Title: To what extent does a knowledge-intensive business service firm need customer knowledge integrative activities? The case of DigiCAP

Authors: Jong-Seok Kim

Addresses: KJS Group, Hanbat Business Center, 6fl. No. 32, Deaduck Rd. 325 Se-Gu, Daejeon 35214, South Korea

Abstract: This study examines the relationship between customer knowledge degree and integrative activity of customer knowledge in a new custom product development process by using an exploratory and qualitative single case study of a knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) firm. In spite of the importance of customer knowledge integrative activities to a KIBS firm and the traditional significance of customer knowledge in the field of marketing, there is an unexplored question of to what extent a KIBS firm needs to have customer knowledge integrative activities. This study empirically identifies that a KIBS firm requires much effort and time for customer knowledge integrative activity to develop a new custom product, while there were different properties and contents of customer knowledge integrative activity at each stage of a new custom product development process. It also identifies that the degree of customer knowledge integrative activity depends on the degree of complexity of a customer product, while the degree of prior customer knowledge in a KIBS firm can reverse influence the degree of customer knowledge integrative activity. Finally, this study further explores two factors which can influence customer knowledge integrative activity: the range of customers and product characteristics.

Keywords: knowledge-intensive business service; KIBS firm; customer knowledge; customer knowledge integrative activity; new product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2021.113572

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2021 Vol.27 No.1/2, pp.1 - 22

Received: 08 Dec 2017
Accepted: 08 Dec 2018

Published online: 12 Mar 2021 *

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