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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Planning Studies
Page(s) 1 - 23
Title of proceedings European Planning Studies
DOI 10.1080/09654313.2017.1361604


This article explores corporate regional engagement and related social capital in non-core regions. Corporate regional engagement comprises various activities of firms to influence regional contexts, which are challenging in non-core regions (e.g. on account of their organizational or institutional thinness). Corporate regional engagement engenders positive effects for regional development when firms collaborate among themselves (bonding social capital) and with other actors (bridging social capital) to improve regional endowments. We assume that dynamic regions have at their disposal higher levels of inclusive social capital in terms of collaboration networks for regional concerns and trust, while less dynamic regions have more exclusive and fragmented social capital. Consequently, less dynamic regions in particular appear to have potential to develop in a more social sense by activating the endogenous potential of region-wide collaboration. Those assumptions are tested based on a survey with CEOs from the manufacturing industry from three dynamic and three less dynamic Swiss regions. The findings show that in dynamic regions, more firms are members of regional cross-industry associations, favouring regional collaboration; in less dynamic regions, meanwhile, more firms are members of industry-specific associations and service clubs, where benefits seem to be higher for individual firms than for the regional business environment.