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The key dimensions of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) analysis: a decade of evolution


  • Muller, Emmanuel
  • Doloreux, David


The importance of knowledge and innovation in modern economies justifies the in-creasing interest that scholars are taking in studying knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS). The objective of this paper is to track the evolution of the key dimen-sions on which scholars have based their analyses through a literature review. More specifically, three main issues are addressed: (1) how KIBS are defined in the litera-ture; (2) how KIBS have been investigated empirically by researchers; and (3) how the analysis of KIBS has evolved over time. As a major assumption, the analysis catego-rises the research topic into three key conceptual dimensions: (i) knowledge; (ii) inno-vation and (iii) spatial proximity. The major hypothesis is that the way KIBS are seen, studied and perceived by the research community resolutely changed over time and that this evolution can be tracked by observing modifications in the key dimensions associated with the analysis of KIBS.

Suggested Citation

  • Muller, Emmanuel & Doloreux, David, 2007. "The key dimensions of knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) analysis: a decade of evolution," Working Papers "Firms and Region" U1/2007, Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research (ISI).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fisifr:u12007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stuart, Toby & Sorenson, Olav, 2003. "The geography of opportunity: spatial heterogeneity in founding rates and the performance of biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 229-253, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Valadas Monteiro, 2016. "The role of knowledge-intensive service activities on inducing innovation in co-opetition strategies: lessons from the maritime cluster of the Algarve region," International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 15(1), pages 78-95.
    2. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:14:y:2010:i:01:n:s1363919610002520 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Marina Doroshenko, 2011. "Innovative Potential of the Knowledge-Intensive Services Sector in Russia," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 5(4), pages 50-65.

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    KIBS; Knowledge; Innovation; spatial proximity;


    This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:
    1. Socio-Economics of Innovation


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