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REGIONAL AND FIRM COMPETITIVENESS IN THE SERVICE-BASED ECONOMY: COMBINING ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY AND INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS THEORY

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ABSTRACT

This paper argues the case for combining international business theory and economic geography theory in order to understand the new rules of competition for both multinational corporations (MNCs) and regions in the globalising knowledge-based economy. Sweden serves as a case study to illustrate the shifts of sectors and people skills that have paved the way for the transformation of the Swedish economy that has occurred over the last 15 years. Combining international business theory with that of economic geography produces the possibility of developing a conceptual framework for explaining the new dynamics and interaction that are occurring between people-place-firm. The enhanced importance of people and place, shifting pace, complex networks of production, and new balances of power together lead to changing practices and strategic implications for both MNCs and regions competing in the globalising knowledge-based economy.

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