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The Associational EconomyFirms, Regions, and Innovation$
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Philip Cooke and Kevin Morgan

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780198290186

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198290186.001.0001

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The Region as a Nexus of Learning Processes

The Region as a Nexus of Learning Processes

(p.60) 3 The Region as a Nexus of Learning Processes
The Associational Economy

Philip Cooke

Kevin Morgan

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the reasons for increased decentralization of corporate functions to relatively specialized regionalized locations. New kinds of policy involving experimentation, innovation, intelligence building, and reflexivity are found in both economically accomplished and reconversion regions. The externalization and specialization now evident as firms seek efficiency gains for competitive advantage are met by regionalization of innovation programmes as part of a wider decentralization policy. The emphasis on the region as a nexus of processes helps fix the idea of regional development as itself an evolutionary process. This process by definition draws attention to the institutional and organizational means by which the region as a system of collective social order actually seeks to secure or switch its inherited regional path-dependencies by enhancing it's capacity for learning. Of crucial importance to this is the elaboration of economies of association which, where achieved, further both economic efficiency and potentially social equity.

Keywords:   decentralization, nexus of processes, regionalization, innovation programmes, learning, social equity

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