Organizational Forms and National Institutions
Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Damian Grimshaw
Chapter 1: Knowledge Intensive Business Services: Understanding Organizational Forms and the Role of Country Institutions
Damian Grimshaw and Marcela Miozzo INTRODUCTION Since the 1980s, OECD economies have become tertiary economies. Services account for more than 70 per cent of value-added and employment in OECD economies (OECD 2005), and, in most economies, services production growth far outstripped that of manufacturing during the 1990s (OECD 2003).1 But it is the growth of a particular segment of the services sector – knowledge intensive business services – which has captured the attention of the media, the research community and policy-makers (EC 1998, 2003; Miles 2003; OECD 1999; Peneder et al. 2003). These services involve the intensive use of high technologies, specialized skills and professional knowledge. Knowledge intensive business services (hereafter labelled as KIBS) are considered important because they represent an important source of job growth and value-added. Moreover, they act as potentially valuable intermediate inputs across a range of sectors of economic activity and thus directly shape the competitiveness and performance of manufacturing and service ﬁrms, as well as organizations administered by local and central government. Responding to claims that these services play a special role as drivers of economic growth, this book brings together scholars from a mix of disciplines to explore the nature and evolution of a range of KIBS – including computer services, management consultancy, R&D services and express delivery services. As the chapters in this book document, KIBS share particular characteristics that to some extent distinguish them from the ‘old’ service economy. Like consumer services, they involve hard-to-measure, intangible activities (such as the provision of management...
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