Creating new paths through transplantation: an analysis of regional institutions’ efforts to attract a flagship investment to the Humber

Authors: Danny Mackinnon*, Newcastle University
Topics: Economic Geography
Keywords: path creation, regional development, transplantation, strategic coupling,,offshore wind
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Marriott Ballroom Salon 1, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Recent research has offered insights into the different mechanisms that underpin path creation, focusing upon indigenous growth, diversification and the transplantation of new paths from outside a region. At the same time, such research has incorporated a wider range of actors beyond firms and entrepreneurs, particularly state agencies, universities and research institutes. This paper is concerned with transplantation as a distinct mechanism of path creation, which leads it to engage with the concept of strategic coupling from global production networks (GPNs) research. It aims to unpack and analyse the institutional and political dynamics of path creation, adopting an actor-centred approach that focuses on regional institutions’ efforts to attract and embed lead firm investments within GPNs. We are particularly concerned with understanding the strategic agency and shifting coalitions of actors that create emergent paths and shape their evolution over time. This involves opening up the institutional underpinnings of strategic couplings by focusing more specifically on the key episodes in the attraction of a particular investment and the organisation of the temporary coalition that did the work of attracting it. This approach is operationalised through a case study of the Siemens offshore wind turbine plant in the Humber region of England. In conclusion, we emphasise the need for regional institutions to develop adaptive path creation strategies that co-evolve with the reconfiguration of production networks and the reshaping of national institutional and political environments.

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