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On the significance of geographical proximity for the structure and development of newly founded knowledge-intensive business service firms


  • Stahlecker, Thomas
  • Koschatzky, Knut


A key feature of the knowledge-based economy is a remarkable increase in the number, foundation rates, and employees of knowledge-intensive business service firms (KIBS). KIBS are knowledge-intensive, in the sense that they are founded upon highly specialised knowledge. Based on the assumption that knowledge and knowledge organisation are tied to personal capabilities and information, spatial proximity to knowledge-providers and -users appears to be crucial in the development and growth process of KIBS. The idea that the region affects foundation activities primarily derives from a resource-based view. Different regional environments (e.g. configurations of incubator and intermediate organisations, regional entrepreneurial social infrastructure) and the foundation pattern of KIBS are obviously interrelated. In addition to environmental factors affecting the development or growth of newly founded KIBS, factors related to the entrepreneur of KIBS and to characteristics of the KIBS firms have to be taken into consideration. Based upon a survey with founders of KIBS firms in three German regions, a selection of indicators will be used as determinants for new KIBS growth. Comparing the successful KIBS start-ups with those showing an employment decrease in the relevant time period, it has to be emphasized that KIBS with employment increase co-operate with other firms and institutions on all spatial levels, regardless of the function of the partner firms for the KIBS activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Stahlecker, Thomas & Koschatzky, Knut, 2004. "On the significance of geographical proximity for the structure and development of newly founded knowledge-intensive business service firms," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R2/2004, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisifr:r22004

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Papageorgiou, Yorgo Y & Smith, Terrence R, 1983. "Agglomeration as Local Instability of Spatially Uniform Steady-States," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 1109-1119, July.
    2. Ian Miles, 2003. "Services and the Knowledge-Based Economy," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Service Innovation Organizational Responses to Technological Opportunities & Market Imperatives, chapter 4, pages 81-112 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Veronique A.J.M. Schutjens & Egbert Wever, 2000. "Determinants of new firm success," Papers in Regional Science, Springer;Regional Science Association International, vol. 79(2), pages 135-153.
    4. Almus, Matthias & Egeln, Jürgen & Engel, Dirk, 1999. "Determinanten regionaler Unterschiede in der Gründungshäufigkeit wissensintensiver Dienstleister," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-22, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    5. Santarelli, Enrico & Piergiovanni, Roberta, 1995. "The Determinants of Firm Start-up and Entry in Italian Producer Services," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 221-230, June.
    6. Stahlecker, Thomas & Koch, Andreas, 2004. "On the significance of economic structure and regional innovation systems for the foundation of knowledge-intensive business services," Working Papers "Firms and Region" R1/2004, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
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    Cited by:

    1. Baptista, Rui & Lima, Francisco & Mendonça, Joana, 2011. "Establishment of higher education institutions and new firm entry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 751-760, June.

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    KIBS; Region; Spatial proximity; Growth;


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