Knowledge Intensive Business Services

I began working on KIBS many years ago with William Coffey, when they were referred to as High-order business (or producer) services. Since then my work has looked not only at the location of KIBS, but at the way they are used by manufacturers, at innovation in KIBS, and at how KIBS can play the roles of both innovators and KIBS users (yes, KIBS can be the clients of other KIBS).

My most recent research on this topic (under review) begins to question what is meant by ‘knowledge’. The argument is that KIBS seem to be located in cities because the definition of knowledge implied by the term is ‘knowledge relevant to urban industries and elites’. If we look at ‘knowledge relevant to wine-growers’ (for example) then the location of KIBS is no longer so clearly urban-centered.

Key publications on the topic

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2021, The geography of knowledge revisited: geographies of KIBS use by a new rural industry, Regional Studies,

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2019, KIBS as Both Innovators and Knowledge Intermediaries in the Innovation Process: Intermediation as a Contingent Role, Papers in Regional Science, DOI:10.1111/pirs.12354

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2015, KIBS use and innovation: high-order services, geographic hierarchies and internet use in Quebec’s manufacturing sector, Regional Studies, 49.10, 1654-71

Shearmur, R., 2012, The geography of intra-metropolitan KIBS innovation: distinguishing agglomeration economies from innovation dynamics, Urban Studies, 49.11, 2331-56 , doi: 10.1177/0042098011431281

Shearmur, R., and D.Doloreux, 2009, Place, Space and Distance: Towards a Geography of Knowledge Intensive Business Services Innovation, Industry and Innovation, 16.1, 79-102

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2008, Urban Hierarchy or Local Milieu? High-order Producer Service and (or) Knowledge-intensive Business Service Location in Canada, 1991-2001, Professional Geographer, 60.3, 333-355

Shearmur.R. and C.Alvergne, 2002, ‘Intra-metropolitan Patterns of High-order Business Service Location: a Comparative Study of Seventeen Sectors in Ile-de-France‘, Urban Studies, 39.7, 1143-116

Other papers on KIBS

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and A.van Asche, 2019, Combined innovation and export strategies of KIBS in different regional settings, Industry & Innovation,

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and M.Rodriguez, 2018, Internal R&D and External Information in Knowledge-Intensive Business Service Innovation: Complementary, Substitutable or Independent?, Technological and Economic Development of Economy,

Rodriguez, M.*, Doloreux, D., and R.Shearmur, 2017, Variety in external knowledge sourcing and innovation novelty: Evidence from the KIBS sector in Spain, Technovation,

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2016, Does the geographic distribution of KIBS affect the use of services for innovation? Empirical evidence from Quebec, in Ferreira, J., M.Raposo, C.Fernandes and M.Desjardin (eds), Knowledge Intensive Business Services and Regional Competitiveness, London: Routledge, 99-125

Doloreux, D., R.Shearmur and M.Rodriguez, 2016, Determinants of R&D in knowledge-intensive business services firms, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 25.4, 391-405

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2015, Central places or networks? Paradigms, metaphors, and spatial configurations of innovation-related service use, Environment and Planning A, 47, 1521-39

Rodriguez, M., D.Doloreux and R.Shearmur, 2015, Innovation strategies, innovator types and openness: A study of KIBS firms in Spain, Service Business, DOI 10.1007/s11628-015-0286-x

Shearmur, R., D.Doloreux and A.Lapierre, 2015, Is the degree of Internationalisation Associated with the use of Knowledge Intensive Services or with Innovation? International Business Review, 24.3, 457-465

Plassard, M. and R.Shearmur, 2014, SFIC et innovation : Les dynamiques géographiques de l’innovation à Québec, Canadian Geographer, 58.2, 244-262

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur 2013, Innovation Strategies: Are Knowledge Intensive Business Services Just Another Source of Information? Industry and Innovation, 20.8, 719-738

Shearmur, R. and D.Doloreux, 2013, Innovation and KIBS: The Contribution of KIBS to Innovation in Manufacturing Establishments, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 22:8, 751-774, DOI:10.1080/10438599.2013.786581

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2012, How much does KIBS Contribute to R&D Activities of Manufacturing Firms?, Economia Politica, 29.3, 319-42

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2012, Collaboration, Information and the Geography of Innovation in Knowledge Intensive Business Services, Journal of Economic Geography, 12.1, 79-105

Doloreux, D. M.Freel and R.Shearmur, 2010 (eds), Knowledge Intensive Business Services : Geography and Innovation, Farnham (UK) : Ashgate

Shearmur, R., 2010, Scale, Distance and Embeddedness : Knowledge Intensive Business Service Location and Growth in Canada, in Doloreux, D. M.Freel et R.Shearmur, 2010 (eds), Knowledge Intensive Business Services : Geography and Innovation, Farnham (UK) : Ashgate, 43-74

Doloreux, D. and R.Shearmur, 2010, Exploring and comparing innovation patterns across
different knowledge business services
, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 19.7, 605-625

Polèse, M. and R.Shearmur, 2004, ‘Culture, Language and the Location of High-Order Service Functions: the Case of Montreal and Toronto’, Economic Geography, 80.4, 329-350

Coffey.W. and R.Shearmur, 2002, ‘Agglomeration and Dispersion of High-Order Service Employment in the Montreal Metropolitan Region, 1981-1996‘, Urban Studies, 39.3, 359-378

Shearmur.R, 2001, ‘Financial Flows and Places: the Case of Montreal‘, Canadian Public Policy, 27.2, 219-233

Coffey.W and R.Shearmur, 1997, ‘The Growth and Location of High Order Services in the Canadian Urban System, 1971-1991’, The Professional Geographer, 49.4, 404-418

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