Creating Competitiveness
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Creating Competitiveness

Entrepreneurship and Innovation Policies for Growth

Edited by David B. Audretsch and Mary Lindenstein Walshok

Although competitiveness is typically associated with firms, they are not the only organizational body whose performance is dependent upon competitiveness. This poignant insightful book focuses on how the varied economic performance of cities and regions, both within nations as well as across nations, during the era of the ‘Great Recession’ also highlights the need for competitiveness.
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Chapter 2: Civic governance, social learning and the strategic management of city-regions

David A. Wolfe


Recent theoretical and empirical research on innovation systems describes city-regions as the drivers of economic growth and prosperity. This literature underlines the importance of agglomeration economies and proximity as key factors that facilitate the transmission of knowledge among the leading edge sectors that are increasingly concentrated in urban regions (Wolfe and Bramwell 2008). Complex systems of technology, production processes, industrial organization, and their supporting infrastructures of social and political institutions exhibit distinctive spatial characteristics. In the context of rapid technological change and concerns over the globalization of competition and production, this focus on the importance of the urban scale of economic development underlines how the key elements of innovative sectors are locally rooted. Innovation in a technologically complex and knowledge driven or ‘learning’ economy is a social process that builds new competencies and skills, a process that requires proximity or face-to-face interaction and thus occurs most effectively at the regional and local scale. However, those interactions also occur in an institutional context that strongly conditions the pattern of knowledge flows and interactions required for effective innovation.

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