Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation
Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels
Chapter 22: Developing the agenda for research on knowledge-intensive services: problems and opportunities
The most serious theoretical deficiency of existing theories of modern society which assign a central role to knowledge is . . . their rather undifferentiated treatment of the key ingredient, namely knowledge itself. (Stehr, 1994: 91) During the 1980s the transformation in employment away from manufacturing to service occupations encouraged economic geographers to explore the locational dynamics of the evolving ‘new service economy’ (Marshall, 1983; Daniels, 1985; Wood, 1986; Daniels et al., 2011). Business or producer service firms – those service activities which typically supply other business units with ‘high order’ knowledge and expertise (e.g., market intelligence, management advice, design) – were identified as one of the fastest-growing sub-sectors in the advanced capitalist economies (Keeble et al., 1991; MacPherson, 1997). The logical extension of this work was to explore the dynamics of specific types of business service activities. Attention focussed on ‘knowledge-intensive services’ in the belief that they had the most to contribute to the wider production process (Marshall et al., 1988).
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