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Rewiring global networks at local events: Congresses in the stock photo trade

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Abstract

Digital technologies have enabled the geographical expansion of production and the distribution of creative goods and communication. Simultaneously, the number of trade fairs and congresses has increased. This rise of temporary encounters has led to theorizations of events as marketplaces, learning sites and field-configuring practices. This article elaborates on the metaphor of rewiring to propose and empirically demonstrate a further role of industry events for global business. Drawing on the case of the global stock photo trade, we use a unique survey to map the global network of sales partnerships as well as interviews conducted at international lead congresses to demonstrate how these events are enacted as social relays. Our findings demonstrate how temporary face-to-face contact facilitates long distance relationships between organizations and how it dynamically shapes the global industry network. Thus, we contribute to closing the gap between social action at the micro level, organizational linkages at the meso level and the structure of global industry networks at the macro level.

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... The opportunities to learn about competitors' products and strategies either through observation or direct contacts in trade fairs would enable firms and their technical staff to stay up to date with new developments in products or technologies (Chen & Chu, 2015;Power & Jansson, 2008). As for the social dimension, these events are also viewed as critical relation-building and sense-making spaces (Panitz & Glückler, 2017). Brief consecutive encounters during such events allow participants to establish some level of relational trust, leading to further collaboration on innovation (Maskell et al., 2006). ...
... They found the settings and contexts of domestically-held international trade shows have created an environment which not only encourages Taiwanese firms to engage more aggressively in product and technology advancements, but also facilitates the formation of a platform and institutions supporting these latecomers to launch profitable collaborations. While the function of temporary clusters on stimulating the development of institutions has been noted by some scholars (Li & Bathelt, 2017;Panitz & Glückler, 2017), existing literature in the realm has been not only still few but often based on investigations in developed economies. Through studying Taiwan's hackathons, this paper could contribute to this topic. ...
... Through studying such events in Taiwan, this paper contributes to both the literature of temporary clusters and latecomers' innovation catch-up. On the one hand, it provides an empirical case study for exploring the settings and contexts of a specific form of temporary cluster in facilitating actors' institution-building activities (Chen & Chu, 2015;Li & Bathelt, 2017;Panitz & Glückler, 2017). Moreover, its detailed investigation of innovation dynamisms in hackathons further points out the significant role of temporal factors in forming the unique innovation dynamisms in temporary clusters. ...
Article
The paper deals with issues concerning latecomers’ industrial catch-up. Using the recent development of hackathons as an example, this study explores how actors in an emerging economy manage to enhance innovation capability through certain events. Based on qualitative studies on the innovation activities and outcomes within major hackathons in Taiwan, this paper argues that, thanks to the unique environment and settings of hackathons, industrial actors in Taiwan are able to not only obtain resources and stimulus to facilitate their production of and investments in innovation, but also to improve local institutions for innovation. In addition to demonstrating the nature of these latecomers’ enhanced innovation capability, we also explain key mechanisms contributing to hackathons’ specific innovation dynamisms.
... Other channels for obtaining the know-who of overseas sources include sources elsewhere in the country and local intermediary organizations. Some argue that "temporary clusters," such as trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences, and the like, are designed to facilitate this type of network building (Panitz & Glückler, 2017). ...
... Firms were also asked to rate the frequency of using trade fairs, exhibitions, and conferences. This particular type of temporary event often facilitates knowledge exchange on the basis of informal interactions between individuals (Panitz & Glückler, 2017). ...
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... Locational proximity (Boschma, 2005) and local externalities of regional clusters have been shown to drive specialization and divisions of labor (Turkina et al., 2016), exchanges of information and the creation of innovation (Bathelt et al., 2004;Owen-Smith and Powell, 2004;Storper and Venables, 2004), as well as the creation of new network linkages (Glückler, 2007) within and between local and global scales. Apart from the impact of permanent proximity, research on temporary proximity (Torre and Rallet, 2005) has shown how gatherings at physical places conduce the configuring of new or the rewiring of existing fields and networks (Asheim, 2002;Bathelt et al., 2014;Crossley and Ozturk, 2019;Panitz and Glückler, 2017;Power and Jansson, 2008). Conversely, another stream of research has examined how social networks actually shape places and space (Crossley, 2020). ...
