The interplay between KIBS and manufacturers: a scoping review of major key themes and research opportunities
Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) collaborate with manufacturers to increase their knowledge, stimulate innovation, and support the implementation of service-oriented business models. In addition, KIBS firms are also known to stimulate regional economic development. Hence, this study aims to identify the key research themes and future opportunities in the literature addressing the interplay between KIBS and manufacturers. A scoping review was adopted to map key themes in the KIBS and manufacturing literature. A sample of 76 focal articles was analyzed using descriptive and thematic analyses. Results of the scoping review are presented consolidating three categories of analysis: (i) mechanisms of connections between KIBS and manufacturers, such as value co-creation, knowledge transfer, innovation, and servitization, (ii) results at firm-level, such as competitiveness, organizational and financial performance (iii) results at regional-level, such as economic development, KIBS agglomeration, and public policies. An agenda for future research is proposed.