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A comparative study of innovation behaviour in Singapore's KIBS and manufacturing firms


  • Poh Kam Wong
  • Zi-Lin He


While most services innovation studies are concentrated on the OECD or EU countries, research on services innovation in the non-OECD context is still rare. This study investigates innovation behaviour of a certain group of services -- knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS), compared with the manufacturing sector in Singapore. The main findings of this study are: (1) KIBS firms have higher innovating ratio than manufacturing firms, but innovating manufacturing firms are more likely to do R&D than innovating KIBS firms; (2) KIBS firms have higher human capital intensity, training spending intensity, innovation spending intensity, and R&D spending intensity than manufacturing firms; (3) KIBS firms and manufacturing firms have similar innovation objectives, although some delicate nuances do exist; (4) KIBS firms are less likely to have overseas partners for innovation collaboration than manufacturing firms; (5) there is a U pattern of innovation collaboration with geographic distance for both KIBS and manufacturing firms; (6) social capitals are important for KIBS firms' successful provision of innovation support to manufacturing clients; (7) the importance of spatial proximity varies over different phases of innovation support.

Suggested Citation

  • Poh Kam Wong & Zi-Lin He, 2005. "A comparative study of innovation behaviour in Singapore's KIBS and manufacturing firms," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(1), pages 23-42, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:servic:v:25:y:2005:i:1:p:23-42
    DOI: 10.1080/0264206042000302397

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johan Hauknes, "undated". "Services in Innovation – Innovation in Services," STEP Report series 199813, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ja-Shen Chen & Don Kerr & Seng-Su Tsang & Yu Chieh Sung, 2015. "Co-production of service innovations through dynamic capability enhancement," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1-2), pages 96-114, January.
    2. Krzysztof Borodako & Jadwiga Berbeka & Michał Rudnicki, 2014. "The Potential of Local KIBS Companies as a Determinant of Tourism Development in Krakow," Tourism Economics, , vol. 20(6), pages 1337-1348, December.
    3. Kluck, Christian, 2012. "Zur Beschäftigungsdynamik in der Wissensökonomie: Die Entwicklung von wissensintensiven-unternehmensorientierten Dienstleistungen in Deutschland," Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsgeographie und Regionalentwicklung 2-2012, Universität Bremen, Institut für Geographie.
    4. David Doloreux & Nabil Amara & Réjean Landry, 2008. "Mapping Regional and Sectoral Characteristics of Knowledge‐Intensive Business Services: Evidence from the Province of Quebec (Canada)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 464-496, September.
    5. Francisco Mas-Verdú & Anthony Wensley & Martin Alba & José García Álvarez-Coque, 2011. "How much does KIBS contribute to the generation and diffusion of innovation?," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 5(3), pages 195-212, September.
    6. Demetris Vrontis & Giuseppe Tardivo & Stefano Bresciani & Milena Viassone, 2018. "The Competitiveness of the Italian Manufacturing Industry: an Attempt of Measurement," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 9(4), pages 1087-1103, December.
    7. Marco Opazo-Basáez & Ferran Vendrell-Herrero & Oscar F. Bustinza, 2018. "Uncovering Productivity Gains of Digital and Green Servitization: Implications from the Automotive Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-17, May.
    8. José A. Camacho & Mercedes Rodriguez, 2010. "How Important are Knowledge-Intensive Services for their Client Industries? An Assessment of their Impact on Productivity and Innovation," Chapters, in: Faïz Gallouj & Faridah Djellal (ed.),The Handbook of Innovation and Services, chapter 18, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Rodriguez, Mercedes & Doloreux, David & Shearmur, Richard, 2017. "Variety in external knowledge sourcing and innovation novelty: Evidence from the KIBS sector in Spain," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 35-43.
    10. Krzysztof Borodako & Jadwiga Berbeka & Michał Rudnicki, 2015. "Tourism Enterprises as Buyers of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services," SAGE Open, , vol. 5(1), pages 21582440155, January.
    11. Cristina Fernandes & João Ferreira & Carla Marques, 2015. "Innovation management capabilities in rural and urban knowledge intensive business services: empirical evidence," Service Business, Springer;Pan-Pacific Business Association, vol. 9(2), pages 233-256, June.
    12. Olga V. Kotomina, 2015. "Spatial Dimension of Knowledge Intensive Business Services in Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 50/STI/2015, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    13. Bustinza, Oscar F. & Lafuente, Esteban & Rabetino, Rodrigo & Vaillant, Yancy & Vendrell-Herrero, Ferran, 2019. "Make-or-buy configurational approaches in product-service ecosystems and performance," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 393-401.
    14. Wong, Poh-Kam & Ho, Yuen-Ping & Singh, Annette, 2007. "Towards an "Entrepreneurial University" Model to Support Knowledge-Based Economic Development: The Case of the National University of Singapore," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 941-958, June.

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