Purpose - This paper aims to analyze the influence of organizational learning (OL) and service innovation (SI) on organizational performance of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) and examine the mediating role of SI. Design/methodology/approach Hypotheses were tested using the theoretical OL model of knowledge acquisition, distribution, interpretation and organizational memory (Huber, 1991; Lopez, Peon, & Ordas, 2005; Jiménez-Jiménez & Sanz-Valle, 2011), using structural equation modeling partial least squares analysis of a survey data set of Brazilian architectural firms. Findings Findings suggest that OL is significantly linked to SI and so is SI to organizational performance. However, neither the direct relationship between OL and organizational performance could be verified, nor the mediating effect of SI. Practical implications These results can offer KIBS managers insights that suggest that OL alone does not guarantee a significant impact in organizational performance, but it is a starting point for achieving SIs, that lead to performance improvement and competitive advantages. Originality/value This paper contributes to the knowledge production in the following ways: to the understanding of the relationship between OL and SI and its effect on organizational performance, traditionally overlooked in the literature; to the study of SIs, considering the importance of the service sector; and to the study of innovation processes in architectural firms, a sector traditionally understudied, because of the focus on large construction firms.
Architectural offices Knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) Organisational learning Organisational performance Service innovation