... Ultimately, the limits of social network analysis lie in the fact that it cannot explain the underlying macro-cultural discourses (Lawrence and Phillips, 2004), institutional contexts (Martin, 2000), and cognitive frames (Perry- Smith and Mannucci, 2017) that together affect how the structure of a network is associated with social outcomes. Obvious examples of extra-network forces that affect the formation of network relations are changes in regulation, for example, antitrust and tax legislation on industry-bank co-ownership (Höpner and Krempel, 2004), and changes in technology, for example, the rewiring of global trade relations in the course of the digitization of the photo industry (Panitz and Glückler, 2017). As Mizruchi (1994) puts it in a nutshell: ...
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... This article aims to show how trade fairs contribute to shaping the economic structure by facilitating specific multilevel forms of cooperation among competitors. Panitz and Glückler (2016) contend that trade fairs contribute to periodic reconfigurations in the global network of a given industry by linking individuals and organisations. My argument is that this rewiring is embedded in multilevel networks built up during fairs: temporary proximity during trade fairs facilitates on-going multilevel relational configurations that shape the economic structure of a particular industry. ...
... As emphasized by Panitz and Glückler (2016), there is a lack of research investigating how trade fairs influence the entire market and the network between companies. They showed how the global network of an industry was rewired during the multiple trade fairs over the year. ...
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Trade fairs mobilize multiple levels of agency, particularly individual and organisational. However, the multilevel character of these events is often oversimplified or ignored in the literature. This article uses multilevel network analysis to explore how temporary proximity during trade fairs facilitates enduring multilevel relational configurations that shape the economic structure of a particular industry. Using the concept of multilevel and multisided triad, I demonstrate that cooperation is also dependent on context and on the opposing side of the market, and because these triads are used disproportionately by employees from the largest companies, they contribute to increased socio-economic inequalities between market actors.
... This database was made up of three sources to ensure maximum coverage of the global market. First, it was developed cumulatively over a decade of empirical research in this field (Glu¨ckler, 2005(Glu¨ckler, , 2010Panitz, 2015, 2016;Panitz and Glu¨ckler, 2016). Second, it was complemented through data on membership of, and event participation in the leading business associations. ...
Article
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... A recent debate in economic geography has looked intensively at the role of temporary proximity for the creation, reproduction and transformation of dyadic business relations as well as for the configuration and reproduction of organizational fields and global networks (Power and Jansson, 2008;Torre, 2008;Maskell, 2014;Panitz and Glu¨ckler, 2016). Many social processes, including the antecedents and mechanisms of deal-making, marketing, learning, collaboration and trust-building in temporal proximity have been studied extensively and are well understood. ...
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Although social network analysis has gained popularity in economic geography over the last decade, most of these applications focused on analyzing the characteristics of and opportunities for single actors or regions within networks. Yet, many contemporary research challenges in economic geography center on questions regarding structural dynamics and their implications in entire networks for the collective outcomes involving social actors. This special issue portrays three areas of structural methods for the analysis of entire networks: positional analysis and generalized blockmodeling, network evolution and dominant path analysis and multi-level network analysis. Moreover, these methods offer new ways of theorizing the organization and evolution of the space economy so as to enhance relational thinking in this field. Finally, we suggest there is value in having more intensive exchanges, collaboration and cross-fertilization between economic geography and social network studies.
... In this case, the field might or might not evolve into a full-fledged field with a well-defined set of norms and meanings, based in repetitive and standardized relationships among the actors. Here, the field is depicted more as a temporary collective arrangement of actors dragged together by an attention vortex created by environmental jolts and field-configuring events, such as conferences (Garud, 2008;Hardy & Maguire, 2010), ceremonies (Anand & Jones, 2008;Anand & Watson, 2004), crises (Desai, 2011;Sine & David, 2003), and other kinds of social and natural events (Glynn, 2008;Tilcsik & Marquis, 2013) that bring actors together in space and time and reinvigorate existing structures and relationships (Panitz & Glückler, 2017). ...
