Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the analysis of firms’ innovative activities from the knowledge‐intensive service activities (KISA) point of view and analyse their relation to the firms’ competitive performance in the case of a mature industry, the Spanish ceramic tile cluster. Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on a field survey. Through a selection of variables multivariable tests were applied to map the industry from the KISA standpoint and evaluate the impact of certain knowledge intensive service activities on innovation and performance. Findings – Internal and external knowledge‐intensive service activities were related to their output in terms of innovation, competitive advantages and economic performance. Research limitations/implications – Further research must consider and segment customers, suppliers, and other firms in the industry as other sources of KIBS. Practical implications – Understanding how firms access and employ the variety of innovation‐related KISA available to them in different industries, and at different times, will help policy makers to design targeted policies and programs to actively stimulate innovation across them. For firms, KISA offers a strategic choice in their innovation objectives. Originality/value – The present analysis contribution to KISA validates a mathematical model to simulate the relation between KISA and the competitive advantage of the firm in the case of a mature medium‐tech industry.
Management Research News – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 23, 2008
Keywords: Knowledge management systems; Service industries; Competitive advantage; Organizational innovation; Spain