Promoting the global economy: The uneven development of the location consulting industry

Nicholas A. Phelps, Andrew Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper, we examine the location consulting industry as a set of intermediaries that promote globalization when brokering between a demand for suitable sites for direct investment projects emanating from multinational enterprises and the supply of locations produced by host country governments. We outline three themes composing a research agenda: the nature of the knowledge mobilized by these intermediaries and its implications for the organization of the industry; the role of intermediaries as a neglected aspect of coupling within global production networks, and; the globally uneven contribution of intermediaries in different national political economies. We illustrate these themes empirically drawing on original interview research with location consultants and related companies based in Europe. In conclusion, we note how these intermediaries associated with ‘old’ economic geographical knowledge nevertheless continue to evolve practice in ways that shape the global distribution of investment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1336-1354
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2017.


  • Location consultants
  • intermediaries
  • investment promotion
  • knowledge of place
  • uneven development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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