Chapter
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The organizational field has become an influential construct in management theory. Despite its prominence, the construct has defied precise definition. Most definitions emphasize either structural elements of fields (fields as place) or their ideational elements (fields as meaning systems). Missing from this analysis is an appreciation of how meaning is given to structural relations. Our core thesis is that memory is a critically important bridging construct through which meaning is given to place. We demonstrate that organizational fields are historical accretions of shared memories that are reproduced and become objectified over time until they acquire the status of ontological reality. We introduce the term mnemonic fields to capture the understanding that fields are cognitions of network relations that are created, maintained and changed through processes of collective remembering.
... Relational economic geography has responded by applying network theory to challenges, such as learning in project ecologies ( Grabher, 2004), controversial innovation in organizational and geographical peripheries ( Glückler, 2014), or localized knowledge spillovers ( Breschi and Lissoni, 2009; Ter Wal and Boschma, 2009). A recent area of convergence between both fields is the attempt to understand the dynamic 'rewiring' of networks in spatial perspective ( Panitz and Glückler, 2017) by theorizing multilevel networks across the spatial scales of local and global markets and across social scales, such as interpersonal and inter-organizational relations, in permanent ( Lazega, 2017) or temporary proximity ( Brailly et al., 2016). ...
Chapter
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... To shed more light on this dichotomy it could be suggested to further theorize about the dynamics of field evolution, or, as pointed out by Munir (2005, p. 96), to explore "how innovations become justified in highly normative settings". One step in this direction has been done by Panitz & Glückler (2017) who studied the patterns of alliances at five trade fairs and congresses in the photography market. Using the concept of "rewiring" ("organize the network architecture of global value networks", p. 148), they describe the various phases that constitute the rewiring mechanism ("the initiation, the maintenance and the dissolution of sales alliances", p. 159) and the effect that they have on "the formation and maintenance of a global sales network" (p. ...
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In recent decades, conferences and meetings have attracted the interest of an increasing number of scholars. These events play a crucial role in contemporary production of knowledge, not only in academic and scientific contexts (Lomnitz, 1983; Boudreau et al., 2012; Chai & Freeman, 2017) but also for entrepreneurs and firms that want to acquire and diffuse strategical knowledge for their field (Vlasov et al., 2017; Luo & Zhong, 2016). This paper aims at systematically reviewing the literature about the role of conferences and meetings in shaping the network of relationships in various fields, from academia to the industrial world.
... The logistic sector is considered to be an important sector to facilitate increased international trade in consequence of globalization and digitalization [1] [2]. It plays a key role in economic development and growth of a country because the logistics sector helps to transport goods across the nation. ...
... The dual core-periphery model resonates with a relational perspective (Massey 2005;Glückler and Panitz 2021) and locates agency in a two-dimensional field of geography and network connectivity. Such an organizational perspective may contribute to a more productive understanding of the role of geographic peripheries in innovation because it includes strategic opportunities for actors to choose and transit between positions in the innovation process: actors can (i) rewire to core/peripheral network positions in peripheral or central places (Panitz and Glückler 2017), and (ii) move or relocate to peripheral/core places while maintaining core or peripheral network positions to best support their innovation journeys (Shearmur 2015; Hautala and Jauhiainen 2019). ...
Research
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To be cited as: Glückler, Johannes, Shearmur, Richard and Martinus, Kirsten (2022): From Liability to Opportunity: Reconceptualizing the Role of Periphery in Innovation. SPACES online, Vol.17, Issue 2022-01. Toronto and Heidelberg: www.spacesonline.com Abstract: The concept of periphery has remained implicit and ambiguous in economic geography, often characterized by normative accounts of laggardness and lack of innovation. In this paper we review discussions of the periphery in the context of the geography of innovation and unpack the logical fallacy of normative understandings of the term. Instead, we propose a relative definition of periphery as distant, disperse and disconnected positions within a field. We further combine geographic and network dimensions of peripherality into a dual core-periphery model to capture the complexity of geographic peripheries and centers, which each can house central and peripheral actors. An understanding of duality rather than dualism between core and periphery offers new potential to theorize the divisions and dynamics of innovation labor, which benefit from and transit between core and periphery positions in the course of the innovation journey.
