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THE DIFFERENCE PRINCIPLE? SHAPING COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE CULTURAL PRODUCT INDUSTRIES

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Abstract:

ABSTRACT.

This article argues that due to the endless substitution possibilities open to consumers of cultural products, firms’ competitive advantage rests as much upon positionality and differentiation as upon traditional forms of intellectual property such as copyrights and trademarks. However, the construction of positionality and differentiation may entail geographies and milieus other than associated with product origination and creation. The article suggests that existing models of regional growth and innovation systems must, and can, be adapted to fit firms and sectors where competitiveness is not only based on traditional types of intellectual property (such as copyrights or patents) but also differential property (such as marketplace positionality). The idea of regional systems supportive of differentiation (and market positionality) means we must reappraise some of our notions of what constitute supportive regional conditions. To this end a revised version of the cluster model of regional competitive advantage is presented: one which attempts to be more tailored to industries where intellectual property and differentiation are the core products.

Keywords: cluster; cultural and creative industries; differentiation; intellectual property; regional economic development

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0467.2010.00339.x

Affiliations: Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden, Email: dominic.power@kultgeog.uu.se

Publication date: 2010-06-01

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