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Entrepreneurship in peripheral areas: Understanding the role of entrepreneurial heritage and embeddedness in Swiss non-metropolitan areas

English title Entrepreneurship in peripheral areas: Understanding the role of entrepreneurial heritage and embeddedness in Swiss non-metropolitan areas
Applicant Mayer Heike
Number 146436
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Geographisches Institut Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Social geography and ecology
Start/End 01.01.2014 - 31.07.2017
Approved amount 401'786.00
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Keywords (5)

Evolutionary economic geography; Entrepreneurship; Entrepreneurial heritage; Peripheral areas; Social embeddedness

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Obwohl periphere Regionen oft als rückständig angesehen werden, gibt es unter ihnen auch solche, die ausgesprochen erfolgreiche Wirtschaftszweige besitzen. Dieses Forschungsprojekt untersucht den Einfluss von unternehmerischem Erbe und sozialer Einbettung auf die Unternehmensentwicklung im zeitlichen Verlauf in peripheren Regionen der Schweiz.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziel

Inhalt und Ziele:

Die Schweizer Wirtschaft und ihre Unternehmen gehören zu den wettbewerbsfähigsten der Welt. Nicht wenige Industrieunternehmen befinden sich in sog. peripheren Regionen, also Gemeinden, die ländlich geprägt und ausserhalb der Metropolregionen liegen. Damit einher geht ein geringes Arbeitskräfteangebot, ein erschwerter Zugang zu Kapital und Wissen und viele weitere Faktoren, die unternehmerische Initiative erschweren.

Im Gegensatz zu Metropolregionen gibt es kaum Studien über die spezifischen Besonderheiten von unternehmerischer Aktivität in peripheren Räumen. Ziel des Forschungsprojekts ist es, Erkenntnisse über den Einfluss der sozialen und ökonomischen Rahmenbedingungen einerseits, und der Bedeutung von Unternehmertum und Firmenentwicklung andererseits, auf die regionale Wirtschaft zu gewinnen. In einer Vergleichsstudie sollen besonders erfolgreiche mit weniger erfolgreichen peripheren Gebieten verglichen werden. Dabei werden die langfristigen historischen Veränderungen nachgezeichnet und ein spezifischer Methodenmix aus quantitativen und qualitativen Methoden angewendet.

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext:

Vor dem Hintergrund der fortschreitenden Globalisierung ist es wichtig zu verstehen, welche Faktoren für eine erfolgreiche Positionierung peripherer Regionen in der Weltwirtschaft ausschlaggebend sind. Auf der Grundlage der gewonnenen Erkenntnisse lassen sich einerseits bestehende Lücken in der aktuellen wirtschaftsgeographischen Forschung schliessen und andererseits Empfehlungen für die Regionalpolitik ableiten.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.01.2014

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Entrepreneurship and innovation are important dynamics for the development of peripheral regions. The ways in which new firms are founded and how peripheral regions support these entrepeneurial efforts have, however, not been studied in great detail.
Lay summary
The research will examine entrepreneurial dynamics in Swiss non-metropolitan areas from an evolutionary economic geography perspective. The study will compare three peripheral areas and collect longitudinal data on entrepreneurial heritage and embeddedness. We employ a multiple embedded case study methodology and combine qualitative and historical data analysis with quantitative methods for identifying factors responsible for economic development of peripheral areas. The originality of this research lies in the evolutionary
economic geography perspective adapted to the peripheral context and in the unique historical analysis of peripheral economies in Switzerland.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 06.01.2014

