Faulconbridge, James and Beaverstock, Jonathan and Derrudder, Ben and Witlox, Frank (2009) Corporate ecologies of business travel : working towards a research agenda. European Urban and Regional Studies, 16 (3). pp. 295-308. ISSN 1461-7145
International business travel has always been an important labour process in the accumulation of capital for the firm. It is surprising, therefore, that relatively little time has been devoted to the study of business travel, both as a facet of contemporary mobility and as an economic practice. In this article we review how existing literatures provide insights that can be used to understand the role of business travel as international labour mobility in the contemporary professional service economy. In doing so, we reach the conclusion that there seem to be at least two significant voids preventing a more sophisticated understanding from emerging. First, we suggest that international business travel needs to be studied not in isolation but instead as one component in a wider ecology of mobility which `produces' the global firm. Second, we argue that it is important to know more about the time-space dynamics of international business travel in terms of how spatial relations are produced and reproduced by different forms and geographies of travel. We make these arguments and explore their implications using data collected through interviews in advertising, architecture and legal professional service firms.We conclude by identifying a research agenda designed to allow a better understanding of business travel to emerge in corporate and mobility discourses.
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