Knowledge Commodification and New Patterns of Specialisation: Professionals and Experts in Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS)
The knowledge society is characterized by knowledge becoming a kind of commodity that can be traded and priced. Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) are representative for such a knowledge-based economy, since their main input and output factor is directly related to knowledge itself. While research on KIBS has been mainly conducted on the firm and sector level, focusing on their role in innovation processes, little attention has been paid to the knowledge workers within the firms, whose knowledge assets have to be acquired, configured and deployed. Yet these knowledge creation processes on the micro-level are central to understand how KIBS can drive innovation in regional and national economies by contributing to new patterns of knowledge specialisation and the diversification of knowledge markets. Hence this paper seeks to elaborate on the generic processes which underlay knowledge processing and production. It will introduce the influences of different types of knowledge and knowledge bases of KIBS sub-sectors on the processes and structures in which knowledge is produced. Thereby it will reveal that by gaining experience-based expertise in horizontal and vertical knowledge domains of both their knowledge workers and their clients KIBS foster the emergence of composite and combinatorial knowledge driving knowledge specialisation further.
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