Local Embeddedness and Global Links in Rural Areas: Euclidean and Relational Space in Business Networks
2012 (English)In: Translocal Ruralism: Mobility and Connectivity in European Rural Spaces / [ed] C. Hedberg, R.M. do Carmo, Dordrecht: Springer, 2012, 103-121 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Rural regions and small businesses are often assumed to be marginalised in relationto contemporary processes of globalisation. Globalisation is perceived to be mainlyan urban phenomenon, with indirect (and predominantly negative) impacts upon the countryside. This chapter explores the extent to which emerging rural business networkconfigurations belie this popular misunderstanding. It presents the conceptualframework, methodology and initial findings of a study investigating the spatial and‘relational’ structures of the business networks of small- and medium-sized enterprises(SMEs) in rural areas of Sweden, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Lithuaniaand the Netherlands.1Small rural firms usually cannot exploit external economies or agglomerativeadvantages, due to remoteness from large metropolitan markets, and (in some cases) the wide spacing of settlements within their region. For that reason, economic developmentprocesses in rural areas – especially remote and sparsely populated ones –challenge conventional development paradigms in which agglomeration economiesplay an important role. The hypothesis to be explored in this chapter is that successfuland dynamic rural firms derive ‘networking economies’ from frequent andeffective interaction, both with the local business environment, and with a muchmore extensive set of linkages, stretching out across Europe, and perhaps furtherafield. This implies both a degree of global integration and ‘territorial anchoring’,which are not mutually exclusive, but rather are complimentary aspects of a ‘survival strategy’ for SMEs in rural areas.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Dordrecht: Springer, 2012. 103-121 p.
, The GeoJournal library, v. 103
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88908ISBN: 94-007-2314-8OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88908DiVA: diva2:614556