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Material Culture: Embedded Firms, Organizational Networks and the Local Economic Development of a Fashion Quarter


  • Louise Crewe


CREWE L. (1996) Material culture: embedded firms, organizational networks and the local economic development of a fashion quarter, Reg. Studies 30, 257-272. This paper explores the economic and cultural geographies of one localized agglomeration, in order to understand how territorially defined networks of firms can offer the basis for enhanced competitiveness. The focus is on the evolution and dynamics of the fashion quarter in the Nottingham Lace Market, which assumes the geographic form of a dense clustering of fashion-related firms which are linked together through complex organizational networks. Drawing on notions of the embedded firm the paper explores the synergies that result from such foci of economic activity and which confer significant competitive advantages in addition to being powerful instruments of job creation and growth. In this way the aim is to understand how organizations interrelate with one another through a particular institutional milieu and how this, in turn, creates the pre-conditions for a dynamic trajectory of economic development. Finally, the paper questions the role which local institutions and public policy play in shaping and sustaining agglomerations for economic activity. CREWE L. (1996) La culture de l'etoffe: des entreprises emboitees, des reseaux d'organisations et le developpement economique local d'un quartier de la mode, Reg. Studies 30, 257-272. Cet article a pour but d'etudier les geographies economique et culturelle d'une certaine agglomeration localisee afin de comprende comment les reseaux d'organisations, delimites en fonction de leur zonage, puissent constituer le point de depart de la competitivite accrue. Il porte sur l'evolution et la dynamique du quartier de la mode du marche de la dentelle a Nottingham, qui adopte la forme geographique d'une dense grappe d'entreprises liees a la mode qui sont associees par des reseaux d'organisations complexes. Puisant dans des notions de l'entreprise emboitee, l'article cherche a etudier les synergies qui decoulent de tels centres d'activite economique, permettant des avantages competitifs sensibles ainsi que representant des outils puissants de creation d'emplois et de croissance. De cette maniere, on cherche a comprend comment les entreprises se rapportent les unes aux autres par le canal d'un milieu institutionnel particulier et comment cela cree a son tour les conditions prealables a un chemin dynamique de developpement economique. Pour conclure, l'article remet en question le role que joue l'administration locale et la politique publique dans la construction et le soutien des agglomerations d'activite economique. CREWE L. (1996) Sachkultur: Fest verankerte Firmen, Organisationsverbande und die ortliche Wirtschaftsentwicklung eines Modeviertels, Reg. Studies 30, 257-272. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die Wirtschafts- und Kulturgeographie einer ortlichen Ballung, um verstandlich zu machen, wie territorial festgelegte Firmenverbande die Grundlage fur grossere Wettbewerbsfahigkeit bilden konnen. Im Mittelpunkt der Untersuchung stehen Entwicklung und Dynamik des Modeviertels im Nottinghamer Spitzenmarkt, das sich, geographisch betrachtet, als ein dichtgedrangtes Knauel von mit Mode zusammenarbeitenden Firmen erweist, die durch komplexe Organisationsverbande miteinander verkettet sind. Unter Bezugnahme auf den Begriff fest verankerter Firmen untersucht der Aufsatz die Synergien, die sich aus solchen Brennpunkten wirtschaftlicher Aktivitat ergeben, und nicht nur wesentliche Instrumente der Arbeitsplatzbeschaffung und des Wirtschaftwachstums sind, sondern zugleich auch bedeutende Wettbewerbsvorteile mit sich bringen. Auf diese Weise zielt der Aufsatz darauf ab, verstandlich zu machen, wie ein bestimmtes institutionelles Milieu Firmen miteinander in Beziehungen treten laβt, und wie dies wiederum Vorbedingungen fur einen Hohenflug wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung schafft. Abschliessend stellt der Aufsatz die Rolle in Frage, die Institutionen und offentliche Politik bei der Schaffung und Erhaltung von Ballungen wirtschaftlicher Aktivitat spielen.

Suggested Citation

  • Louise Crewe, 1996. "Material Culture: Embedded Firms, Organizational Networks and the Local Economic Development of a Fashion Quarter," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(3), pages 257-272.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:30:y:1996:i:3:p:257-272
    DOI: 10.1080/00343409612331349618

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Elia & Lucia Piscitello & Sergio Mariotti, 2013. "Industrial Districts, Core Cities And Ownership Strategy Of Multinational Firms Investing In Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p27, European Regional Science Association.
    2. Chilese Erica & Russo Antonio Paolo, 2009. "Urban fashion policies: lessons from the Barcelona catwalks," EBLA Working Papers 200803, University of Turin.
    3. Molina-Morales, F. Xavier & López-Navarro, M. Angel & Julve, Jaume Guia, 2002. "Exploring vs. Exploiting Advantages in Industrial Districts," The Review of Regional Studies, Southern Regional Science Association, vol. 32(1), pages 113-132, Winter/Sp.
    4. Allen J Scott, 2005. "Cultural-Products Industries And Urban Economic Development: Prospects For Growth And Market Contestation In Global Context," Urban/Regional 0511005, EconWPA.
    5. 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.
    6. Sergio Mariotti & Lucia Piscitello & Stefano Elia, 2014. "Local Externalities and Ownership Choices in Foreign Acquisitions by Multinational Enterprises," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(2), pages 187-211, April.
    7. Norma Rantisi, 2002. "The Local Innovation System as a Source of 'Variety': Openness and Adaptability in New York City's Garment District," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(6), pages 587-602.
    8. Peter Wood, 2006. "Urban Development and Knowledge-Intensive Business Services: Too Many Unanswered Questions?," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 335-361.


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