PREST/CRIC Studies in Science, Technology and Innovation series
Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Ian Miles
Chapter 9: Internationalization of Knowledge-Intensive Business Services in a Small European Country: Experiences from Finland
9. Internationalization of knowledgeintensive business services in a small European country: experiences from Finland Marja Toivonen INTRODUCTION In the discussion of the relation between the internationalization of services and the process of innovation, knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) are of special interest. Several studies have shown that these services play an important role as sources of innovation and as supporters of the innovation activities of other ﬁrms (Miles, 1999, pp.92–4 and 2001, pp.13–19; Strambach, 2001, pp.60–5). Some technology-oriented KIBS are also precursors of an international economy based on new information technology (Howells, 2000, p.5). A good overall picture of internationalization in KIBS branches is, however, still lacking and it can be assumed that country-speciﬁc features have a strong impact on the development of internationalization in KIBS. The degree and forms of internationalization in KIBS vary according to national contexts, and these diﬀerences are important for understanding the linkages between internationalization and innovation. The purpose of this chapter is to contribute to the above issue by describing and analysing internationalization of KIBS in Finland – a small country, developing fast in the ﬁeld of information technology. The chapter is mainly based on the author’s own study of KIBS, which was conducted through face-to-face interviews in 2000 (Toivonen, 2001). The study mapped out megatrends in various knowledge-intensive businesses, one theme of the interviews being internationalization issues. The study also aimed at investigating the new qualiﬁcation requirements demanded by internationalization and other important development trends. In general, this is...
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