Territorial servitization: Exploring the virtuous circle connecting knowledge-intensive services and new manufacturing businesses

Abstract : The mainstream servitization literature mostly describes the success of manufacturing firms in integrating services for their corporate clients. However, the literature is relatively silent on how territories capitalize on the potential interconnectedness between manufacturing firms and the knowledge-intensive business service (KIBS) sector. The analysis of the outcomes that result from the mutually dependent associations between manufacturing businesses and KIBS firms, a process that we call Territorial servitization, is of great relevance for academics and policy makers. This research hypothesizes that there is a positive symbiotic and bidirectional link between the growth in KIBS activity and employment generation by manufacturing sector start-ups. Furthermore, we scrutinize the mediating role over this relation of relevant industry characteristics, in our case the stock of manufacturing firms and the total number of freights transported. The empirical application considers a unique dataset created from multiple sources—the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), the Spanish Institute of Statistics and Eurostat—for the 17 Spanish regions during the period 2006–2012. The results support the view that territorial servitization contributes to employment creation in manufacturing sectors. Territories with a vigorous manufacturing base benefit from a virtuous circle in which KIBS start-ups and newly formed manufacturers are connected through the economic activity of incumbent manufacturing firms. The study offers valuable insights for scholars and policy makers on how to implement specific policies—e.g., the development of digital infrastructures—that facilitate the interaction between manufacturing and KIBS businesses, thus fuelling territorial development.
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Submitted on : Friday, January 25, 2019 - 3:17:11 PM
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Esteban Lafuente, Yancy Vaillant, Ferran Vendrell-Herrero. Territorial servitization: Exploring the virtuous circle connecting knowledge-intensive services and new manufacturing businesses. International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, 2017, 192, pp.19-28. ⟨hal-01994577⟩

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