Heterogeneity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Edited by Elias G. Carayannis, Aris Kaloudis and Åge Mariussen
Chapter 10: Heterogeneity and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services in the City
10. Heterogeneity and knowledgeintensive business services in the city Heidi Wiig Aslesen INTRODUCTION Western economies are often described as knowledge-driven, based on the production, distribution and use of knowledge and information (OECD, 2001). However, knowledge matures, so learning, creative forgetting, eﬃcient sharing and transfer of new knowledge are vital for economic development and growth in modern economies. The deﬁnition of innovation as interactive learning (Lundvall, 1992) links modern innovation theory with the work of economic geographers, making evident how geographical and institutional organizations create marked diﬀerences in regions’ cultures, institutions and regulations, all factors that aﬀect learning and innovation. Geography matters for innovation and for competitiveness (OECD, 2001). One important aspect of the knowledge-driven learning economy is that economic activity and growth have become more spatially concentrated and increasingly city based (Eurostat, 2002; Cooke, 2002). Large cities are often characterized as creative centres of particular signiﬁcance for innovation and entrepreneurship, and thereby for national economic performance and growth (Acs, 2002; Fischer et al., 2001; Simmie, 2001). With the growing complexity of information and knowledge, and the greater uncertainty of the economic environment, the city is seen as an important source of competitive advantage for organizations operating in a globalized economy (Storper, 1997). The complexity of information and knowledge and the greater uncertainty require an economic environment that has the ability to deal with and promote all knowledgeintensive assets, namely the city. ‘Knowledge Intensive Business Services’ (KIBS) is a fast-growing industrial sector that has a concentrated...
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