The Creation and Growth of Small Business Service Firms in Post-industrial Britain
Since 1980, the United Kingdom has experienced a dramatic growth in firms and employment in information-intensive business services, such as management consultancy and market research. This article reports the results of the first substantial nation-wide investigation into the nature and causes of small professional business service firm growth in Britain, undertaken in 1991. It reveals marked differences in the characteristics, markets and competitive requirements of such firms, compared with small manufacturing firms. The demand for their services comes predominantly from large companies, and is more focused on financial and other services and government. But small firms are also making increasing use of business services. Specialised expertise, reputation and educational and professional qualifications are essential prerequisites for the establishment of new business service firms. Their success is also being enhanced by increasing use of informal networking, collaborative partnerships, and subcontracting. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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