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Location Patterns of US Industrial Research: Mimetic Isomorphism and the Emergence of Geographic Charisma

  • Stephen Appold
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    Appold S. J. (2005) Locational patterns of US industrial research: mimetic isomorphism and the emergence of geographic charisma, Regional Studies39, 17-39. The emergence of new industrial spaces over the past several decades that have radically altered the economic geography of the USA raises questions about the mechanisms responsible for their formation. Existing theories predict either continued concentration or spatial dispersion; none predicts the rise of new geographic agglomerations of establishments. A behavioural theory of agglomeration formation explains the emergence of regionally dispersed, local agglomerations by means of mimetic behaviour. A method for detecting social influence in cross- sectional data is applied to data on the 1985 locations by county of over 10 000 privately owned research laboratories to show that the theoretical model accurately reproduces a key aspect of the existing spatial pattern. The results suggest that laboratories are, to a significant extent, reacting to each other's actions, creating symbolic, rather than functional, communities and that the locus of power determining local growth is diffused among location decision-makers. Appold S. J. (2005) La distribution geographique des centres de recherche industrielle aux Etats-Unis: l'homomorphisme mimetique et la naissance du charisme geographique, Regional Studies39, 17-39. La naissance de nouveaux espaces industriels dans les dernieres decennies, qui ont transforme sensiblement la geographie economique des Etats-Unis, remet en question les mecanismes qui les etayent. Les theories actuelles prevoient une concentration ou une dispersion geographique persistantes; aucune ne prevoit l'essor de nouvelles agglomerations geographiques d'etablissements. Une theorie du comportement qui porte sur le developpement des agglomerations explique la naissance des agglomerations locales, dispersees sur le plan regional, a partir du comportement mimetique. On applique une methode qui cherche a decouvrir l'influence sociale des donnees transversales aux donnees 1985 sur les emplacements, par comte, aupres de plus de 10.000 centres de recherche prives afin de demontrer que le modele theorique reproduit precisement un aspect cle de la distribution geographique actuelle. Les resultats laissent supposer que les centres de recherche reagissent, dans une large mesure, aux actions d'autrui, ce qui finit par la creation de communautes plutot symboliques que fonctionnelles, et que le lieu du pouvoir qui determine la croissance locale se voit diffuser parmi les decideurs. Appold S. J. (2005) Die Standortmuster der industriellen Forschung in den Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika: mimetischer Isomorphismus, und das Entstehen geographischen Charismas, Regional Studies39, 17-39. Die Entstehung neuer Industrieraume in den letzten Jahrzehnten, welche die Wirtschaftsgeographie der Vereinigten Staaten radikal verandert hat, wirft Fragen uber die Mechanismen auf, die fur ihre Formierung verantwortlich sind. Bereits bestehende Theorien sagen entweder fortschreitende Konzentration oder raumliche Streuung voraus, keine aber das Aufkommen neuer geographischer Ballungen von Unternehmensansiedlungen. Eine Verhaltenstheorie der Ballungsformationen erklart das Auftauchen regional verstreuter, ortlicher Ballungen durch mimetisches Verhalten. Eine Methode zum Aufspuren gesellschaftlicher Einflusse in Querschnittsdaten wird auf nach Grafschaften geordneten Daten der im Jahre 1985 registrierten Standorte von mehr als 10 000 im Privatbesitz befindlichen Forschungslaboratorien angewandt, um zu zeigen, dass das theoretische Modell die wichtigsten Aspekte der vorhandenen raumlichen Muster akkurat wiedergibt. Die Ergebnisse legen nahe, dass Laboratorien in signifikantem Masse aufeinander reagieren, und damit eher symbolische als funktionsfahige Gemeinschaften schaffen, und dass der Sitz machtbestimmenden ortlichen Wachstums unter uber Standorte Beschliessenden verteilt auftritt. Appold S. J. (2005) Modelos de localizacion de la investigacion industrial en los Estados Unidos: isomorfismo mimetico, y la aparicion de un carisma geografico, Regional Studies39, 17-39. La aparicion de nuevos espacios industriales que han alterado drasticamente la geografia economica de los Estados Unidos en las ultimas decadas suscita un numero de preguntas sobre cuales son los mecanismos responsables de su formacion. Las teorias existentes predicen o bien una concentracion continuada o una dispersion espacial, pero ninguna de ellas predice la aparicion de nuevas aglomeraciones geograficas de empresas. La aplicacion de una teoria del comportamiento de la formacion de aglomeraciones ofrece una explicacion sobre la aparicion de aglomeraciones que estan dispersas regionalmente y de aglomeraciones locales basadas en un comportamiento mimetico. Con el fin de demostrar que el modelo teorico reproduce de forma precisa uno de los aspectos clave del modelo espacial existente, se aplica un metodo de deteccion de influencia social en datos cruzados a datos correspondientes a las localizaciones por condado de mas de 10 000 laboratorios de investigacion privados en el ano 1985. Los resultados obtenidos sugieren que los laboratorios estan, de forma significativa, reaccionando a las acciones que cada uno de ellos lleva a cabo, creando asi comunidades que son mas simbolicas que funcionales, y que el punto central del poder que determina el crecimiento local se ve esparcido entre los tomadores de decisiones en materia de localizacion.

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Regional Studies.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 17-39

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:39:y:2005:i:1:p:17-39
    DOI: 10.1080/0034340052000320833
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