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Demystifying the role of culture in innovative regional economies

Al James

Regional Studies, 2005, vol. 39, issue 9, 1197-1216

Abstract: James A. (2005) Demystifying the role of culture in innovative regional economies, Regional Studies 39 , 1197-1216. Within the regional learning and innovation literature, the precise impact of regional 'culture' on firms' competitive performance remains unspecified. In response, this paper draws on research on Utah's high-tech industrial agglomeration, embedded in a highly visible regional culture: Mormonism. Focusing specifically on computer software firms, the paper first shows how the cultural embeddedness of firms in the region is best understood as a series of sustained tensions between: (1) self-identified regional cultural traits imported into the firm; versus (2) key elements of corporate cultures known to underpin innovation. Second, the paper measures the material impact of that regional cultural embedding on firms' innovative capacities and hence abilities to compete. Finally, it outlines the wider relevance of the author's work with regard to the spatial limits imposed on high-tech cluster policy by cultural context.

Keywords: Regional culture; Embeddedness; Innovation; High-tech; Mormonism; Salt Lake City; Utah; Culture regionale; Ancrage; Innovation; Technopole; Mormonisme; Salt Lake City; Utah; Regionale Kultur; Eingebetttsein; Innovation; Hochtechnologie; Mormonentum; Salt Lake City; Utah; Cultura regional; Integracion; Innovacion; Alta tecnologia; Mormonismo; Salt Lake City; JEL classifications: L21; O31; P17; Z13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2005
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DOI: 10.1080/00343400500389968

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