Today we realized that our (i.e. Sverre J. Herstad‘s and my) paper “On the link between urban location and the involvement of knowledge intensive business services firms in collaboration networks” is published by Regional Studies. Find the paper here.
The empirical analysis of the paper utilizes unique Norwegian establishment-level innovation data to investigate whether location in urban labour market regions influences the geographical scope of collaborative linkages maintained within and outside the realm of clients. Hence, the paper investigates whether the resources available to KIBS in urban locations influence the scope and breadth of their collaborative involvement. In doing so, it also analyzes the role played by services in linking localized collaboration networks to global knowledge flows, and in contributing to knowledge diffusion across institutional and sectoral divides. The provision of advanced business services is fundamentally a process of knowledge coproduction with clients. Consequently, the geographical scope of client collaboration is closely linked to the geographical scope of market presence, and to the overall emphasis put on innovation by the individual firm. Resources available to KIBS in urban regions may make it easier for them to identify and pursue extra-regional market opportunities, as suggested in the theoretical discussion, but these effects are overshadowed by the stronger external market dependence of KIBS outside these regions.
Partnerships that extend beyond the realm of clients are also closely associated with firm-specific investments in innovation. However, compared to demand side relationships, they are much more selective and subjected to stronger partner search, opportunity cost and human resource constraints. These constraints are mediated by competences and contact points to informal networks provided by individual experts, or those accessed through pre-existing collaborative ties. The result is significantly stronger non-client involvement amongst KIBS in those capital region locations which offer the greatest direct access to human resources and the most diverse local partner base.
[The image shows a suburb in the Oslo capital region – (C) BE]