The difference that geography makes to the acquisition of service expertise : some evidence from Norway
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- Working papers (SNF) 
This paper begins by identifying the logic driving the evolving geography of business service networks in Norway. The paper explores the ways in which Norwegian SMEs access external knowledge provided by management consultants. The existing literature on business services has been dominated by studies of large economies. Nevertheless, interesting differences can be identified in the relatinship between providers and consumers of knowledge in small economies and especially a country like Norway which has a difficult topography, small and scattered population and an economy not dominated by a global city. The paper draws upon 3 case studies of client firms; two of these case studies are informed by interviews with both the client and the consultant. The paper highlights the importance of three kinds of clients/consultant relationship - local knowledge; dislocated knowledge and clients that are insensitive to distance. The importance of local business culture as well as forms of patriotic purchasing behaviour are identifed as playing an important role in the decision to employ or not employ consultants.