Resilience, Crisis and Innovation Dynamics
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Resilience, Crisis and Innovation Dynamics

Edited by Tüzin Baycan and Hugo Pinto

Resilience has emerged as a recurrent notion to explain how territorial socio-economic systems adapt successfully (or not) to negative events. In this book, the authors use resilience as a bridging notion to connect different types of theoretical and empirical approaches to help understand the impacts of economic turbulence at the system and actor levels. The book provides a unique overview of the financial crisis and the important dimension of innovation dynamics for regional resilience. It also offers an engaging debate as to how regional resilience can be improved and explores the social aspects of vulnerability, resilience and innovation.
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Chapter 14: A case study of resilience: the footwear cluster of northern Portugal

Maria Estela Ferreira

Abstract

This chapter aims to illustrate the main outcomes and the characteristics and factors of the resilience of the footwear industry in the northern region of Portugal as performed in the last 30 years. This industry acts in a cluster located in a number of towns around Porto, within a maximum distance of 50 km from this city. Such cluster is responsible for more than 90 per cent of Portuguese footwear exports. Along the analyzed period, and among other difficulties, two main shocks are identified which the industry had to face: the full membership of China in the WTO, in 2001, which carried the delocalization of most foreign footwear companies, mainly to the Far East, and the sub-prime world crisis in 2008. The industry survived and surpassed these shocks thanks to a thorough preparedness sustained by the action of entrepreneurs, together with a strong and active association and a technological center, which provided management and technical support and strengthened links between them, stimulating coordinated actions. This chapter suggests, through a non-linear approach, that Portuguese footwear exports are about to reach the level they would have attained if China hadn’t joined the WTO.

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