University of Birmingham

Services and Enterprise Research Unit (SERU)

  • The Department of Strategy and International Business
    B15 2TT Birmingham,
    United Kingdom

Guide Fields

The Services and Enterprise Research Unit (SERU) is at the forefront of cutting edge innovative research into the industries, occupations and activities associated with services and enter-prise. Since the establishment of services research in 1993 at the University of Birmingham, under the guise of the Service Sector Research Unit, SERU has played a leading international role in setting the research and policy agenda in the world of services and enterprise. SERU has an established international reputation for:
  • Exploring the contribution made by service activities to regional, national and interna-tional economic and enterprise development.
  • Advancing knowledge and understanding of the role played by services industries and enterprise functions in shaping new economic geographies.
  • Raising awareness of the wider implications for society of the move to service dominated economies.
SERU undertakes:
  • Blue-skies agenda setting research that informs academic and policy debate
  • Evaluation studies of existing private and public sector policies (e.g. Professional Services in the West Midlands, a study prepared by SERU on behalf of Advantage West Midlands and Birmingham Forward); A sub-sectoral and sub-regional analysis of the skills needs of business and professional service (BPS) firms in the West Midlands, funded by the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the European Social Fund.
  • Mapping exercises and exploratory studies for a range of private and public sector clients.
  • Consultancy on all aspects of service and enterprise work, activities and functions.
  • Organisation of Conferences/Workshops
SERU publishes Working Papers on Services and Enterprise (WPSE); Working Papers in Services, Space, Society (WPSSS), and the RESER Working Papers. SERU is part of the Economy and Enterprise research group at the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham. A number of graduate students are engaged in PhD research associated with SERU staff, including:
  • Lindsey Appleyard: Overcoming Financial Exclusion: Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs) and the Balancing of Financial and Social Objectives.
  • Stephen Williams: ICT, Business and Professional Services and Sustainable Communities.
  • Ahoefa Hales Gnatte: Investigating Factors affecting Female Entrepreneurship in Dakar, Senegal.

