5.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter focuses on the I dimension in the model discussed in Chapter 2. Institutions and institutional factors have for a long time been seen as playing crucial roles in the process of regional endogenous growth and development, and have been widely discussed in the regional economic development literature as well as in the general literature on economic development. Institutional factors cover a wide range of issues concerning governance and government, and may refer not only to the role of the public sector but also to private sector and NGO and community actors and structures, and as well to the contemporary notion of public–private–community partnerships. And they encompass notions of social capital, and networks and alliances of collaborative arrangements. The discussion of institutions and institutional factors that follows provides a comprehensive overview of their nature and roles with respect to regional development and indicates why they can be important enhancing or detracting forces influencing the growth and development of cities and regions and how they affect regional competitiveness. It will be evident that leadership in particular, and also entrepreneurship are interrelated to institutions, and some scholars do not draw the explicit distinctions which we choose to do in this book. However, institutions and institutional factors warrant specific and detailed consideration. 5.2 INSTITUTIONS AS RULE STRUCTURES Institutions are of vital importance in any society. They provide the rule structures and the organizations within a society for it to operate. The nature of institutions and the institutional structures...
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