Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society

Diversity in the Knowledge Economy and Society

Heterogeneity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Science, Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship series

Edited by Elias G. Carayannis, Aris Kaloudis and Åge Mariussen

The key message of this book is that heterogeneity should be seen as an intrinsic and indispensable element of knowledge systems. The authors address the concept of heterogeneity in a multi-disciplinary fashion, including perspectives from evolutionary economics and innovation system studies, and relate this approach to existing theories in a broad range of fields.

Chapter 10: Heterogeneity and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services in the City

Heidi Wiig Aslesen

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, knowledge management, economics and finance, economics of innovation, innovation and technology, economics of innovation, innovation policy, knowledge management


10. Heterogeneity and knowledgeintensive business services in the city Heidi Wiig Aslesen INTRODUCTION Western economies are often described as knowledge-driven, based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information (OECD, 2001). However, knowledge matures, so learning, creative forgetting, efficient sharing and transfer of new knowledge are vital for economic development and growth in modern economies. The definition of innovation as interactive learning (Lundvall, 1992) links modern innovation theory with the work of economic geographers, making evident how geographical and institutional organizations create marked differences in regions’ cultures, institutions and regulations, all factors that affect learning and innovation. Geography matters for innovation and for competitiveness (OECD, 2001). One important aspect of the knowledge-driven learning economy is that economic activity and growth have become more spatially concentrated and increasingly city based (Eurostat, 2002; Cooke, 2002). Large cities are often characterized as creative centres of particular significance for innovation and entrepreneurship, and thereby for national economic performance and growth (Acs, 2002; Fischer et al., 2001; Simmie, 2001). With the growing complexity of information and knowledge, and the greater uncertainty of the economic environment, the city is seen as an important source of competitive advantage for organizations operating in a globalized economy (Storper, 1997). The complexity of information and knowledge and the greater uncertainty require an economic environment that has the ability to deal with and promote all knowledgeintensive assets, namely the city. ‘Knowledge Intensive Business Services’ (KIBS) is a fast-growing industrial sector that has a concentrated...

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