Knowledge‑Based Strategies for Knowledge Intensive Business Services: a Multiple Case‑study of Computer Service Companies pp151-160
While knowledge is increasingly considered to be a key resource for companies, the models for formulating business strategies that explicitly include it as a core component are still lacking. The paper investigates such issues by considering the particular case of computer service companies, which can be seen as Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) firms connecting the sources of innovation (i.e. large multinationals, research laboratories, universities, etc.) to the individual needs of the local customers. In doing so they operate as mediators between the local cognitive requirements and the more generic knowledge available in the global environment. Since those companies base their competitiveness on the capability to manage knowledge flows among various actors, the formulation of their business strategies requires new approaches that directly focus on knowledge assets and relevant processes. The paper describes the results of a survey involving twenty‑one computer service companies located in the Northeast of Italy. The study allows the user to draw useful schemes for the identification of knowledge‑based strategies, which can be of use beyond the specific context of investigation. In particular, rather than proposing completely new models for knowledge‑based strategic formulations, the paper analyses the way knowledge can be integrated into more traditional strategic frameworks. The assumption is that these approaches can be more comfortable and understandable by the management of companies whose business is strongly based on knowledge but don't have deliberate knowledge management strategies.