Title: Client-oriented multicompetence: the core asset in KIBS

Authors: Marja Toivonen, Saara Brax, Tiina Tuominen

Addresses: Innovation Management Institute (IMI), Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 5500, 02015 HUT, Finland. ' Innovation Management Institute (IMI), Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 5500, 02015 HUT, Finland. ' Innovation Management Institute (IMI), Helsinki University of Technology, P.O. Box 5500, 02015 HUT, Finland

Abstract: This paper discusses the broadening of the content of expertise in KIBS and the ways in which these firms tackle the challenges that emerge in conjunction with this development. On the basis of literature we argue that the expertise of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS) broadens in two ways. First, knowledge of the clients| business and mastery of the cooperation process with the clients become increasingly important. Secondly, the expertise becomes more multidisciplinary, i.e., less tied to specific academic disciplines. The ways in which KIBS have reacted to the new challenges are examined on the basis of two empirical studies carried out in Finland. Our central findings concern the practices of the division of work and the skills needed at different levels and for different purposes. In the final section we evaluate these findings against the theoretical analysis and discuss the profoundness of the changes. We also point out some policy implications.

Keywords: knowledge-intensive business services; KIBS; producer services; professional services; client orientation; multicompetence; multidisciplinarity; Finland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2008.022118

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.10 No.2/3/4, pp.175 - 189

Available online: 19 Dec 2008 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article