Title: Cognitive features of KIBS companies: evidence from a cluster analysis

Authors: Ettore Bolisani; Marco Paiola; Enrico Scarso

Addresses: Department of Economics and Management, University of Padua, Via del Santo, 33 – 35100 Padova, Italy ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Padua, Via del Santo, 33 – 35100 Padova, Italy ' Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Stradella San Nicola, 3 – 36100 Vicenza, Italy

Abstract: The debate on managerial approaches and public policies that fit knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) firms is ongoing. A possible problem is that, while this sector is highly heterogeneous, most scholars still base their investigations on traditional sectorial classifications, like, e.g., NACE, that may fail in providing consistent information about the cognitive characteristics that denote these companies. In light of this, the paper aims to formulate a categorisation of KIBS companies according to their cognitive features. Specifically, a new taxonomy is developed based on the outcomes of a cluster analysis conducted on the data coming from a sample of 375 KIBS companies located in the Northeast of Italy. The resultant clustering provides a fresh view of the various cognitive features denoting KIBS companies, and can be of help in addressing the related managerial and policy issues more properly.

Keywords: knowledge-intensive business services; KIBS firms; ICT services; design and communication; D&C; professional services; PFS; cognitive features; cluster analysis; Italy; taxonomy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2014.068853

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.20 No.4/5/6, pp.215 - 232

Available online: 10 Apr 2015 *

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