Diverse diversities-Open innovation in small towns and rural areas

Meili, Rahel; Shearmur, Richard (2019). Diverse diversities-Open innovation in small towns and rural areas. Growth and change, 50(2), pp. 492-514. Wiley 10.1111/grow.12291

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It is generally accepted that cities and other forms of geographic agglomerations are conducive to innovation because their density and variety of firms, sectors and individuals create a diverse environment. However, a growing body of work shows that innovation also occurs in peripheral regions and small towns. Furthermore, work on rural social networks shows that diversity is multidimensional, and that along certain dimensions networks developed in rural areas are more diverse than those observed in cities. In this paper, we develop these arguments, then report our observations of seven successful firms in Swiss small towns. These firms benefit from at least three types of diversity: internal diversity; multiplexed interactions between workers at different hierarchical levels; and external diversity as firms reach beyond the region. We conclude that diversity conducive to firm‐level innovation is not a specifically urban attribute: at least some of its dimensions are present in small towns and more peripheral areas.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Economic Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

UniBE Contributor:

Meili, Rahel

Subjects:

700 Arts > 710 Landscaping & area planning
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics
900 History > 910 Geography & travel

ISSN:

0017-4815

Publisher:

Wiley

Language:

English

Submitter:

Carmen Metzler

Date Deposited:

06 May 2019 17:17

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2019 13:07

Publisher DOI:

10.1111/grow.12291

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.127687

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/127687

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