Sustainability Development of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services: Strategic Actions and Business Performance
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The recognition of the relevance of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) is becoming especially acute in the European Union and even more important for many emerging economies. The objective of the present study is twofold: (1) to examine whether an empirically-based typology of sustainability development can be constructed for KIBS; (2) to identify whether different development patterns are associated with different business performance outcomes. The empirical evidence is based on quantitative and firm-level data gathered through an email questionnaire which yielded 128 qualified responses from KIBS in the Czech Republic. The analysis is based on exploratory factor and cluster analysis to identify the cluster membership and to assess the relationship with performance outcomes it has been used the parametric test one-way ANOVA. Data analysis revealed that three distinct patterns types of KIBS exist, which were associated with different performance outcomes. With regard to the level of sustainable development, we found the conservative KIBS following market extension through a repositioning of existing and revised services, innovating KIBS following a new service development strategy focusing mainly on complements or line extension to existing services based on changes in technology and middle-ranged KIBS focusing on traditional strategy of comprehensiveness of services or “more services under one roof”. Innovating KIBS outperform other types of KIBS in all financial and non-financial parameters. The results have implications for practices involved in strategy development in services and useful for government efforts. The limitation of the research is done by focus on small companies, operating mainly in ICT and architectural and engineering services.
Keywordssustainable development; strategy type; knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), business performance, sustainable performance, patterns of behavior, Czech Republic
Document typePeer reviewed
Document versionFinal PDF
SourceSustainability. 2019, vol. 11, issue 18, p. 1-19.
- Ústav managementu