Usługi biznesowe oparte na wiedzy. Wpływ na konkurencyjność gospodarki na przykładzie wybranych krajów Unii Europejskiej
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According to the three-sector model of economic growth, the development of a service economy is envisioned as a result of increasing consumer demand for various services, together with growing GDP per capita. However, technological progress has contributed to the structural transformation of economies based on knowledge, innovation and new technologies, which has been accompanied by increasing demand for services supporting production processes, in particular those related to new technologies and knowledge. As a result the dynamic development of a group of services called ‘knowledge-intensive business services’ (KIBS) can be observed, and they have become the main driving force behind the shift to the new service economy. A review of the literature demonstrates the growing interest in KIBS and their contribution to productivity growth and innovativeness. However, the research to date has explored these issues in a fragmented way, i.e. they have focused either on their impact on productivity or innovation performance, and in addition the ones referring to innovation are all based on micro data (for a given branch or group of branches, usually in one country). The present paper fills this gap, because it is the first comprehensive examination of the impact of KIBS on the competitiveness of different sectors that use these services in their business processes and on the competitiveness of the entire economy resulting from their impact on productivity and innovation. Due to the variety of definitions of KIBS used in the previous studies, this paper compares the impact resulting from KIBS usage in reference to both the broad and narrow definitions of KIBS thereof. The research also examines the relation between the intensity of KIBS usage within a domestic economy and the international competitiveness of its KIBS sector. It is also the first work in this field relating to the Polish economy, and the first one to compare the importance of KIBS for the development of the service economy, as well as the contribution of KIBS to the competitiveness of two groups of the EU countries which are at different levels of economic development: (1) Finland, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland – countries regarded as among the most competitive or most advanced in the development of a service economy in the EU; and (2) Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia – the Visegrad countries, which have undergone a similar path of transformation and integration with the EU. Studies conducted in the paper are based on data for each country coming from the same source (WIOD database, OECD STAN Database, WTO database, Eurostat Database), which ensures their comparability between countries. All studies are preceded by detailed theoretical foundations.
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