Title: Service customisation and standardisation in combinatory knowledge-intensive business services

Authors: Marco Bettiol; Eleonora Di Maria; Roberto Grandinetti

Addresses: Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova, Italy ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova, Italy ' Department of Economics and Management, University of Padova, Via del Santo, 33 – 35123 Padova, Italy

Abstract: The trade-off between customisation and standardisation in service offerings has been widely debated in the literatures on service in general and on knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) specifically. Moving beyond this trade-off, this paper introduces a new type of service offering, called combinatory KIBS, distinguished by their capability to combine customisation and standardisation. Based on a sample of approximately 500 KIBS, our results show that combinatory KIBS develop specific business strategies which achieve superior performance in customisation and standardisation. They pair customer interaction aimed at service customisation and knowledge codification useful in providing standard services, while also investing in networking.

Keywords: knowledge-intensive business services; service standardisation; service customisation; modularity; combinatory KIBS; business strategies; customer interaction; knowledge codification; networking.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKBD.2015.072812

International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 2015 Vol.6 No.3, pp.241 - 260

Received: 24 Feb 2015
Accepted: 07 Jul 2015

Published online: 03 Nov 2015 *

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