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  • 1.
    Herstad, Sverre J.
    et al.
    University Oslo, Norway.
    Solheim, Marte C. W.
    University Stavanger, Norway.
    Engen, Marit
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Service Research Center (from 2013).
    Learning through urban labour pools: Collected worker experiences and innovation in services2019In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 51, no 8, p. 1720-1740, article id UNSP 0308518X19865550Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Knowledge-intensive services firms depend on the skills and networks of employees and tend to cluster in large-city regions. This raises the fundamental question of whether knowledge-intensive services firms 'learn through urban labour pools' in manners that have implications for innovation. To address it, a distinction is in this paper made between 'related variety' and 'unrelated variety' of work-life experiences collected by employees and combined in firms. The empirical analysis uses innovation survey and register data to demonstrate that higher levels of unrelated variety among staff in urban knowledge-intensive services firms inspire innovation activity and increase the probability of innovation success. Outside cities, where knowledge-intensive services firms on average have more specialized knowledge bases, innovation responds negatively to unrelated variety and positively to related variety. As a result, the sign, size and significance of urban-rural dividing lines in innovation propensities depend on whether firms have cultivated the skill profiles that are most conducive to innovation in their locations. Constraints faced specifically by knowledge-intensive services firms outside cities in this respect are identified and implications for policy drawn.

  • 2.
    Martin, Hanna
    et al.
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication (from 2013). Gothenburg University.
    Martin, Roman
    Gothenburg University.
    Zukauskaite, Elena
    Halmstad University.
    The multiple roles of demand in new regional industrial path development: A conceptual analysis2019In: Environment and planning A, ISSN 0308-518X, E-ISSN 1472-3409, Vol. 51, no 8, p. 1741-1757, article id UNSP 0308518X19863438Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper contributes to the literature on new regional industrial path development by highlighting the multiple roles that demand can play in regional development. We develop a conceptual framework relating different roles of demand to different types of new path development. Based on the literature on regional development, we differentiate between the role of demand as anonymous consumer, sophisticated buyer, active co-developer, public procurer and norm and value setter. These roles influence different types of new path development, including path extension, path upgrading, path importation, path diversification and path creation. New path development can be triggered by changing norms and values in the society (e.g. environmental concerns and the growing demand for cleaner technologies), public procurement for innovation (governments demand new products or services and thereby steer economic development) or by users modifying existing products or developing novel solutions that are not yet on the market (e.g. user innovations). The various roles of demand, as well as its effect on new regional industrial path development, depend on the geographical context. We argue that taking a nuanced view towards demand will add a novel dimension to the debate on new path development in regions.

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