Exploring the interplay between Smart Manufacturing and KIBS firms in configuring product-service innovation performance

Oscar F. Bustinza, Marco Opazo-Basaez*, Shlomo Tarba

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Manufacturers that develop product-service innovation (PSI) attend increasingly to two criteria: choosing the right set of technologies to achieve PSI, and choosing how to manage the technologies—that is, whether to manage them internally or through collaboration with knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) firms. This study argues that manufacturing outcomes for financial and organizational performance depend on the organization's decision whether or not to develop PSI and how the two criteria coexist and interact. To test this hypothesis, a sample of Spanish manufacturing firms was chosen through purposive sampling. A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA) of the data returned two superior manufacturing performance scenarios. One involved pure manufacturers that did not develop PSI and relied entirely on traditional supportive manufacturing technologies. The other involved servitized manufacturers that developed PSI with or without KIBS firms and benefitted from access to larger Smart Manufacturing technologies. This study is novel in affirming the importance of choosing the right set of technologies for manufacturers that embrace service infusion. The study also reaffirms the role of KIBS firms in supporting PSI, while recognising that collaboration with KIBS firms enables firms to benefit from Smart Manufacturing technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102258
Early online date11 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by FEDER/Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades– Agencia Estatal de Investigación, Spain . grant number PGC2018-101022-A-100 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier Ltd


  • Innovation management
  • KIBS firms
  • Performance
  • Product-service innovation
  • Smart manufacturing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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