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Nils Grashof and Thomas Brenner

Spurred by their outstanding economic opportunities, radical innovations, emerging from the recombination of former unconnected knowledge, have received increasing attention by policy makers and researchers alike. To support innovations in general, policy makers have mainly focussed on fostering the interaction within regional clusters, thereby assuming that localisation externalities only function efficiently on short geographical distances. By implementing cross-cluster as well as internationalisation measures, only recently efforts were undertaken to move beyond the geographical boundaries of clusters. While the importance of extra-local knowledge on innovativeness in general has already been highlighted, it remains unclear whether this holds also true for innovations that are rather radical in nature. Thus, we lack knowledge about which type of relationship is particularly promoting the emergence of radical innovations in regional clusters. In order to address this research gap empirically, we apply a quantitative approach on the firm-level and combine several data sources (e.g. AMADEUS, PATSTAT, German subsidy catalogue). Our results provide evidence for the stimulating effect of cluster external relationships as well as for the assumed benefits of cross-cluster relationships. By further differentiating the types of relationships according to the geographical and thematic characteristics, it can for instance be additionally determined that firms having cross-cluster relationships with thematically and regional different partners are most likely to create radical innovations. Our findings emphasize the promising potential of cross-cluster initiatives and the need to adjust the composition of these relationships according to different thematic and geographic backgrounds of the corresponding collaboration partners.

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Andrew Johnston and Robert Huggins

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Andrew Johnston and Robert Huggins

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

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Yasuyuki Motoyama

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Martin Jones

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Edited by John R. Bryson, Lauren Andres and Rachel Mulhall

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Ossi Pesämaa and Martin Svensson

Principal–agency theory has influenced the formation of corporate boards worldwide. However, the viability of such an outsider-owned model has also been questioned. Weak empirical support between the structure of corporate boards and the performance of firms, and examples of bankruptcies in companies such as Enron, Lehman Brothers and Worldcom, raise doubts about the efficiency of boards. Many Asian countries are dominated by another type of model – insider governance models – relying on families and close relationships instead. Based on the central tenets of principal–agent theory and macro-level data (2006–14), we analyse differences in board efficiency between emerging economies in Asia and western economies. The findings unveil a ‘cultural effect’ where board efficiency better predicts the insider-orientated governance model that is prevalent in eastern economies. The viability of principal–agency theory as a unifying model is discussed, and then practical implications and recommendations for further research are outlined.

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Tobias Arvemo and Urban Gråsjö

This chapter investigates the importance of cross-border activities for border regions in Sweden. We acknowledge the heterogeneity between regions by dividing them into three categories depending on the population density on each side of the national border. A spatial model is estimated using data from 2014 that takes into account geographical proximity and spatial correlation. The model examines the difference in gross pay per inhabitant and employment rate between municipalities belonging to a border region and an average comparable Swedish municipality. The results show that the largest positive effect can be found for municipalities belonging to sparsely populated regions bordering a densely populated region. For municipalities in densely populated regions bordering a densely populated region comparable improvements are revealed, although not of the same magnitude. For municipalities in sparsely populated areas bordering rural areas, no statistically significant differences are discovered between them and the Swedish average.