Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Ian Miles
Chapter 10: Services, Scale and Structures of Internationalization: Northwest England’s Environmental Technologies Firms
10. Services, scale, and structures of internationalization: northwest England’s environmental technologies ﬁrms Sally Randles and Bruce Tether INTRODUCTION Using data from a survey of environmental technologies and services (ETS) ﬁrms in northwest England, this chapter investigates relationships between services, especially knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS),1 and manufacturing. The analysis also explores the proﬁle of the ﬁrms in terms of their patterns and structures of internationalization, with a particular concern for whether the functions ﬁrms undertake (such as manufacturing or KIBS or both) relate to the extent and nature of their internationalization. A further dimension of the analysis draws attention to the range and diversity of organizational forms and structures adopted by the subsample of ﬁrms engaged in commercial activity across national borders. The chapter considers some implications of these ﬁndings for regional ‘cluster’ development, a cornerstone of current economic development policy in the United Kingdom. CLUSTER POLICY IN THE UK When it came to power in 1997, Britain’s Labour government adopted a regional approach to economic development premised on decentralizing decision making and encouraging endogenous economic growth at the subnational ‘regional’ scale. Eight ‘regional development agencies’ (RDAs) were established, one for each of the English regions, alongside partial devolution and self-governance via elected assemblies for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Critics argue that these agencies provide a means by which central government can avoid responsibility for widening regional inequalities in the UK, as responsibility for regional development is passed 227 228 Internationalization and innovation from central government to the...
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