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Enterprise-related social capital as a driver of firm growth in the periphery?
Habersetzer Antoine, Grèzes-Bürcher Sandra, Boschma Ron, Mayer Heike (2019), Enterprise-related social capital as a driver of firm growth in the periphery?, in Journal of Rural Studies, 65, 143-151.
Regional engagement of locally anchored firms and its influence on socio-economic development in two peripheral regions over time
Bürcher Sandra (2017), Regional engagement of locally anchored firms and its influence on socio-economic development in two peripheral regions over time, in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 1-23.
Are there differences in social capital related to coporate regional engagement in dynamic and less dynamic non-core regions?
Bürcher Sandra, Mayer Heike (2017), Are there differences in social capital related to coporate regional engagement in dynamic and less dynamic non-core regions?, in European Planning Studies, 1-23.
Entrepreneurship in the periphery: The role of pre-entry experience and home advantage for newly founded firms
Habersetzer Antoine, Eriksson Rikard, Mayer Heike (2017), Entrepreneurship in the periphery: The role of pre-entry experience and home advantage for newly founded firms, in CRED Research Paper, (14), 1.
The Role of Pre-Entry Experience of Firm Founders in Peripheral Regions: Routines, Business Contacts, and Local Starting Conditions
Habersetzer Antoine (2017), The Role of Pre-Entry Experience of Firm Founders in Peripheral Regions: Routines, Business Contacts, and Local Starting Conditions, in Growth and Change, 1.
Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers
Mayer Heike, Habersetzer Antoine, Meili Rahel (2016), Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers, in Sustainability, 2016(8), 745.
Entrepreneurship in peripheral regions: a relational perspective
Bürcher Sandra, Habersetzer Antoine, Mayer Heike (2016), Entrepreneurship in peripheral regions: a relational perspective, in Mack Elizabeth (ed.), Routledge, Milton Park, 143-164.
Spinoff dynamics beyond clusters: pre-entry experience and firm survival in peripheral regions
Habersetzer Antoine (2016), Spinoff dynamics beyond clusters: pre-entry experience and firm survival in peripheral regions, in Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, 28(9-10), 791-812.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Geography and Economic History, Umea University Sweden (Europe)
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Urban and Regional Research Centre Utrecht (URU), University of Utrecht Netherlands (Europe)
- Publication

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Young Economic Geographers Network: Regional Perspectives on Innovation Talk given at a conference Is change overvalued? Spinoff dynamics between continuity and change 20.07.2017 Goslar, Germany Habersetzer Antoine;
RSA Annual Conference: the Great Regional Awakening: New Directions Talk given at a conference Entrepreneurship in the periphery: The role of pre-entry experience and home advantage for new firms 04.06.2017 Dublin, Ireland Habersetzer Antoine;
Uddevalla Symposium Talk given at a conference What kind of pre-entry experience matters for startups in peripheral regions? 30.07.2016 London, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Habersetzer Antoine;
Association of American Geographers Annual Conference 2016 Talk given at a conference What kind of pre-entry experience matters for startups in peripheral regions? 01.04.2016 San Francisco, United States of America Habersetzer Antoine;
AK Industriegeographie Talk given at a conference Spinoffdynamik jenseits von Clustern: Regionales unternehmerisches Erbe in peripheren Regionen der Schweiz 12.11.2015 Naurod-Niedernhausen, Germany Habersetzer Antoine;
Pre-Conference Doctoral Day Strasbourg (Teil der RIP Regional Innovation Policies Conference, Karlsruhe) Talk given at a conference Does regional engagement of entrepreneurs influence the long-term economic development of peripheral regions? 14.10.2015 Strasbourg, France Bürcher Sandra;
Global Conference on Economic Geography 2015 Talk given at a conference Regional entrepreneurial heritage of manufacturing firms in peripheral regions: Spinoff dynamics and management mobility in peripheral Switzerland 19.08.2015 Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Habersetzer Antoine;
ROREP Swisslab 2015 Talk given at a conference Unternehmertum im peripheren Raum: Wissensakquisition und Wissensnetzwerke von Industrieunternehmen 04.06.2015 Davos, Switzerland Habersetzer Antoine;
5th NORSA Conference - PhD course in economic geography Talk given at a conference Connectedness of manufacturing firms in Swiss non-metropolitan areas: What role do board interlocks play? 13.01.2015 Grimstad, Norway Habersetzer Antoine;
5th NORSA Conference - PhD course in economic geography Talk given at a conference Which role does the regional engagement of industrial entrepreneurs and their organization play concerning the long-term regional development of two Swiss non-metropolitan regions? 13.01.2015 Grimstad, Norway Bürcher Sandra;
International PhD course on Economic Geography Talk given at a conference Entrepreneurship in Swiss non-core regions: Entrepreneurial heritage and the evolution of the manufacturing industry 16.09.2014 Utrecht, Netherlands Habersetzer Antoine;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Young Economic Geographer's Network: Workshop on Regional Development, Innovation and Inequality 17.08.2016 Bern, Switzerland

