Innovation performance in service companies and KIBS vis-à-vis manufacturing: the relevance of absorptive capacity and openness

Aurora A.C. Teixeira, Lilian Cristina Bezerra dos Santos


Purpose – The present paper adds to the most recent current of
literature that highlights the importance of innovation in services,
analyzing a setting – Portugal – which is relatively backward in terms
of innovation performance.
Design/methodology/approach – Based on a sample of 4128
companies (including 1489 service companies) that answered the
Community Innovation Survey 2008, we assessed, by resorting to
logistic regressions, the determinants of innovation performance in
Portuguese companies.
Findings – 1) Workers who have the 1st cycle of higher education
have a positive and significant impact on the innovation of service
companies whereas PhDs are detrimental to companies’ innovative
performance; 2) Companies in the service sector in general, and in
KIBS in particular, that effectively invest in external and (continuous)
internal R&D activities are more innovative; 3) External scientific
sources of information for innovation are crucial (and much more than
in manufacturing) to the innovation performance of service companies,
especially of KIBS; 4) Similarly to manufacturing, participation in
innovation activities in cooperation with foreign partners appears as a
key factor in the innovative performance of service companies.
Originality/value – The study demonstrates the influence of
companies’ openness and the relative importance attributed to different
sources of information for innovation on innovation outcomes of
service companies (and KIBS) compared to manufacturing industries.


Innovation performance; Services; KIBS; Manufacturing; Portugal.


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