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The Handbook of Service Industries

Edited by John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels

Service activities are now acknowledged as key players in economic development, societal change and public policy worldwide. This exciting Handbook not only contributes to ongoing conceptual debates about the nature of service-led economies and societies; it also pushes back the frontiers of current critical thinking about the role of service activities in urban and regional development and the important research agendas that remain to be addressed.
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Chapter 16: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises and the Consumption of Traded (Producer Service Expertise) versus Untraded Knowledge and Expertise

John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels


John R. Bryson and Peter W. Daniels* We take trade magazines, there are 4 in our business which are pretty essential and give us a good overview of what is happening in advertising in general. They produce a lot of potential new business leads, and there are other books and reference manuals that are published that we can buy into for information. You’ve also got electronic information – Reuter’s databank. We get all sorts of information on what clients are doing and about personnel changes in advertising. So we’ve got no problems sourcing information and then there’s the jungle drums in the village itself [localised agglomeration]. There are the formal gatherings and then there’s the casual bit in the pub. (Interview, London Advertising Company, our italics) Introduction One of the most important questions concerning the relationship between entrepreneurship and regional development is the ways in which organisations as well as individuals acquire access to knowledge and expertise. The relationship between an entrepreneur and the regional economy is structured around formal and informal relationships between people and institutions. This interpretation builds on the well-known sociological concept of ‘embeddedness’ of Granovetter (1985), Giddens (1991) and Boden (1994). To Boden, society and its structures are the result of many local interactions. At the heart of these interactions is the development of a common language that structures individuals’ understanding and forces them to adopt a particular way of understanding. Such languages can be heavily localised as well as being specific to a particular industry....

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