Title: Managing and organising technical and scientific service firms: a taxonomy and an empirical study

Authors: Vittorio Chiesa, Federico Frattini, Raffaella Manzini

Addresses: Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milano, Italy. ' Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Gestionale, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133 Milano, Italy. ' Universita Carlo Cattaneo – LIUC, Corso Matteotti 22, 21053 Castellanza (Varese), Italy

Abstract: In the last decade, firms have increasingly relied on external sources of technology to support their innovation process. A number of scholars have investigated several aspects of this phenomenon. Little attention has been paid to those companies that offer Technical and Scientific Services (TSS), although their number is increasing and it seems they have a positive impact on client firms| innovative performance. The purpose of this paper is to adopt a firm-level perspective and analyse the key organisational and managerial challenges TSS companies are confronted with. For this purpose, we first conducted a literature analysis in order to build a research framework that comprises: (1) a map of the organisational and managerial decisions that are critical to the TSS firm|s competitiveness; and (2) a set of contextual variables that are likely to discriminate between alternative organisational and managerial choices. This research framework is applied in the second part of the paper to support a multiple case study analysis involving 12 TSS firms. A number of exploratory insights into the management and organisation of the analysed companies are presented and discussed.

Keywords: knowledge-intensive business services; KIBS; technical services; scientific services; TSS; taxonomy; marketing approach; organisational decisions; managerial decisions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2008.022120

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2008 Vol.10 No.2/3/4, pp.211 - 234

Available online: 19 Dec 2008 *

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