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Innovating in the periphery: Firms, values, and innovation in Southwest Norway

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How do peripheral and relatively isolated regions innovate? Recent research has tended to stress the importance of agglomeration economies and geographical proximity as key motors of innovation. According to this research, large core areas have significant advantages with respect to peripheral areas in innovation potential. Yet, despite these trends, some remote areas of the periphery are remarkably innovative even in the absence of critical innovation masses. In this paper we examine one such case – the region of Southwest Norway – which has managed to remain innovative and dynamic, despite having a below average investment in R&D in the Norwegian context. The results of the paper highlight that innovation in Southwest Norway does not stem from agglomeration and physical proximity, but from other types of proximity, such as cognitive and organizational proximity, rooted in soft institutional arrangements. This suggests that the formation of regional hubs with strong connections to international innovative networks may be a way to overcome peripherality in order to innovate.

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  • Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2009. "Innovating in the periphery: Firms, values, and innovation in Southwest Norway," Working Papers 2009-13, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  • Handle: RePEc:imd:wpaper:wp2009-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Riccardo Crescenzi & Alexander Jaax, 2017. "Innovation in Russia: The Territorial Dimension," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 93(1), pages 66-88, January.
    2. Andrés Rodríguez‐Pose & Callum Wilkie, 2019. "Innovating in less developed regions: What drives patenting in the lagging regions of Europe and North America," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 4-37, March.
    3. Helge Svare & Anne Haugen Gausdal, 2017. "Dynamic capabilities and network benefits," Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, Fundacja Upowszechniająca Wiedzę i Naukę "Cognitione", vol. 13(1), pages 117-146.
    4. Liliana Araújo & Sandra T. Silva & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2013. "Knowledge spillovers and economic performance of firms located in depressed areas: does geographical proximity matter?," FEP Working Papers 488, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    5. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "When local interaction does not suffice: sources of firm innovation in urban Norway," Chapters, in: André Torre & Frédéric Wallet (ed.), Regional Development and Proximity Relations, chapter 5, pages 195-222, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Ana Paula Faria & Natália Barbosa & Vasco Eiriz, 2013. "Firms’ innovation across regions: an exploratory study," NIPE Working Papers 12/2013, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    7. Ana Paula Faria & Natália Barbosa & Vasco Eiriz, 2015. "Firm Innovation and Co-Location in Portugal," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 574-592, December.
    8. Khan, Zaheer & Rao-Nicholson, Rekha & Tarba, Shlomo Y., 2018. "Global networks as a mode of balance for exploratory innovations in a late liberalizing economy," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 392-402.
    9. Marte C.W. Solheim & Ron Boschma & Sverre Herstad, 2018. "Related variety, unrelated variety and the novelty content of firm innovation in urban and non-urban locations," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1836, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2018.
    10. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "Creativity, Cities, and Innovation," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 46(5), pages 1139-1159, May.
    11. Lenihan, Helena & McGuirk, Helen & Murphy, Kevin R., 2019. "Driving innovation: Public policy and human capital," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1-1.
    12. Medase, Kehinde, 2019. "The Impact of the Heterogeneity of Employees’ Qualifications on Firm-level Innovation Evidence from Nigerian Firms," Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203563, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Babak Ghassim, 2018. "Sustainability-Oriented Innovation in the Minerals Industry: An Empirical Study on the Effect of Non-Geographical Proximity Dimensions," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-18, January.
    14. Fitjar, Rune Dahl, 2017. "Mot en regional innovasjonspolitikk?," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2017/9, University of Stavanger.
    15. Pia Wassmann & Daniel Schiller & Stephan Thomsen, 2014. "Does Connectivity Impact Innovation Performance in Rural Regions?," ERSA conference papers ersa14p352, European Regional Science Association.
    16. Zhang, Min & Partridge, Mark & Song, Huasheng, 2018. "Amenities and Geography of Innovation: Evidence from Chinese Cities," MPRA Paper 83673, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Richard Shearmur, 2015. "Far from the Madding Crowd," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(3), pages 424-442, September.
    18. Colella, Florencia & Ortega, David, 2016. "Retail Channel and Beef Preferences in Argentina: Experimental Results from Consumers in Buenos Aires," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Boston, Massachusetts 235551, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    19. François Deltour & Sébastien Le Gall & Virginie Lethiais, 2017. "Innovating not Only in Cities: Evidence from SMEs," Post-Print hal-01758281, HAL.
    20. Helen McGuirk & Declan Jordan, 2011. "Local Labour Market Diversity and Business Innovation: Evidence from Irish Manufacturing Businesses," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(12), pages 1945-1960, June.
    21. McGuirk, Helen & Lenihan, Helena & Hart, Mark, 2015. "Measuring the impact of innovative human capital on small firms’ propensity to innovate," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 965-976.
    22. Adam Whittle & Balázs Lengyel & Dieter F. Kogler, 2020. "Understanding Regional Branching Knowledge Diversification via Inventor Collaboration Networks," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 2006, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Feb 2020.
    23. Silje Haus-Reve & Abigail Cooke, 2019. "Do regional social capital and trust matter for immigrant diversity and wages?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1932, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Nov 2019.

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    Keywords

    innovation; institutions; distance; trust; open-mindedness; periphery; Norway;

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