Knowledge Intensive Business Services
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Knowledge Intensive Business Services

Organizational Forms and National Institutions

Edited by Marcela Miozzo and Damian Grimshaw

This book focuses on the development of Knowledge Intensive Business Services (KIBS) and the associated market characteristics and organisational forms. It brings together reputed scholars from a mix of disciplines to explore the nature and evolution of a range of Knowledge Intensive Business Services. Through an examination of KIBS sectors such as computer services, management consultancy and R & D services, the contributions in this book argue that the evolution of KIBS is strongly associated with new inter-organizational forms and that different country institutions shape the characteristics of these organisational forms.
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Chapter 6: Institutional Effects on the Market for IT Outsourcing: Analysing Clients, Suppliers and Staff Transfer in Germany and the UK

Damian Grimshaw and Marcela Miozzo


6. Institutional effects on the market for IT outsourcing: analysing clients, suppliers and staff transfer in Germany and the UK Damian Grimshaw and Marcela Miozzo INTRODUCTION This chapter explores the influence of the institutional context on the development of a fast-growing area of knowledge intensive business services (KIBS) – the market for IT outsourcing – in Germany and the UK. KIBS are defined as those industries that have a relatively high skilled workforce and/or are intensive users of high technology (OECD 1999; p. 18). Several studies suggest that KIBS play a valuable role in economies as intermediary inputs (Daniels and Moulaert 1991; EC 1997), although their contribution is strongly influenced by the nature of client–supplier relations (Miles 2003; Tomlinson 2001). Nevertheless, few comparative studies have examined the role of institutional processes in shaping KIBS sectors and there has been very little attention to how these processes impact upon both supplier and client organizations. Investigation of institutional processes extends the results of existing literature in three potential ways. First, comparative analysis of IT outsourcing in Germany and the UK illuminates the interplay between heterogeneous institutional processes that impact upon IT outsourcing and the pressures for convergence exercised by powerful computer services firms. The ‘varieties of capitalism’ literature demonstrates that economic behaviour is embedded in institutions, guided by shared values and subject to path-dependent change (Hall and Soskice 2001), and that differences in organizational performance result in part from countryspecific institutional effects (Lehrer and Darbishire 1997;...

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