Philip Cooke and Kevin Morgan explore important issues of corporate reorganization in the context of heightened global competition. Their special focus is upon how firms associate with regional milieux. Innovation is a key factor in corporate and regional economic performance and the authors show how interactive innovation based on collective learning and associative practices are becoming increasingly significant. In-depth studies of inter-firm and firm-agency
interactions are presented for four European regions: Baden-Württemberg and Emilia-Romagna as accomplished regional economies; Wales and the Basque Country as learning regions. The book is theoretically informed by an evolutionary economics perspective and draws policy conclusions which emphasise the
importance of decentralized industrial policy in support of both corporate and regional economic development ambitions. It concludes that the associational economy may be the `third way' between state and market co-ordination of modern economies.
`Why do some regions grow faster than others? Why are some more innovative? How do geographic factors - like proximity - affect the process of technological change? The Associational Economy provides a useful primer on these questions for all those interested in the regional dimensions of innovation and economic development. The authors are extremely well read and provide a useful and excellent work of theoretical synthesis, integrating a wide body of
theory from Joseph Schumpeter and Alfred Marshall to evolutionary economics, increasing returns, path dependence, organizational learning, social capital, and agglomeration. This book is clearly worthwhile for regional specialists, but may have even more to offer economists and other students of
technological innovation who want to learn more about the role of regions in the porcesses of innovation and economic growth.'
Richard Florida. Research Policy.
`Europe's leading English-language writers on contemporary industrial districts... an impressive and informative volume that should be read widely as the definitive work on the contemporary state of European industrial regions... the strength of the cases is that they grapple with hard problems... THe authors provide insightful analyses... this is an exceedingly reasonable and moderate book.'
Enterprise and Society
`...important book. ... The presentation of four regional case studies ... is inserted within a robust theoretical framework./ What appears here is the state-of-the-art on the multilevel approach to industrial and developmental policies.'
Marco Bellandi. Regional Studies. 1998.