Publications and references

    View references in 2007
    • J R Bryson and P W Daniels (eds) The Service Industries Handbook, Cheltenham: Ed-ward Elgar (in press), 2007
    • P W Daniels and J W Harrington (eds) Perspectives of Services and Development in the Asia-Pacific. Aldershot: Ashgate (in press) 2007
    • Ian Cook & Mike Crang (2007) Doing ethnographies. London: Sage.
    • Ian Cook, Michelle Harrison, et al. (in press 2007) Follow the thing: West Indian hot pepper sauces. Space and culture (special issue on Food Mobilities).
    • RESER & SERU Working Paper 1: Bryson, J.R. (2007) A ‘Second’ Global Shift? The Offshoring or Global Sourcing of Corporate Services
    • RESER & SERU Working Paper 2: Rubalcaba, L. (2007) Business Services in the Global Economy: New Evidence from a European Perspective
    • P W Daniels Knowledge brokers, advanced producer services and the city, in S Visscher (ed.) Services Intermediaries in Asia. London: RoutledgeCurzon 2007
    View references in 2006
    • J W Harrington and P W Daniels (eds) Knowledge-based Services, Internationalization and Regional Development. Aldershot: Ashgate. 2006
    • J R Bryson and P W Daniels Business and professional services in the Birmingham city-region: shifting the horizon beyond global cities, in L Rubalcaba, H Kok and P Baker (eds.) Business Services in the European Economy: New Evidence and Challeng-es. Cheltenham: Elgar 2006
    • P W Daniels On services and economic geography, in H Lawton-Smith and S Bagchi-Sen (eds.) Economic Geography: Past, Present, Future. New York: Routledge, 112-124 2006.
    • Ian Cook et al. (2006) Geographies of food: following. Progress in human geography 30(5), 655-666
    • Ian Cook, Michelle Harrison & Charlotte Lacey (2006) The power of shopping. In Richard Wilson (ed) Post party politics. London: Involve, 42-6.
    • Ian Cook, Michelle Harrison & Charlotte Lacey (2006) The power of shopping. In Richard Wilson (ed) Post party politics. London: Involve, 42-6.
    • Gwynne, R N (2006) ‘Governance and the wine commodity chain: upstream and down-stream strategies in New Zealand and Chilean wine firms’. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 47, 3, pp. 381-395.
    • Gwynne, R N (2006) ‘Export-orientation and enterprise development: a comparison of New Zealand and Chilean wine production’. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 97, 2, pp. 138-156.
    • WPSSS21 Business and Professional Services in the Birmingham City Region: Shifting the horizon beyond global cities (Prof John Bryson & Prof P W Daniels, The University of Birmingham), July 2006, pp 19, 3 tables, references, ISBN 07044 25769
    View references in 2005
    • P W Daniels, T A Hutton and K C Ho (eds) Services and Cities in the Asia Pacific: De-velopment Trajectories, London: Routledge 2005
    • WPSSS20 Production and transfer of management knowledge to business corporations and public administration, theoretical discussion and empirical evidence from Norway (Peter Sjoholt, Norwegian School of Economics), October 2005, pp 35, references, ISBN 0 7044 25254
    • WPSSS19 Development of the Third Form of the Car-making Producers Service Indus-try in Shanghai, China and its Locational Factors (Yufang Shen, Prof & Dr, East China Normal University), August 2005, pp 28, 4 tables, 2 figures, references, ISBN 07044 25211
    • WPSSS18 Urban Revival and Knowledge-Intensive Services: The case of the English ‘Core Cities’ (Peter Wood, University College London), July 2005, pp 40, 9 tables, 2 figures, references, ISBN 07044 2522X
    • WPSSS17 Advanced Services and Regional Integration: The case of the CEECs (Lise Bourdeau-LePage, Université de Bourgogne, France), June 2005, pp26, 7 tables, refer-ences, ISBN 07044 25173
    • WPSSS16 Embodied knowledge flows and services: an analysis for six European coun-tries (Jose Camacho & Mercedes Rodriguez, University of Granada & Central, Spain), February 2005, pp 24, 4 tables, references, ISBN 07044 25076
    View references in 2004
    • J R Bryson, P W Daniels and B Warf Service Worlds: People, Organisations, Technol-ogies, London: Routledge 2004
    • Ian Cook et al. (2004) Follow the thing: papaya. Antipode 36(4), 642-664.
    • Ian Cook, Philip Crang & Mark Thorpe (2004) “Tropics of consumption: getting with the fetish of ‘exotic’ fruit?” p. 173-192 in Alex Hughes & Suzanne Reimer (eds) Geog-raphies of Commodities. London: Routledge.
    • Ian Cook et al. (2004) “Trade” in Stephan Harrison, Steve Pile & Nigel Thrift (eds) Pat-terned Ground: Ecologies of Culture & Nature. London: Reaktion.
    • Gwynne, R N (2004) ‘Clusters and Commodity Chains: Firm Responses to Neoliberal-ism in Latin America’. Latin American Research Review, 39, 3, pp.243-255.
    View references in 2003
    • Ian Cook & Michelle Harrison (2003) Cross over food: re-materialising postcolonial geographies. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 28(3), 296-317.
    • Ian Cook & Philip Crang (2003) The world on a plate: culinary culture, displacement and geographical knowledges. in David Clarke, Marcus Doel and Kate Housiaux (eds) The Consumption Reader. London: Routledge.
    • ‘Transnational capitalism and local development’. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 94, 3, 2003, pp.310-321.
    View references in 2002
    • Ian Cook et al. (2002) Commodities: the DNA of capitalism. ) Ian Cook, Philip Crang & Mark Thorpe (2000) ‘Have you got the customer’s permis-sion?’ Category management and circuits of knowledge in the UK food business. p.242-260 in John Bryson, Peter Daniels, Nick Henry & Jane Pollard (eds.) Knowledge, Space, Economy. London: Routledge.
    • Taylor, M. and Leonard, S. (eds) (2002 in press) Embedded Enterprise and Social Capital: International Comparisons, Ashgate, Aldershot.
    • Taylor, M. (2002), ‘Enterprise, embeddedness and exclusion: business relationships in a small island developing economy (accepted for publication).
    • P W Daniels and J R Bryson “Manufacturing services or servicing manufacturing?: new forms of production in advanced capitalist economies”, Urban Studies, 39, 977-991 2002
    View references in 2001
    • P W Daniels EU services trade, with particular reference to business and professional services, in Cuadrado;Roura, J R, Rubalcaba-Bermejo, L, and Bryson, J R (eds) Trading Services in the Global Economy. Cheltenham, Elgar , 111-133, 2001
