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Understanding regional renewal and industry cluster emergence processes within the Swedish periphery
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2010 (English)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There are many insightful writings revealing that regions within industrialised nations are able to renew their local business environments through building and supporting industry clusters. Such knowledge stems from research based on how to maintain and develop successful industry clusters located within central regions. Although such knowledge is valuable for both researchers and practitioners, little is known about the processes involved when new industry clusters are emerging; and especially when they are emerging in peripheral regions. To that background, the purpose of this licentiate thesis is to develop further understanding of regional renewal and industry cluster emergence within peripheral regions.

The thesis is based on a series of covering chapters and three research papers. Each of the three research papers contributes to the aim of this study and the research questions that are brought forward within the covering chapters. With aims of developing theory and providing empirical illustration of regional renewal and industry cluster emergence the research questions used to guide this particular research are: How does a new industry cluster emerge within a peripheral region and what are the main processes involved? What role does the interaction between new regional industry and established regional industry play in facilitating industry cluster emergence? What core co-operative and competitive forces drive such emergence efforts? Relevant empirical material brought forward to help answer these questions is based stems from within the peripheral Swedish county of Västernorrland and specifically centres on the emergence of a new biorefinery industry cluster in the Örnsköldsvik region. A conceptual framework outlining structural-organisational, socio-institutional and cognitive perspectives of regional renewal is employed to help govern the study and aid discussion of the three individual research papers appended.

Overall, and in a very condensed format, the papers related to this licentiate thesis reveal that industry cluster emergence within a peripheral region can be supported by bottom-up efforts that encapsulate social movement framing activities, dialectical interplays as well as regional competitive and co-operative forces. In particular, interactions between new regional industry and established industry entities can play a key role in the process; mainly through established actors responding to local resource and legitimacy threats that have potential to reduce the region’s opportunities for renewal. Moreover, new industry actors’ mobilisations provide an ‘anti-thesis’ to local traditional industry that restrain but also trigger development. This is found to be crucial to overcome traditional regional actors’ contestation to new industry entities. As such it seems a set of core processes that interact and shape regional industry cluster emergence can be categorised and described as framing processes, movement mobilisation processes, inter-industry relational processes and dialectical processes. Furthermore prominent regional competitive and competitive forces driving industry cluster emergence are revealed to be intra and inter-regional. Those forces can have strong implications for regional renewal in the periphery. As this research focuses upon how a new regional industry cluster can emerge within a peripheral region dominated by declining traditional industries, that is able, but not without difficulties, to aid regional renewal the thesis contributes to further theoretical and practical understanding of regional renewal and industry cluster emergence theories. Thus, offering relevant implications for future researchers, regional policy makers and industry cluster developers interested in peripheral regional development issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2010. , 53 p.
Keyword [en]
industry emergence processes, regional renewal, industry clusters, periherial regions
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-33134ISBN: 978-917264926-2OAI: diva2:310190
2010-04-12, Samvetet, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå Universitet, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2010-04-14 Created: 2010-04-13 Last updated: 2011-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Arbuthnott, Andrew
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