An Empirical Investigation Into the Effect of Organizational Capabilities on Service Innovation in Knowledge Intensive Business Firms

지식서비스기업의 서비스 혁신에 영향을 미치는 조직의 역량에 관한 연구

  • Received : 2012.09.01
  • Accepted : 2012.12.26
  • Published : 2013.03.31


In the service-oriented economy, knowledge and skills are considered core resources to secure competitive advantages and service innovation. Knowledge management capability, which facilitates to produce, share, accumulate and reuse knowledge, becomes as important as knowledge itself to create service value. Along with knowledge management capability, dynamic capability and operational capability are the key capabilities related to managing service delivery processes. Previous studies indicated that these three capabilities are related to service innovation. Although separately investigate the relationship between the three capabilities. The purpose of this study is 1) to define variables that have effects on service innovation including knowledge management capability, dynamic capability and operational capability, and 2) to empirically test to identify relationship among variables. In this study, knowledge management capability is defined as the capability to manage knowledge process. Dynamic capability is regarded as the firm's ability to integrate, build, and reconfigure internal and external competences to address rapidly changing environments. Operational capability refers to a high-level routine that, together with its implementing input flows, confers upon an organization's management a set of decision options for producing significant outputs of a particular type. The proposed research model was tested against the data collected through the survey method. The survey questionnaire was distributed to the managers who participated in an educational program for management consulting. Each individual who answered the questionnaire represented a knowledge based service firm. About 212 surveys questionnaires were sent via e-mail or directly delivered to respondents. The number of useable responses was 93. Measurement items were adapted from previous studies to reflect the characteristics of the industry each informant worked in. All measurement items were in, 5 point Likert scale with anchors ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (5). Out of 93 respondents, about 81% were male, 82% of respondents were in their 30s. In terms of jobs, managers were 39.78%, professions/technicians were 24.73%, researchers were 12.90%, and sales people were 10.75%. Most of respondents worked for medium size enterprises (47,31%) in their, less than 30 employees (46.24%) in their number of employees, and less than 10 million USD (65.59%) in terms of sales volume. To test the proposed research model, structural equation modeling (SEM) technique (SPSS 16.0 and AMOS version 5) was used. We found that the three organizational capabilities have influence on service innovation directly or indirectly. Knowledge management capability directly affects dynamic capability and service innovation but indirectly affect operational capability through dynamic capability. Dynamic capability has no direct impact on service innovation, but influence service innovation indirectly through operational capability. Operational capability was found to positively affect service innovation. In sum, three organizational capabilities (knowledge management capability, dynamic capability and operational capability) need to be strategically managed at firm level, because organizational capabilities are significantly related to service innovation. An interesting result is that dynamic capability has a positive effect on service innovation only indirectly through operational capability. This result indicates that service innovation might have a characteristics similar to process innovation rather than product orientation. The results also show that organizational capabilities are inter-correlated to influence each other. Dynamic capability enables effective resource management, arrangement, and integration. Through these dynamic capability affected activities, strategic agility and responsibility get strength. Knowledge management capability intensify dynamic capability and service innovation. Knowledge management capability is the basis of dynamic capability as well. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed further in the conclusion section.


Supported by : Sogang University