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The Spatial Aspects of Enterprise Learning in Transition Countries


  • George Petrakos
  • Maria Tsiapa


This paper investigates the sources of enterprise learning under transition, using the results of a recent survey conducted in six Central and East European countries. The analysis identifies three possible and interacting ways of enterprise learning: (1) learning by doing; (2) learning from the environment; and (3) learning from networks. Then it examines the spatial variations of the factors affecting learning by contrasting capital regions with western border regions and all sampled firms. The paper concludes that enterprise learning in transition economies is a spatially selective process, as most structural and behavioural factors tend to favour capital regions. Consequently, transition policies have to incorporate certain types of regional policy into their core, as a supplementary and balancing force to market-driven structural and spatial adjustments. A partir d'une enquete recente menee en six pays de l'Europe centrale et orientale, cet article cherche a examiner les origines de l'apprentissage d'entreprise dans les pays en voie de transition. L'analyse distingue trois facons eventuelles qui agissent l'une sur l'autre: (1) apprendre sur le tas; (2) apprendre en milieu; et (3) apprendre en reseau. Il s'ensuit un examen des variations spatiales des facteurs qui influent sur l'apprentissage en comparant les regions principales aux regions frontalieres occidentales et a toutes les entreprises qui figurent dans l'echantillon. On conclut que l'apprentissage d'entreprise dans les economies en voie de transition s'avere un processus selectif du point de vue spatial, vu que la plupart des facteurs structurels et de comportement ont tendance a favoriser les regions principales. Par consequent, les politiques de transition doivent incorporer des politiques regionales particulieres comme force supplementaire et d'equilibre face aux ajustements structurels et spatiaux qui sont determines par les contraintes du marche. Dieser Aufsatz untersucht die Quellen der Vermittlung von Kenntnissen zur Betriebsfuhrung unter Ubergangsbedingungen, wobei er sich auf die Ergebnisse einer kurzlich in sechs Landern Mittel-und Osteuropas durchgefuhrten Umfrage stutzt. Die Analyse stellt drei mogliche, und aufeinander einwirkende Arten der Vermittlung von Kenntnissen zur Betriebsfuhrung vor: (1) Lernen durch Tun; (2) Lernen von der Umwelt; und (3) Lernen von Netzwerken. Sodann untersucht sie die raumlichen Abweichungen der Faktoren, die sich auf Lernprozesse auswirken, indem sie Hauptstadtregionen den westlichen Grenzgebiete und allen untersuchten Firmen gegenuberstellt. Der Aufsatz folgert, dass Vermittlung von Kenntnissen zur Betriebsfuhrung in sich im Ubergang befindlichen Wirtschaften ein raumlich aussiebender Vorgang ist, da die meisten strukturellen und Verhaltensfaktoren dazu neigen, Hauptstadtregionen zu begunstigen. Infolgedessen muss Ubergangspolitik ihrem Kerngehalt gewisse Formen der Regionalpolitik als erganzende und ausgleichende Kraft zu den vom Markt bestimmten strukturellen und raumlichen Einstellungen einverleiben.

Suggested Citation

  • George Petrakos & Maria Tsiapa, 2001. "The Spatial Aspects of Enterprise Learning in Transition Countries," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(6), pages 549-562.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:35:y:2001:i:6:p:549-562
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400120065714

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Raffaele Paci & Stefano Usai, 2000. "Technological Enclaves and Industrial Districts: An Analysis of the Regional Distribution of Innovative Activity in Europe," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(2), pages 97-114.
    2. Saxenian, AnnaLee, 1991. "The origins and dynamics of production networks in Silicon Valley," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 423-437, October.
    3. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    4. George Petrakos, 2000. "Economic structure and change in the Balkan region: implications for integration, transition and economic cooperation," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 95-113, March.
    5. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
    6. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
    7. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    8. Elizabeth Garnsey, 1998. "The Genesis of the High Technology Milieu: A Study in Complexity," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 361-377, September.
    9. Bjørn T. Asheim, 2007. "Industrial Districts as ‘Learning Regions’: A Condition for Prosperity," Chapters,in: The Learning Region, chapter 4 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. George C. Petrakos, 1996. "The Regional Dimension of Transition in Central and East European Countries: An Assessment," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(5), pages 5-38, October.
    11. Peter Murrell, 1996. "How Far Has the Transition Progressed?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 25-44, Spring.
    12. Cristiano Antonelli, 2000. "Collective Knowledge Communication and Innovation: The Evidence of Technological Districts," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(6), pages 535-547.
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    Cited by:

    1. Polimeni, John M. & Iorgulescu Polimeni, Raluca & Trees, W. Scott, 2007. "Extending The Augmented Solow Growth Model To Explain Transitional Economies," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 4(1), pages 65-76, March.
    2. Stephen Roper, 2005. "Cross-Border and Local Cooperation on the island of Ireland - A Behavioural Perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa05p475, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Dimitrov, Mitko, 2003. "Cross-Border Cooperation in Southeastern Europe: The Enterprises's Point of View," MPRA Paper 57234, University Library of Munich, Germany.


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