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How do collaboration and investments in knowledge management affect process innovation in services?

Ashok, M. ORCID:, Narula, R. ORCID: and Martínez-Noya, A. (2016) How do collaboration and investments in knowledge management affect process innovation in services? Journal of Knowledge Management, 20 (5). pp. 1004-1024. ISSN 1367-3270

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1108/JKM-11-2015-0429


Purpose Despite the keen interest in radical and incremental innovation, few studies have tested the varying impact of firm-level factors in service sectors. This paper analyses how collaboration with existing and prospective users and investments in knowledge management (KM) practices can be adapted to maximise the outputs of radical and incremental process innovation in a knowledge-intensive business service industry. Design/methodology/approach Original survey data from 166 information technology service firms and interviews with 13 executives provide the empirical evidence. Partial least squares-structural equation modelling is used to analyse the data. Findings Collaboration with different types of users, and investments in KM practices affect radical versus incremental process innovation differently. Collaboration with existing users influences incremental process innovation directly, but not radical innovation; and prospective user collaboration matters for radical, but not incremental innovation. Furthermore, for radical innovation, investments in KM practices mediate the impact of prospective user collaboration on innovation. Research limitations/implications While collaboration with existing users for incremental process innovations does not appear to generate significant managerial challenges, to pursue radical innovations firms must engage in intensive collaboration with prospective users. Higher involvement with prospective users requires higher investment in KM practices to promote efficient intra- and inter-firm knowledge flows. Originality/value This study is based on a large-scale survey, together with management interviews. Radical and incremental innovations in the service industry require engagements with different kinds of users, and the use of KM tools.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Henley Business School > International Business and Strategy
ID Code:66214


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