The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation
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The Elgar Companion to Innovation and Knowledge Creation

Edited by Harald Bathelt, Patrick Cohendet, Sebastian Henn and Laurent Simon

This unique Companion provides a comprehensive overview and critical evaluation of existing conceptualizations and new developments in innovation research. It draws on multiple perspectives of innovation, knowledge and creativity from economics, geography, history, management, political science and sociology. The Companion brings together leading scholars to reflect upon innovation as a concept (Part I), innovation and institutions (Part II), innovation and creativity (Part III), innovation, networking and communities (Part IV), innovation in permanent spatial settings (Part V), innovation in temporary, virtual and open settings (Part VI), innovation, entrepreneurship and market making (Part VII), and the governance and management of innovation (Part VIII).
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Chapter 35: Coworking and innovation

Janet Merkel

Abstract

In the aftermath of the financial and economic crisis of 2007 and 2008, a new type of collaboratively oriented workplace has emerged in cities. These coworking spaces and the associated practice of coworking exemplify new ways of organizing labor in project-based and largely freelance occupations as found in the creative industries. The focus of the chapter is to introduce the rise of freelancers as independent economic agents to contextualize the emergence of coworking spaces as a collective coping strategy to deal the with uncertainties and risks associated with freelance work. The chapter combines sociological perspectives with recent research in economic geography on the social dynamics of knowledge creation, proximity and the spatialities of creative and innovative processes in order to discuss coworking spaces as new knowledge sites in creative urban economies.

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