Team Members

  • Professor Peter W. Daniels, Dr, SERU (Services and Enterprise Research Unit)
  • Professor John R. Bryson,(SIJ Editor)
  • Dr. Ian J. Cook
  • Dr. Robert N. Gwynne
  • Professor Micheal J Taylor (Co-Director, SERU)

Honorary Research Fellows

  • Michelle Harrison, The Henley Centre, London
  • Dr. Cristobal Kay, Institute for Development Studies, The Hague
  • Bert Nicholson, Bert Nicholson Associates, Inverness
  • Dr. Greta Rusten, Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration (SNF), Bergen

Guide Fields

Peter Daniels, Peter Wood and Sven Illeris

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 enterprise. 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 international 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.

Selected References

John Bryson
  • P W Daniels Service Industries in the World Economy, IBG Studies in Geography, Oxford: Blackwell 1993
  • P W Daniels, S Illeris, J Bonamy and J Philippe (eds) The Geography of Services, London: 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
  • J R Bryson, N D Henry ,J S Pollard and P W Daniels (eds) Knowledge, Space, Economy, London: Routledge 2000
  • J R Bryson, P W Daniels and B Warf Service Worlds: People, Organisations, Technologies, London: Routledge 2004
  • P W Daniels, T A Hutton and K C Ho (eds) Services and Cities in the Asia Pacific: Development Trajectories, London: Routledge 2005
  • 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 (eds) The Service Industries Handbook, Cheltenham: Edward 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
  • 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 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 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
  • 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 Challenges. Cheltenham: Elgar (in press) 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.
  • P W Daniels Knowledge brokers, advanced producer services and the city, in S Visscher (ed.) Services Intermediaries in Asia. London: RoutledgeCurzon (in press) 2007
  • P W Daniels and J R Bryson "Business Link, strong ties and the walls of silence", Environment 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
  • P W Daniels “Export of services or services exports?” Geografiska Annaler, 82B, 1-15 2000
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Business Link on the Performance and Profitability of SMEs in the United Kingdom', Policy Studies, Vol 20, 2: 95-105
  • 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
  • Ian Cook & Mike Crang (in press 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).
  • 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 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) Geographies of Commodities. London: Routledge.
  • Ian Cook et al. (2004) "Trade" in Stephan Harrison, Steve Pile & Nigel Thrift (eds) Patterned Ground: Ecologies of Culture & Nature. London: Reaktion.
  • 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.
  • Ian Cook et al. (2002) Commodities: the DNA of capitalism. ) Ian Cook, Philip Crang & Mark Thorpe (2000) 'Have you got the customer's permission?' 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.
  • 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.
  • Gwynne, R N (2006) ‘Governance and the wine commodity chain: upstream and downstream 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.
  • Gwynne, R N (2004) ‘Clusters and Commodity Chains: Firm Responses to Neoliberalism in Latin America’. Latin American Research Review, 39, 3, pp.243-255.
  • ‘Transnational capitalism and local development’. Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 94, 3, 2003, pp.310-321.
  • Taylor, M. and Leonard, S. (eds) (2002 in press) Embedded Enterprise and Social Capital: International Comparisons, Ashgate, Aldershot.
  • Felsenstein, D. and Taylor, M. (eds) (2001) Promoting Local Growth: Process, Practice and Policy, Ashgate, Aldershot.
  • Vatne, E. and Taylor, M. (eds) (2000) The Networked Firm in a Global World, Ashgate, Aldershot.
  • 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. (2002), 'Enterprise, embeddedness and exclusion: business relationships in a small island developing economy (accepted for publication).
  • 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.
  • 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 Geography, 8, 237-247.
  • 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.

Working Paper Series

The Working Papers on Services, Society, Space (WPSSS) (formerly Working Papers on Producer Services) have been available since 1988, in which time more than 50 working papers have been published. The series specialises in services research (producer and consumer services) for any locale or spatial scale, and in economic geography research on the West Midlands of the United Kingdom.

The series is designed to distribute quality drafts prior to journal or edited volume submission for broad comment, and for the faster dissemination of in-press articles, to overcome the lags in academic publication times. To assist in this, from 2003 onwards submissions will be available in Adobe PDF format for download, and authors may update their working paper as it progresses through the publication process.

The editors of the series welcome quality submissions from any institution on any service-related topic (on the UK or elsewhere) on a non-exclusive basis, since it is expected that submissions will subsequently be published elsewhere. Since each working paper has its own ISBN number it counts as a publication in its own right, and should be appropriately acknowledged and referenced.

Please send a submission as an attachment to: Professor Peter Daniels.

SERU also jointly publishes a new Working Paper series with the European Network on Services and Space (RESER):

  • 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

Latest titles in the WPSSS series

  • 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, £5.50 incl p&p
  • 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, £5.50 incl p&p
  • WPSSS19 Development of the Third Form of the Car-making Producers Service Industry 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, £5.50 incl p&p
  • 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, £5.50 incl p&p
  • WPSSS17 Advanced Services and Regional Integration: The case of the CEECs (Lise Bourdeau-LePage, Université de Bourgogne, France), June 2005, pp26, 7 tables, references, ISBN 07044 25173, £5.50 incl p&p
  • WPSSS16 Embodied knowledge flows and services: an analysis for six European countries (Jose Camacho & Mercedes Rodriguez, University of Granada & Central, Spain), February 2005, pp 24, 4 tables, references, ISBN 07044 25076, £5.50 incl p&p

More information

To be informed on the Service sector commentary, please visit

To order any of the above working papers or to obtain details of previous titles in series please contact Claire Clarke or Peter W. Daniels.
  • Claire Clarke SERU, School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK T 0121 414 5531
    F 0121 414 5528
  • Peter W. Daniels School of Geography, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom T (44) 121 414 5537
    F (44) 121 414 5528
© RESER 2012-2017
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European Association for Research on Services
Authors: Brigada