Purpose – This study aims to evaluate the effects of KIBS on innovation outcomes in micro firm builders of machine tools according to the categories of KIBS.
Theoretical framework – This article not only contributes to the innovation process theory by reinforcing the arguments that micro firms can achieve innovations but also, that KIBS have a positive influence on technological and non-technological innovation in manufacturing firms.
Design/methodology/approach – To achieve the objective of the study, the Mann-Whitney U Test was used as the analysis techniques. A survey was carried out to collect the data from 40 micro firm builders of machine tools located in the
Basque Country (Spain) and Emilia-Romagna (Italy).
Findings – The results suggest that KIBS have positive effects on innovations in manufacturing firms. However, there are differences according to the categories of KIBS. For instance, T-KIBS are prone towards technological innovation, while P-KIBS and C-KIBS affect non-technological innovation. In addition, ICT services also have a positive relationship with non-technological innovation. We conclude by highlighting the importance of T-KIBS to confront the challenges of Industry 4.0 and the need for further research to determine the role of KIBS in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Research Practical & Social implications – Micro firms need to enhance their absorptive capacity by increasing ICT and R&D investments, to confront the challenges of the Industry 4.0, and given the fact that the industry is beginning to incorporate more and more codified science-based knowledge. Perhaps hiring T-KIBS would be an adequate decision for micro firms.
Originality/value – This study contributes to the advancement of research involving different category of KIBS and their effects on manufacturing firms’ innovation, especially in micro firm builders of machine tool.
Keywords – KIBS, Technological innovation, Non-technological innovation, Micro firms, Machine Tool.
If a paper is approved for publication, its copyright has to be transferred by the author(s) to the Review of Business Management – RBGN.
Accordingly, authors are REQUIRED to send RBGN a duly completed and signed Copyright Transfer Form. Please refer to the following template: [Copyright Transfer]
The conditions set out by the Copyright Transfer Form state that the Review of Business Management – RBGN owns, free of charge and permanently, the copyright of the papers it publishes. Although the authors are required to sign the Copyright Transfer Form, RBGN allows authors to hold and use their own copyright without restrictions.
The texts published by RBGN are the sole responsibility of their authors.
The review has adopted the CC-BY Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 allowing redistribution and reuse of papers on condition that the authorship is properly credited.