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Territorial or Trans-territorial Networking: Spatial Aspects of Technology-oriented Cooperation within the German Mechanical Engineering Industry


  • Reinhold Grotz
  • Boris Braun


GROTZ R. and BRAUN B. (1997) Territorial or trans-territorial networking: spatial aspects of technology-oriented cooperation within the German mechanical engineering industry, Reg. Studies 31, 545-557. This study examines the relevance and viability of innovation-oriented networks of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in three differently structured industrial environments in Germany. It is mainly based on in-depth interviews in 155 SMEs of the mechanical engineering industry and with regional innovation consultants. Empirical results suggest that regional networks are hardly dominant features of the surveyed areas. Weak ties and innovation-oriented relationships are far less spatially restricted than generally assumed. In many cases, the access to interregional contact networks is much more important, especially for technology-intensive firms. Generally, technological change and competitiveness are pursued more through individual product-oriented firm strategies than through intensified regional networking. This has to be considered if network concepts are to be translated into regional economic policies. GROTZ R. et BRAUN B. (1997) Le maillage territorial ou transfrontalier: des aspects geographiques de la cooperation technologique au sein de l'industrie de la construction mecanique en Allemagne, Reg. Studies 31, 545-557. Cette etude cherch a examiner l'importance et la faisabilite des reseaux orientes vers l'innovation et comportant des petites et moyennes entreprises (PME) situees dans trois environnements industriels allemands dont les structures se distinguent. Dans une large mesure l'etude est fondee sur des interviews detaillees menees dans 155 PME de l'industrie de la construction mecanique et avec des conseillers techniques regionaux. Les resultats laissent supposer que les reseaux regionaux ne constituent guere des aspects qui predominent dans les zones en question. Des liens faibles et des rapports orientes vers l'innovation sont beaucoup moins limites du point de vue geographique que l'on n'avait prevu. Dans beaucoup des cas, l'acces aux reseaux interregionaux s'avere beaucoup plus important surtout pour les entreprises a fort niveau technologiquea. En regle generale, la recherche de la transformation technologique et de la competivitese fait de plus en plus par des strategies d'entreprise individuelles orientees vers les produits que par une intensification du maillage regional. Cela doit meriter quelque reflexion si la notion de maillage va se traduire en des politiques economiques regionales. GROTZ R. und BRAUN B. (1997) Territoriales oder transterritoriales Netzwerken: raumliche Aspekte technologisch orientierter Zusammenarbeit in der deutschen Maschinenbauindustrie, Reg. Studies 31, 545-557. Diese Studie untersucht die Bedeutung und Funktionsweise von innovationsorientierten Netzwerken von kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen(KMU)in drei unterschiedlich strukturierten Industrieraumen in Deutschland. Sie beruht im wesentlichen auf halbstandardisierten Interviews in 155 KMU des Maschinenbaus und verwandter Industriezweige sowie mit regionalen Innovationsberatern. Die empirischen Ergebnisse zeigen, dass regionale Netzwerke keine bestimmenden Kennzeichen der Untersuchungsraume sind. Kooperative und innovationsorientierte Beziehungen sind sehr viel weniger raumlich begrenzt als gemeinhin angenommen. Vielfach ist der Zugang zu uberregionalen Netzwerken vor allem fur technologieintensive Unternehmen wichtiger. Generell werden der technologische Wandel und der Erhalt der Wettbewerbsfahigkeit eher uber einzelbetriebliche, produktorientierte Strategien als durch die Einbindung in enge regionale Netzwerke verfolgt. Dies muss bedacht werden, wenn Netzwerkkonzepte in regionale Wirtschaftspolitik umgesetzt werden sollen.

Suggested Citation

  • Reinhold Grotz & Boris Braun, 1997. "Territorial or Trans-territorial Networking: Spatial Aspects of Technology-oriented Cooperation within the German Mechanical Engineering Industry," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(6), pages 545-557.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:31:y:1997:i:6:p:545-557
    DOI: 10.1080/00343409750131686

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    Cited by:

    1. Beise, Marian & Stahl, Harald, 1999. "Public research and industrial innovations in Germany," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 397-422, April.
    2. Peter Huber, 2003. "On the Determinants of Cross-border Cooperation of Austrian Firms with Central and Eastern European Partners," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(9), pages 947-955.
    3. David Angel, 2002. "Inter-firm Collaboration and Technology Development Partnerships Within US Manufacturing Industries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 333-344.
    4. Silviya Draganinska & Rudiger Wink, 2006. "Formal Knowledge Examination Institutions: Chance Or Threat to European Medium Tech-Nology SMEs? A Cognitive and Institutional Perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa06p404, European Regional Science Association.
    5. Luca Berchicci & Jeroen P.J. de Jong & Mark Freel, 2013. "Remote Collaboration, Absorptive Capacity, and the Innovative Output of High-tech Small Firms," DRUID Working Papers 13-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    6. Nina Czernich, 2011. "The emergence of broadband internet and consequences for economic and social development," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 37, September.
    7. Yoke-Tong Chew & Henry Wai-Chung Yeung, 2001. "The SME Advantage: Adding Local Touch to Foreign Transnational Corporations in Singapore," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 431-448.
    8. Buenstorf, Guido & Schacht, Alexander, 2013. "We need to talk – or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 465-480.
    9. Thomas Brenner & André Mühlig, 2007. "Factors and Mechanisms Causing the Emergence of Local Industrial Clusters - A Meta-Study of 159 Cases," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-23, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    10. Chang Woon Nam & Alina Schoenberg & Georg Wamser, 2011. "Lisbon Agenda, Regional Innovation System and the New EU Cohesion Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 3564, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Rolf Sternberg, 1999. "Innovative Linkages and Proximity: Empirical Results from Recent Surveys of Small and Medium Sized Firms in German Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(6), pages 529-540.


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