TBS Professor leads the research on Territorial Servitization

Yancy Vaillant, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at TBS Barcelona, took part as a guest editor in the special edition on Territorial Servitization of the Regional Studies Association academic journal, together with two other researchers (E. Lafuente and F. Vendrell).

Territorial Servitization is a term that the three experts coined to refer to the exchange of knowledge that takes place in a region when manufacturing companies collaborate with companies specialized in knowledge services (the so-called ‘KIBS’: Knowledge-Intensive Business Services).

‘Servitize’ or die

“Today,” Vaillant explains, “if a manufacturing company wants to be competitive, it must complement its product with services. This added service can be a warranty, training, maintenance… For example, in the automotive sector a practice that is gaining popularity is ‘leasing’, in which the user only pays for the use (in kilometres), while the company takes care of the maintenance of the car and replaces it with the newest model every year.

Territorial servitization

“We have found a correlation between the resurgence of European manufacturing regions that were in decline and the presence of KIBS,” says Vaillant. “These are usually start-ups or small companies that are specialized in knowledge services such as computer companies or design agencies, for example.”

It is a concept that comes from “applying the concept of servitization to territories, regions. When verifying that territories could function in the same way as these large multinationals, we coined the term ‘Territorial Servitization’ “, says the TBS professor.

“The presence of manufacturers in a region organically attracts KIBS,” says Vaillant. “In turn, the KIBS attract new manufacturers, creating a virtuous cycle that reactivates the economy. In addition, the KIBS are able to absorb the specific knowledge they obtain from each manufacturing sector and expand it to other sectors, thus facilitating the progress of the entire region.”

A guide to a concept born in TBS

Yancy Vaillant, is the co-creator of an increasingly popular concept: ‘Territorial Servitization’ adds more than 130 references in academic publications in just 18 months. The current challenge is to bring the theoretical concepts into practice: “We have developed the theory about Territorial Servitization based on observations in regions of Spain, Sweden, Hungary, England … But now we need regions where we can put our knowledge into practice”, concludes Vaillant.

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