David B. Audretsch : Everything in Its Place: Entrepreneurship and the Strategic Management of Cities, Regions, and States. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015. 184 pp. $35.00, hardcover.
Everything in Its Place is a reminder that we are all connected to our communities and affected by their successes and failures. For those who study global phenomena, the book offers explanations for why organizations may seek new locations for their activities and abandon others. After decades of efforts for regional integrations, such as the European Union and the North American Free Trade Agreement, there appears to be a growing trend toward diverse approaches to economic policies by states and regions. The book, with its multidimensional investigation of economic development and ideas on how to manage locations strategically, provides a useful tool to think about how to survive in the new era.
…The main chapters of the book cover the four elements or pillars of the strategic management of place framework: factors of production and resources, the spatial and organizational dimension, the human dimension, and public policy. Each pillar is presented with the economic performance of cities, regions, and states in mind. In addition to natural resources and infrastructure, factors of production and resources consist of knowledge resources, universities, skilled and unskilled labor, human capital, and the creative class. The spatial and organizational dimension represents the geographic organization of factors and resources, and the chapter on this pillar focuses on topics such as market power, competition, entrepreneurship, specialization, diversity, and clusters. Audretsch illustrates these topics by telling interesting stories about IBM’s hometown of Poughkeepsie, New York; Helsinki’s rise as a result of Nokia’s success; Detroit’s relationship with the automobile industry; the computer industry in Silicon Valley; SAP’s success in Baden-Württemberg, Germany; and the aerospace industry in Huntsville, Alabama. The chapter on the human element focuses on networks, social capital, organizational identity and image, and leadership. The chapter on public policy provides details on the mandate for local people and organizations to implement the strategic management of place. Effective public policy, according to Audretsch, considers the unique configuration of local resources, potential problems of implementing strategy, and the appropriateness of policy instruments in the contexts of different determinants of economic performance.
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