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Towards a Competence Theory of the Region

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  • Lawson, Clive

Abstract

This paper argues the case for extending the competence theory of the firm, or more generally the competence perspective, to analysis of the region. The relevance of the perspective follows from the characterization of productive systems, such as firms and regions, as ensembles of competences that emerge from, but are not reducible to, social interaction. Attention is drawn to an identifiable (although unacknowledged) convergence of ideas in the recent regional literature, arguing that these ideas are best reconceptualized in terms of regional competences. The cluster of high-technology firms in the Cambridge region of the United Kingdom is briefly referred to in order to illustrate the main ideas of the paper. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawson, Clive, 1999. "Towards a Competence Theory of the Region," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 151-166, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:23:y:1999:i:2:p:151-66
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    Cited by:

    1. van Aswegen, Mariske & Retief, Francois Pieter, 2020. "The role of innovation and knowledge networks as a policy mechanism towards more resilient peripheral regions," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 90(C).
    2. Molina-Morales, F. Xavier, 2001. "European industrial districts: Influence of geographic concentration on performance of the firm," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 277-294.
    3. Molina-Morales, F. Xavier & Martinez-Fernandez, M. Teresa, 2004. "How much difference is there between industrial district firms? A net value creation approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 473-486, April.
    4. Janne, Odile E. M., 2002. "The emergence of corporate integrated innovation systems across regions: The case of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Germany, the UK and Belgium," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 97-119.
    5. Davis, Lee N. & Meyer, Klaus E., 2004. "Subsidiary research and development, and the local environment," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 359-382, June.
    6. S. Auci, 2014. "The role of production chains in Italian industry: A steady connection between Italy's North-West and South," Rivista economica del Mezzogiorno, SocietĂ  editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 617-658.
    7. Basant, Rakesh & Chandra, Pankaj, 2007. "Role of Educational and R&D Institutions in City Clusters: An Exploratory Study of Bangalore and Pune Regions in India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1037-1055, June.
    8. Freel, Mark S., 2003. "Sectoral patterns of small firm innovation, networking and proximity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 751-770, May.
    9. Østergaard, Christian R., 2009. "Knowledge flows through social networks in a cluster: Comparing university and industry links," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 196-210, September.
    10. Harris, Richard & Li, Qian Cher & Trainor, Mary, 2009. "Is a higher rate of R&D tax credit a panacea for low levels of R&D in disadvantaged regions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 192-205, February.
    11. Acosta, Manuel & Coronado, Daniel, 2003. "Science-technology flows in Spanish regions: An analysis of scientific citations in patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1783-1803, December.
    12. Lombardi, Mauro, 2003. "The evolution of local production systems: the emergence of the "invisible mind" and the evolutionary pressures towards more visible "minds"," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1443-1462, September.
    13. Min, Sujin & Kim, Juseong & Sawng, Yeong-Wha, 2020. "The effect of innovation network size and public R&D investment on regional innovation efficiency," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 155(C).

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