The Rise of Trade Fairs in the Asia-Pacific Region
Edited by Harald Bathelt and Gang Zeng
Chapter 2: Accessing remote knowledge – the roles of trade fairs, pipelines, crowdsourcing and listening posts
It is now widely recognized that the achievements of cluster studies during recent decades have inadvertently resulted in a phase of excessive inward looking and an ensuing unfortunate downplay of crucial external linkages. While proximity centered research convincingly demonstrated enhanced opportunities for knowledge-based growth and entrepreneurship in certain local economic systems (Brusco 1986; Storper 1994; Maskell 2001; Gertler 2003; Wolfe and Gertler 2004; Delgado et al. 2010), closer inspection revealed how even the most successful local clusters were unable to continue to thrive in splendid isolation. On the contrary, they were periodically invigorated by external impulses that allowed them to remain competitive when technological trajectories took unexpected turns or markets suddenly demanded new combinations of capabilities not locally available (Lawson 1999; Allen 2000; Pinch et al. 2003; Giuliani 2005; Salter and Laursen 2006). Being locally unavailable excludes situations where the required knowledge could be accessed indirectly through local buzz and so on, or stem from externally well-connected proximate firms, local universities and other knowledge gatekeepers in the neighborhood (Storper and Venables 2004).
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