Insurance office location in Roanoke, Virginia, 1960-1983

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1985
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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Abstract

Intra-urban office location research has traditionally described office location patterns in large metropolises. Research is needed to determine whether these findings accurately describe locational patterns in average-sized American cities, such as Roanoke, Virginia.

The pattern of insurance office location in Roanoke, Virginia, was examined from 1960 to 1983. It was determined that research in large metropolises accurately described certain trends in Roanoke but inaccurately described others, particularly with regards to office construction and office migration patterns.

Insurance offices in Roanoke were stratified on the basis of their affiliation, or the way the office marketed its products. Four common types of insurance offices were identified: independent agencies, general agencies, captive agencies, and indirect writers. Questionnaires were distributed to a random stratified sample of each office type. Chi-square tests revealed significant differences in the organizational features, contact patterns, and locational characteristics of independent agencies, general agencies, captive agencies, and indirect writers. Future research should attempt to understand the structure of other office industries and identify industry-specific factors affecting the locational characteristics of each industry segment.

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