University of Oulu

Heikka, Eija-Liisa & Mustak, Mekhail, Purchasing of knowledge-intensive business services : a case study of relevant factors, International Journal of Procurement Management, 2017 Vol.10 No.1, pp. 21–37.

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

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Author: Heikka, Eija-Liisa1; Mustak, Mekhail2
Organizations: 1Department of Marketing, Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, FI-90014, Finland
2Department of Marketing and International Business, Turku School of Economics, Turku, FI-20014, Turun yliopisto, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Inderscience, 2017
Publish Date: 2020-04-17


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.

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Series: International journal of procurement management
ISSN: 1753-8432
ISSN-E: 1753-8440
ISSN-L: 1753-8432
Volume: 10
Issue: 1
Pages: 21 - 37
DOI: 10.1504/IJPM.2017.080909
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
Funding: Eija-Liisa Heikka acknowledges the financial support received from the Foundation for Economic Education and Tekes. Mekhail Mustak acknowledges Kaute Foundation, Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, and the Foundation for Economic Education for their support.
Copyright information: © 2017 Inderscience Inderscience Enterprises Ltd. The final authenticated version is available online at