46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
Aker Verdal produces steel jackets for the offshore industry and is situated in Trøndelag in peripheral Norway. The firm has about 600 employees and a yearly production value of about 200 mill. $. The main competitors are in the southern part of Europe, for example Dragados in Spain. The wage level at Dragados is about 50% lower than at Aker Verdal, but Aker has won several contracts in the later years. One reason for this is that Aker has a knowledge component that contributes to the compensation for higher wage costs. The firm wants to analyze how it acquires and develops knowledge capital by looking at: · Identification: What are the central knowledge processes that take place · Measurement: What kind of indicators can be used · Management: How is management of knowledge integrated in the general management of the firm In this paper we will look at a case study and see how that can be understood in a theoretical framework. We will also analyze the advantages and disadvantages of peripheral location and its influence on knowledge creation and development.