Given the growth in the importance of service sectors, increasing numbers of researchers and policymakers have taken a fresh look at service activities. This includes questioning received wisdom about the innovative capacity of these firms and sectors. The changes that have taken place in some services have made it evident that preconceptions about the sector as supplier-driven and relatively slow in the uptake of innovation are no longer valid - if they ever were. Of particular interest to the study of innovation systems are Knowledge-Intensive Business Services (KIBS). KIBS are among the most rapidly growing sub-sectors of the service economy. These exemplify the general process of knowledge-intensification in industrialised economies, and play, we argue, an important role in innovation processes across the economy. Their growth reflects increased demands for certain types of knowledge in the economy, together with trends in the division of labour which lead to specialised services emerging and playing prominent roles in knowledge accumulation and transfer.
From Book (Kluwer Academic Publishers), published on 01-12-1999