Innovation in service industry: the role of consultants

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Manuela Dias Rezende Pinto
Irina Saur-Amaral
Carlos Melo Brito


Much of the existing literature on innovation intermediaries is focused on manufacturing, and limited scientific knowledge has been developed about the role of intermediaries in services. This paper aims to expand and test an existing framework on the roles and functions of intermediaries in services, focusing specifically on consultancies. Furthermore, it is investigated to what extent services and manufacturing are perceived as different clients, and what represents the added-value of consultancies. Using a case study approach, consultancies´ activities are analysed and compared within services and manufacturing contexts. Findings indicate that while consultancies do not consider manufacturing companies different from service companies, during the collaboration process several differences do exist in terms of their role in these two types of companies, mainly due to different degrees of development of the corresponding innovation strategies and to different perspectives regarding the use of technology. 

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