Geography, Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship
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Geography, Open Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Edited by Urban Gråsjö, Charlie Karlsson and Iréne Bernhard

Developed countries must be incredibly innovative to secure incomes and welfare so that they may successfully compete against international rivals. This book focuses on two specific but interrelated aspects of innovation by incumbent firms and entrepreneurs, the role of geography and of open innovation.
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Chapter 12: Regional path dependence and path creation: a conceptual way forward

Sabrina Fredin


Path dependence has claimed its place as a core component of economic geography, but recently the concept has been criticized for the sole focus on external shocks and lock-ins. This critique has inspired scholarly work on new path development which gives great attention to endogenous pre-conditions for new path development. However, several shortcomings still exist. The main aim of this chapter is to enhance the concept of regional path dependence by suggesting a stronger role for human agency. This would address several of the remaining shortcomings. In order to move towards a more agency-centred view of regional path dependence, we have to take on a structure–agency approach, transcend the purely technological dimension of path dependence, shift from a few grand events to the activities of many agents and include both economic and public actors.

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