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‘Do versus Buy’ Decisions in the Demand for Knowledge Intensive Business Services


  • Eva Pardos
  • Ana Gómez-Loscos
  • Fernando Rubiera-Morollón


The search for the maximum use of scale and agglomeration economies and the need to operate firms in the most flexible way have provided a strong impulse for companies to increase their use of external intermediate services. Because of their strategic role, the use of business services that are intensive both in labour qualification and in technological requirements is key for these policies. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the patterns followed by companies in the two relevant decisions on this issue: firstly, whether to use knowledge intensive business services or not and, secondly, whether (and to what extent) to buy these services from another firm or to provide them inside the organisation. In both cases, we intend to identify the factors that affect the ‘do versus buy’ decision with respect to total KIBS as well as particular categories. A specific feature in our study is that it focuses on the behaviour of firms working in a region without a well-developed supply of KIBS. Applying discrete response models to the data obtained in a survey elaborated by the authors, the most relevant variables for the use of KIBS are satisfaction with previous outsourcing experiences and location of the firm in a large urban centre, but they do not affect their external provision. The size of the firm, its export orientation and its technological complexity have opposite effects on use and outsourcing.

Suggested Citation

  • Eva Pardos & Ana Gómez-Loscos & Fernando Rubiera-Morollón, 2007. "‘Do versus Buy’ Decisions in the Demand for Knowledge Intensive Business Services," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(3), pages 233-249, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:servic:v:27:y:2007:i:3:p:233-249
    DOI: 10.1080/02642060701206991

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    Cited by:

    1. Zoltán Bujdosó & János Pénzes & Lóránt Dávid & Szilárd Madaras, 2016. "The Spatial Pattern of KIBS and their Relations with the Territorial Development in Romania," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 18(41), pages 1-73, February.
    2. Martin Falk & Fei Peng, 2013. "The increasing service intensity of European manufacturing," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(15-16), pages 1686-1706, December.
    3. Malgorzata Zieba, 2013. "Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (Kibs) And Their Role In The Knowledge-Based Economy," GUT FME Working Paper Series A 7, Faculty of Management and Economics, Gdansk University of Technology.

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