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Ruhr Firms between Dynamic Change and Structural Persistence. Globalization, the 'German Model' and Regional Place-Dependence

Christian Berndt
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 23, No. 3 (1998), pp. 331-352
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/623205
Page Count: 22
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Ruhr Firms between Dynamic Change and Structural Persistence. Globalization, the 'German Model' and Regional Place-Dependence
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Abstract

This paper investigates recent restructuring strategies of medium-sized firms in the Ruhr area, and assesses the role of institutional, organizational and socio-economic factors in shaping their strategic responses to economic change. By pointing out the extent to which embeddedness in different political-economic contexts constrains the expansion of organizational space, it is argued that medium-sized firms respond by falling back on routinized, predominantly regional, interaction structures. 'Embedding' and cooperation are, however, constrained by market forces and competitive pressures, which manifest themselves in various governance dilemmas. Solving these dilemmas between institutional persistence and 'economic imperatives' constitutes a major organizational challenge for the sample firms.

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