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Markku Sotarauta

This chapter presents a theoretical framework for understanding place leadership and combinatorial power. Place leadership is defined as the mobilization and coordination of diverse groups of actors to achieve a collective effort aimed at enhancing the development of a specific place. Place leadership is a form of agency that works across institutional, organizational, geographical and/or sectoral boundaries to boost local/regional development. The framework presented in this chapter highlights the need to understand power from a combinatorial perspective when studying place leadership. First, the negative and positives sides of power are discussed to provide a conceptual context for the chapter. Second, the connections between power and mobilization are explored, and third, the institutional, network and cognitive approaches to power are introduced. Consequently, fourth, it is argued that we need to understand how different forms of power are combined instead of focusing solely on the cumulative nature of institutional power, and for that purpose, a schematized combinatorial power typology is presented.

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Edited by Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

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Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

This chapter frames the handbook by discussing the concept of leadership and its place in city and regional development and discussing briefly the conceptual variety in the study of city and regional leadership. City and regional leadership are discussed by using the notion of ‘place leadership’ as an umbrella concept, capturing many conceptualisations. Place leadership is defined as the mobilisation of key resources, competencies and powers; it is argued that mobilisation is one of the core concepts in place leadership. Relatedly, all leadership studies set in a sub-national context show that leadership is more relational and collaborative rather than heroic and individualistic. Therefore, in any study on place leadership, it is crucial to understand its relationship with governance, economic and geographical structures. The contextual nature of place leadership is one of the cornerstones in a study of its many dimensions. The chapter also discusses who place leaders might be in varying contexts. In conclusion, the key questions in a study of city and regional development are introduced.

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Edited by Markku Sotarauta and Andrew Beer

In this timely Handbook, people emerge at the centre of city and regional development debates from the perspective of leadership. It explores individuals and communities, not only as units that underpin aggregate measures or elements within systems, but as deliberative actors with ambitions, desires, strategies and objectives.
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Andrew Beer, Markku Sotarauta and Karen Ayles

The notion of place leadership with its many names has attracted increasing interest in scholarly communities. This chapter paints a picture of the spread and depth of contemporary place leadership studies. It presents the main results of a literature review that was undertook in January and February 2020. The research questions were: How has the study on place leadership evolved and, more specifically, what are the empirical contexts these studies focus on, what kind of methodologies have been exploited? Also, what are the main observations? The chapter adds to existing research on place leadership by providing the first systematic review of academic literature on leadership in its many territorial and spatial forms. The chapter concludes: (a) there is a need to develop substantially the theoretical and methodological basis for the study of place leadership; (b) comparative research designs involving case studies are an effective way of identifying the linkages between urban and regional growth and leadership; (c) research on place leadership is well positioned to inform policy makers and development practitioners at different levels on how to improve leadership capacity in, and for, a range of governance settings, leadership practices and capabilities.

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Markku Sotarauta, Heli Kurikka and and Jari Kolehmainen

This chapter argues for the need to focus more explicitly on patterns of place leadership in different types of regions. It aims to shed light on leadership patterns by exploring by whom and how local path development is promoted in two different types of peripheral regions in Finland; Eastern Lapland and Jacobstad. The main objective of the paper is to explore the patterns of place leadership in peripheral regions by answering the following research questions: (a) Are there different patterns of place leadership at a local level in a country? and (b) What are the differences and similarities in place leadership in the case sub-regions? The chapter identifies how the patterns of place leadership differ from each other in two different types of sub-regions even though being embedded in the same national governance system. Additionally, we show how development paths shape not only industries but also the patterns of place leadership.

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Markus Grillitsch, Josephine V. Rekers and Markku Sotarauta

Agency is considered an essential but understudied factor in processes of regional structural change. However, investigating agency systematically and at the micro-level, comes with a great deal of challenges. What are these challenges and how can they be addressed? In effort to combine general methodological considerations with concrete empirical practicalities, we share our process of developing an adequate methodology for the ReGrow (Regional Growth Against All Odds) project in which we conduct twelve comparative in-depth case studies on the role of agency in regional development. We identified seven methodological challenges regarding ontology, research design, time periods, spatial scales, research instruments, data collection and analysis. In this chapter we discuss these challenges as well as our strategies to overcome them. In doing so, we provide methodological insights and guidance to other scholars of agency in regional development.