    • K O’Connor and P W Daniels “The geography of international trade in services: Australia and the APEC region”, Environment and Planning A, 33, 281-296 2001
    • Bryson, J.R. (2001) ‘Report on European Services Research’ , Service Industries Journal, vol 21: 1: 227-240
    • Wellington, C.A. and Bryson, J.R. (2001) ‘At Face Value? Image Consultancy, Emotional Labour and Professional Work’, Sociology, 35:4: 933-946
    • Felsenstein, D. and Taylor, M. (eds) (2001) Promoting Local Growth: Process, Practice and Policy, Ashgate, Aldershot.
    • • Taylor, M.J. and Asheim, B.T. (2001), ‘The concept of the firm in economic geography’, Economic Geography, 77 (4), 315-328.
    • Plummer, P. and Taylor, M. (2001) ‘Theories of Local economic Growth: 1. Concepts, Models and Measurement’, Environment and Planning A, 33,219-236.
    • Plummer, P. and Taylor, M. (2001) ‘Theories of Local economic Growth: 2. Model Specification and Empirical Verification, Environment and Planning A, 33, 385-398.
    View references in 2000
    • J R Bryson, N D Henry ,J S Pollard and P W Daniels (eds) Knowledge, Space, Economy, London: Routledge 2000
    • P W Daniels Globalisation, producer services and the city: is Asia a special case? in Stern, R M (ed) Services in the International Economy. 213-230, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press 2000
    • P W Daniels “Export of services or services exports?” Geografiska Annaler, 82B, 1-15 2000
    • Vatne, E. and Taylor, M. (eds) (2000) The Networked Firm in a Global World, Ashgate, Aldershot.
    • Taylor, M. (2000) ‘The dynamics of Australian regional policy: lessons for Europe?’, Federal and Regional Studies, 10 (2), Summer, 107-125.
    • Taylor, M. and Hallsworth, A. (2000) ‘Power relations and market transformation in the transport sector: the example of the courier services industry’, Journal of Transport Ge-ography, 8, 237-247.
    View references in 1999 and older
    • P W Daniels Service Industries in the World Economy, IBG Studies in Geography, Ox-ford: Blackwell 1993
    • P W Daniels, S Illeris, J Bonamy and J Philippe (eds) The Geography of Services, Lon-don: Cass 1993 (Also published as a Special Issue of The Service Industries Journal, 13, 161-330 1993)
    • J R Bryson and P W Daniels (eds.) Service Industries in the Global Economy: Vol 1: Service Theories and Service Employment; Vol 2: Services, Globalization and Economic Development. pp 1746, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar 1998
    • P W Daniels “Advanced producer services in the United Kingdom” in F. Mouelart (ed.) Advanced Producer Services in Western Europe. Progress in Geography 1995
    • P W Daniels “Advertising services in an era of open international markets”, in Aharoni, Y (ed.) Changing Roles of State Intervention in Services in an Era of Open International Markets. 103-129, Albany: State University of New York Press 1997
    • P W Daniels “Overseas investment by US service enterprises”, in Taylor, P and Slater, D (eds.) The American Century. 67-83, London: Sage 1999.
    • P W Daniels and J R Bryson “Business Link, strong ties and the walls of silence”, Envi-ronment and Planning C, 16, 265-280 1998
    • P W Daniels “Producer services and the Asia-Pacific Region in a global context”, Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 39, 145-159 1998
    • Bryson, J.R., Keeble, D and Wood, P (1993b) ‘Business networks, small firm flexibility and regional development in UK business services’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 5, 265-277
    • Wood, P.A., Bryson, J.R. and Keeble, D. (1993) ‘Regional patterns of small firms development in the business services: evidence from the United Kingdom’, Environment and Planning A, 25: 677-700
    • Keeble, D. Bryson, J.R.(1996) Small firm creation and growth, regional development and the north-south divide in Britain’, Environment and Planning A., 28: 909-934
    • Bryson, J.R. (1996) ‘Small business service firms and the 1990s recession in the United Kingdom: Implications for local economic development’, Local Economy Journal, 11, pp. 221-236
    • Bryson, J.R.(1997)‘Business Service Firms, Service Space and the Management of Change’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, vol. 9, pp. 93-111
    • Bryson, J.R., Keeble, D. and Wood, P (1997) ‘The creation and growth of small business service firms in post-industrial Britain’, Small Business Economics, vol. 9, 4, 345-360
    • Bryson, J.R. and Daniels, P.W. (1998) ‘Business Link, strong ties and the walls of silence: small and medium-sized enterprises and external business service expertise’, Environment and Planning C : Government and Policy, vol 16: 265-280
    • Bryson, J.R., Daniels, P.W. and Ingram, D.R. (1999) ‘Evaluating the Impact of Busi-ness Link on the Performance and Profitability of SMEs in the United Kingdom’, Policy Studies, Vol 20, 2: 95-105
    • Ian Cooke and Philip Crang (1996) ‘The world on a plate: culinary culture, displacement and geographical knowledges’, Journal of Material Culture 1(2), p.131-153.
    • Taylor, M. and Conti, S. (eds) (1997) Interdependent and Uneven Development: Global-Local Perspectives, Ashgate, Aldershot.
    • Taylor, M. (ed) (1995) Environmental Change: Enterprise, Power and Policy, Avebury, Aldershot
    • Taylor, M. (1999) ‘The small firm as a temporary coalition’, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, 11, 1-19.
    • Hallsworth, A. and Taylor, M. (1999), ‘The transport sector and protected postal services: regulating the activities of Purolator Courier Services in Canada’, Transport Policy, 6, 159-168.
    • Taylor, M. (1996) ‘Industrialisation, enterprise power and environmental change: an exploration of concepts’, Environment and Planning A, 28, 1035-51.
    • Hallsworth, A. and Taylor, M. (1996) ‘Buying Power’: interpreting retail change in a circuits of power framework’, Environment and Planning A, 28, 2125-37.
    • Taylor, M. (1996) ‘Agriculture in recession: the regional financial performance of Australian broadacre livestock farming’, New Zealand Geographer, 52(2), 46-55.
    • Ekinsmyth, C., Hallsworth, A., Leonard, S. and Taylor, M. (1995) ‘Stability and instability: the uncertainty of economic geography’, Area, 27(4), 289-99.
    • Taylor, M. (1995) ‘International protectionism and regional dimensions of changing farm financial performance in Australian broadacre cropping’, Progress in Rural Policy and Planning, 5, 201-23.