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Chapter 5: Entrepreneurial Opportunity and the Formation of Photovoltaic Clusters in Eastern Germany
Matthias Brachert and Christoph Hornych 1 INTRODUCTION Research on the spatial distribution of economic activity has focused mainly on identifying conditions that sustain industrial clusters, as these are perceived to be the locus of regional economic growth (Braunerhjelm and Feldman, 2006; Lee and Sine, 2007). However, very little is known about the factors that facilitate the emergence of spatial structures in new industries or its performance implications. To achieve deeper insights into these formation processes, ‘theory must explain how information and resources for entrepreneurial activities come to be disproportionally massed in some places and some times’ (Romanelli and Schoonhoven, 2001, p. 41). In this context, recent developments in institutional economic geography underline the contribution of social movements to institutional change and government action, thus affecting entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial opportunity (Sine and David, 2003; Lee and Sine, 2007). As government actions have a spatial dimension, they can induce windows of locational opportunity (WLOs) supporting the evolution of spatial patterns of new industries (Storper and Walker, 1989; Boschma, 1997; Boschma and van der Knaap, 1999). To date, there has been little research into the role of institutional change and government action in the evolution of new industries or entrepreneurial opportunity (Lounsbury et al., 2003; Sine and David, 2003). With regard to the energy sector, the importance of institutional change seems to hold for the effects of environmental movements, as they were able to give an increased awareness of pre-existing technological solutions (see, in particular regarding alternative sources of energy, Lee and Sine,...
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