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Contextualizing Research on Social Capital in Regional Clusters

  • UDO STABER
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    Numerous works in economic geography and regional studies have considered social capital a salient factor in the performance of regional business clusters. Theoretical arguments have focused on those structural, relational and cognitive features of social capital that are expected to facilitate cooperation and innovation as a basis for cluster success. However, the available empirical evidence on the performance implications of social capital is weak and largely inconsistent. I argue that one reason for the observed cross-study inconsistencies is the neglect of the situational context in which social capital evolves. I discuss how acontextual studies can lead to analytical error and flawed conclusions concerning the performance outcomes of social capital. I propose several approaches to contextualizing research and discuss how they would advance our understanding of the performance implications of social capital in a cluster setting. Copyright (c) 2007 The Author. Journal Compilation (c) 2007 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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    Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal International Journal of Urban and Regional Research.

    Volume (Year): 31 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 3 (09)
    Pages: 505-521

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    Handle: RePEc:bla:ijurrs:v:31:y:2007:i:3:p:505-521
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