Chapter 1: A New Perspective on Regional Endogenous Development
1.1 REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: A PROCESS AND AN OUTCOME This book is about the role that leadership and institutions play in regional economic development. A major, if not the most important, long-term objective of regional economic development is to internalize a process that ensures sustainable development. Such a process begs for and enables a proactive strategic approach to development, as against a reactive approach, to managing risk in adjusting to changing circumstances. We propose that leadership and institutions, along with entrepreneurship, play crucial roles in maintaining and enhancing regional economic performance and achieving sustainable development. Of course a region’s resource endowments, and the regional economy’s ‘fit’ with respect to market conditions, are also crucial factors affecting regional economic performance. But our argument is that leadership (including entrepreneurship) and institutional factors may serve to enhance or detract from the effectiveness and efficiency with which those resource endowments are used and how markets are captured. Our view is that strong leadership means a city or a region will be proactive in initiating regional economic development strategy to: • set a vision for the future development of the region • implement plans and processes that facilitate institutional change • monitor regional performance and adjust strategies and plans. This, in turn, will enhance the capacity and capability of the region to positively adjust to changing circumstances, attain a good fit with market conditions, and harness its resource endowments in order to maintain and improve its performance and to achieve sustainable development as a learning region and to...
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