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Changing Nature and Sustainability of the Industrial District Model: The Case of Technic Valley in France

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This paper examines the impact of contemporary pressures on industrial districts and analyses the changes that are taking place in an industrial district confronted with disembedding and globalisation. We discuss the following questions: What are the processes and consequences of disembedding for the changing shape and form of inter-firm trust, contract and network forms? Is there an evolution in subcontracting and trade interdependency? What is the role of institutional infrastructures? We performed a longitudinal qualitative study using a number of different data sources to analyse the evolution of one French industrial district, particularly how new pressures of internationalisation and disembedding work to reconfigure inter-firm relations in this district. While the recent literature is dominated by notions about industrial districts that concern only the trend towards increased competition or disembeddedness, this article shows that there is no unilinear trend. In contrast with the findings of certain recent studies, we argue that economic logic does not fully account for recent developments because the adjustment that are being made by the district are characterised rather by re-embeddedness, increased cooperation, and institutionalisation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Paris, France. and [email protected], Email: [email protected] 2: University of Paris Dauphine, France., Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2007

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