Purchasing of knowledge-intensive business services: A case study of relevant factors

Eija-Liisa Heikka*, Mekhail Mustak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purchasing of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) is often a critical decision for business customers as it can affect their businesses in numerous ways, such as creating a competitive advantage or fulfilling financial and regulatory objectives. Hence, customers tend to make careful and systematic decisions to purchase these services, and it is both theoretically and managerially important to know the factors that influence these decisions. However, the extant research has not shed sufficient light on those factors. The purpose of this study is thus to explore the factors that influence customers' KIBS purchasing decisions. A qualitative case study is used to gain a multidimensional understanding of the issue. The findings reveal that several factors influence customers' purchasing decisions: convincing value propositions, perception of service quality, perception of potential risks, potential for customisation, quality customer relationships, individual preferences, geographic proximity and availability of information. The findings are discussed further, and the implications and limitations of the study are noted.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalInternational Journal of Procurement Management (IJPM)
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)21-17
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • service purchasing
  • knowledge-intensive business services
  • KIBS
  • supplier selection
  • business-to-business
  • B2B services
  • case study
  • value proposition
  • perceived quality
  • service quality
  • risk perceptions
  • customisation
  • customer relationships
  • individual preferences
  • geographic proximity
  • information availability

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Competition economics and service strategy - Service and customer-oriented management


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