic locations filled a gap in empirical studies of the subject.
3. The research proposed new methods for defining and evaluating knowledge bases in KIBS companies based on their NSD processes.
4. The research confirmed the proposed existence of a new type or subtype of knowledge base for legal firms, ‘interpretative’. Further research on a larger number of legal firms is needed to test this statement.
5. The research confirmed the results of previous research (Scarso, 2015; Pina and Tether, 2016) that broadening their range of services leads KIBS companies to convergence of their activity among the different sectors, and as a result to the application of several knowledge bases to their activity.
6. The research confirmed the connection between the knowledge base of a company, its NSD process, and the level of innovativeness of the final results.
7. The research investigated new sources of ideas in KIBS companies, a topic that has received scant scholarly attention.
8. And finally, the research proposed a new model for the driving forces behind innovation in KIBS companies.

Further research, based on a larger number of companies in different geographic locations, is needed to confirm the results of this research.
This research can help KIBS companies understand how they can improve their NSD processes, and which models exist for the search and development of innovative ideas.



Abstract (italian)

I servizi aziendali ad alto contenuto di conoscenza(KIBS) si collocano tra i settori più innovativi dello studio comunitario sull'innovazione nell'Unione europea (Miles et al., 2017). La crescita del settore è legata allo spostamento della società verso l '"economia della conoscenza" cioè un'economia che si basa direttamente sulla produzione, sulla distribuzione e sull'uso della conoscenza e dell'informazione (OECD, 1996). In realtà, per molti anni la conoscenza è stata riconosciuta come il motore della produttività e della crescita economica. Portando così a una nuova attenzione sul ruolo dell'informazione, della tecnologia e dell'apprendimento nella performance economica (OECD, 1996). Nonostante la crescente importanza del settore, la ricerca su KIBS è ancora frammentaria. Gli studiosi sottolineano che esistono molte lacune a partire dalla mancanza di accordo sulle definizioni di base e finiscono con una scarsità di verifica empirica delle nozioni concettuali e dei modelli interpretativi (Menor et al., 2002; Pina and Tether, 2014).
Lo scopo di questa tesi è quello di cercare di capire attraverso la ricerca empirica come le aziende che appartengono al settore KIBS (Knowledge-Intensive Business Service) implementano i loro processi di sviluppo di nuovi servizi (NSD).
Lo studio ha adottato il metodo dello studio dei singoli casi data la complessità e l'obiettivo esplorativo della ricerca (Yin, 2003; Eisenhardt, 1989). In particolare, i processi NSD di dodici società sono stati analizzati raccogliendo informazioni attraverso varie fonti, ma soprattutto intervistando i manager delle società. La scelta finale dell'argomento specifico, è stata tratta dagli articoli scritti da Pina e Tether dal 2014 al 2016. Gli autori, infatti, sono stati tra i primi a concentrarsi sulle società KIBS a livello individuale e non a livello settoriale e geografico (Asheim, 2007, 2012), come unità per analizzare la propria base di conoscenze. Avendo intrapreso una vasta revisione della ricerca sul settore KIBS, in particolare per quanto riguarda i concetti di base e il rapporto tra la base di conoscenze e l'innovazione prodotta dalle aziende hanno sottolineato la mancanza di ricerca qualitativa sulla questione e hanno suggerito come argomento per la ricerca futura lo studio delle connessioni dinamiche esistenti tra la base di conoscenza di un'azienda e la sua performance e innovazione.
L'analisi del processo NSD è iniziata dallo studio del processo di sviluppo del servizio nel settore dei servizi, globalmente inteso. l secondo obiettivo era capire se le aziende provano a cercare nuove idee o nuove conoscenze per sviluppare nuove offerte di servizi e come cercano queste idee. L'ultimo obiettivo era capire se le differenze nelle aziende che possono essere espresse nelle differenze delle loro basi di conoscenza possono influenzare i processi NSD nelle aziende e le loro prestazioni e l'innovazione in generale.
In sintesi, la presente ricerca sul processo di sviluppo di nuovi servizi e’ giunta ad individuare nuovi concetti, inclusi i seguenti contributi:

1. La ricerca ha sistematizzato la letteratura esistente dedicata all'NSD nelle società KIBS e ha evidenziato diversi flussi di ricerca correlati.
2. Lo studio empirico di aziende scelte tra diversi settori KIBS, provenienti da diverse posizioni geografiche, ha colmato una lacuna negli studi empirici sull'argomento.
3. La ricerca ha proposto nuovi metodi per la definizione e la valutazione delle basi di conoscenza nelle società KIBS ; metodi che si fondano sui processi di sviluppo di nuovi servizi (NSD), connessi alle medesime societa’ KIBS.
4. La ricerca ha confermato l'esistenza (precedentemente proposta da un autore) di un nuovo tipo o sottotipo di base di conoscenza per gli studi legali, "interpretativo". Sono necessarie ulteriori ricerche su un numero maggiore di studi legali per testare questa affermazione.
5. La ricerca ha confermato i risultati di precedenti ricerche (Scarso, 2015, Pina e Tether, 2016) in base alle quali le societa KIBS, estendendo la loro gamma di servizi tendono alla convergenza delle loro attività tra i diversi settori e, di conseguenza, all'applicazione simultanea di diverse basi di conoscenza per la loro attività.
6. La ricerca ha confermato la connessione tra la base di conoscenza di un'azienda, il suo processo NSD e il livello di innovazione dei risultati finali.
7. La ricerca ha indagato nuove fonti di idee nelle società KIBS, un argomento che ha ricevuto scarsa attenzione da parte degli studiosi.
8. Infine, la ricerca ha proposto un nuovo modello per le forze trainanti l'innovazione nelle società KIBS.

Sono necessarie ulteriori ricerche, basate su un numero maggiore di aziende in diverse località geografiche, per confermare i risultati di questa ricerca.
Questa ricerca può aiutare le aziende KIBS a capire come possono migliorare i loro processi NSD e quali modelli esistono per la ricerca e lo sviluppo di idee innovative.








EPrint type:Ph.D. thesis
Tutor:Scarso, Enrico
Ph.D. course:Ciclo 30 > Corsi 30 > INGEGNERIA ECONOMICO GESTIONALE
Data di deposito della tesi:16 January 2018
Anno di Pubblicazione:16 January 2018
Key Words:New Service Development (NSD), New Product Development (NPD), Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS), Knowledge Base, Performance, Innovation
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-IND/35 Ingegneria economico-gestionale
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento di Tecnica e Gestione dei Sistemi Industriali
Codice ID:10630
Depositato il:26 Oct 2018 10:09
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