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
regiosuisse-Wissenschaftsforum 2016 Talk 24.11.2016 Interlaken , Switzerland Bürcher Sandra;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
Strategic Advisory Committee on Entrepreneurship and Industrial Development in Peripheral Regions 09.05.2014 Bern, Switzerland
Diverse Workshops im Rahmen des AGORA Projekts InnoFutures 01.01.2014 diverse Städte in der Schweiz, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
151507 INNO-FUTURES - Territorial innovation approaches, practices and policies: What futures? 01.03.2014 Agora

Abstract

Regions outside the main metropolitan areas of a nation are often characterized as periphery not only in a geographical sense: lower labor productivity, higher factor cost not only for labor, but also for capital and knowledge, lower shares of innovative activities, fragmented or 'thin' institutions and dense networks of mutual social control make them to 'entrepreneurial laggards' compared to urban growth centers (Tödtling & Trippl 2005; Karlsen et al. 2011; Lagendijk & Lorenzten 2007). Yet, some non-metropolitan areas can be very dynamic and entrepreneurial. Some areas in the periphery even host highly entrepreneurial firms, often referred to as hidden champions (Domhardt et al. 2009), which substantially contribute to a region`s successful economic evolution despite its peripheral location. Such dynamic examples are of high relevance for regional policy in most Western countries (OECD 2009) including Switzerland (OECD 2011) which favor growth-oriented approaches and aim to tap endogenous entrepreneurial potential. Yet, research in economic geography is unclear about the factors that contribute to long-term growth of a peripheral region. Is it the entrepreneur who makes the periphery successful? Or is it the particular social and economic environment, which fosters the growth of entrepreneurship? Why do peripheral regions differ and why are some regions with rich industrial histories lagging behind other regions? By answering these questions, we aim to (i) advance our understanding of the particular role of entrepreneurship in the economic evolution of peripheral areas from a long-term historical perspective and (ii) provide a comprehensive analysis of the factors of success for fostering entrepreneurship in peripheral areas. Entrepreneurship and its role in the development of peripheral areas will be studied from an evolutionary economic geography perspective (Boschma & Martin 2010). Within evolutionary economic geography, en-trepreneurship - like other economic activities - is not analyzed as a ubiquitous and abstract concept which might be associated with innovation, opportunity recognition and -exploitation (Shane 2003). Instead, entre-preneurship is conceptualized as a spatially and temporally path-dependent activity. The specific attributes and determinants of a region`s entrepreneurial capacity and activities are expected to vary between places and over time (Baumol 1990). Analyses in evolutionary economic geography not only require a long-term perspective but also one that focuses on the interplay between social and entrepreneurial factors. In adopting these two approaches to the peripheral context we will fill a gap in the field of evolutionary economic geog-raphy because research to date has mainly focused on pioneering industries in urban growth centers.For conceptualizing the role of entrepreneurship for economic evolution of non-metropolitan areas, two ap-proaches are discussed: the embeddedness and the heritage approach. Under the former, entrepreneurship is seen as an outcome (effect) of economic vitality of a region (Porter 1990, 1998). Thus, entrepreneurship may be a consequence of a social environment which favored entrepreneurial initiatives over time and eventually created a conducive climate for new firm creation and entrepreneurial business activity in the present. Under the heritage approach, in contrast, entrepreneurship is conceptualized as a direct driver (cause) of economic evolution over time. Sources of entrepreneurship are rooted in the professional and biographical traits of particular entrepreneurs and their organizations (Klepper 2001; Klepper & Buenstorf 2010). To address the role of entrepreneurial embeddedness and heritage, we will adopt a multiple embedded case study methodology (Yin 1994), which will encompass three peripheral areas in Switzerland: case study area EAST (Rhine Valley and Toggenburg), case study NORTH (Schaffhausen/Diessenhofen and Klettgau) and case study area CENTRAL (Obwalden/Uri or Emmental and Entlebuch/Oberhasli). Each area is characterized by outperforming districts (Rhine valley, Schaffhausen/Diessenhofen, Obwalden/Uri) and underperforming districts (Toggenburg, Klettgau, Entlebuch/Oberhasli). These contrasting dynamics are often in close geographic proximity and suggest that factors other than geographic location play an important role in determining a peripheral region`s success. We employ mixed methods that utilize extensive qualitative and historical data to be followed up by a quantitative analysis of factors responsible for the development of pe-ripheral areas. The originality of this project lies in the evolutionary economic geography perspective adapted to the peripheral context and in the unique historical analysis of peripheral regional economies in Switzerland.
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