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Managing organizational and geographical complexity : the 'positionality' of advanced producer services in the globalizing economies of metropolitan regions

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

The purpose of this paper is to explore some of the spatial dimensions of service provisioning in the globalizing economies of metropolitan regions. To this end, we draw on an analysis of the economic- and urban-geographical tenets of advanced producer service (APS) procurement based on a survey and semi-structured interviews with managers from automobile companies located in the port of Ghent (Belgium). Our analysis suggests that three dimensions are of prime interest: (i) a functional dimension focusing on APS firms' influence on managerial and/or operational capabilities; (ii) a governance dimension focusing on APS firms' ability to influence wider geographical patterns; and (iii) a concrete spatial dimension focusing on the geography of APS procurement. In this paper, we primarily deal with the spatial dimension. Our analysis suggests that the intra-firm allocation of decision-making power as regards service procurement is a key vatiable when accounting for the urban APS geographies. The relevance of this and other findings are discussed in the context of the study of globalizing (systems of) metropolitan regions.
Journal: Erdkunde
ISSN: 0014-0015
Issue: 1
Volume: 66
Pages: 45 - 55
Publication year:2012