... An indication of this is that the number of exhibitors linked with each other through local co-patenting networks increased by 12.5% between 2011 and 2015. Second, this could also be an expression of opportunities to build new knowledge networks or rewire existing ones triggered by the rich knowledge ecology that exists at such events Panitz & Glückler, 2017) and this could be promoted by temporal spatial proximity and high interaction density (Bathelt & Zeng, 2014;Torre, 2008). During our interviews at the MWCS, several exhibitors confirmed that they already had co-patenting linkages with other participants previously, and a manager of a mid-sized robot arm manufacturer (established in 2007, with 100-200 employees) explained how new research linkages typically developed through the event: ...
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... In the literature, trade shows have been conceptualized as temporary clusters, and cyclical events focused on creating opportunities for geographically distant actors to build new social networks, create opportunities for face to face interaction and contribute towards the creation of new markets, industries, and even sectors. Trade shows play an important role in constructing global pipelines for the sharing of knowledge and development of new business linkages (Andreae et al., 2013;Panitz & Glückler, 2017). ...
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This paper provides new research opportunities for sustainability transitions literature by drawing insights from three bodies of literature on the role of temporary events in understanding the emergence of novel innovations. This paper looks at three similar, yet distinct streams of literature namely 'field is configuring events,' 'trade shows' and 'hybrid forums' for creating new research opportunities in the sustainability transitions literature. The terms originate from three distinct streams of literature namely: organization and management studies, economic geography and science, technology and society studies (STS) and provide unique conceptual lenses for studying collective and participatory action in temporally organized settings. Overall, the paper brings together diverse perspectives from three different streams of literature which have remained independent from each other with previous research not exploring cross-linkages between them with the sustainability transitions literature. The paper brings more attention to the role of temporary organized events in the sustainability transitions literature and suggests significant new research opportunities in the future.
... The sequencing of explorative and in-depth interviews, formal network surveys and analysis, communicative validation and reflection in action, facilitates a cyclical process of theorization and validation. Concepts such as the 'rewiring' of global networks in temporary events (Glückler/Panitz 2015;Panitz/Glückler 2017) or lateral network governance (Glückler 2020), also emanated from applying the sequencing process of SONA. ...
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... However, it is unclear who the specific beneficiaries are, but they are likely to include our understanding of chairs. In a similar vein, literature in economic geography explores events as temporary clusters that allow the local business community to tap into the knowledge and talent of the event (Fitjar and Huber 2015;Panitz and Glü ckler 2017;Vlasov et al. 2017). Thus, the article in hand offers a truly novel perspective by focusing on the academic impact of the chair. ...
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... More egalitarian relational structures are possible where partners choose to invest more in relationships with partners who are not like them (heterophily), not close to them (social distance), and less central than they are. Building on existing notions of network 'rewiring' (Faul 2016, Panitz andGlückler 2017), equalising networked asymmetries of power requires what we call 'relational practices'. Relational practices could prevail over these network mechanisms of homophily and preferential ties to promote more egalitarian and integrative social spaces. ...
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... Although stock photography has a long tradition in international sales cooperation (Wilkinson, 1997), the alliance behavior has been changing dramatically over the last twenty years. Apart from the cumulative growth of an ever more densely connected global network (Panitz and Glückler, 2016). One geographical consequence of the profound shift in technology, licensing, and business models has been the rapid emergence of an inter-firm network at a subnational geographical scale (CEPIC, 2008;Glückler, 2010). ...
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In this paper I uncover the routine, ongoing practices that sustain institutional multiplicity. Drawing on a comparative study of the two high-tech conferences held in Israel in 2002, I examine how diverse institutions are discursively handled in field-configuring events. Institutional multiplicity was expressed at this site through two identity discourses, one that situated the industry within a national context and another that oriented it toward the global markets. In addition, the conferences were constructed around different best-practice discourses that focused on guidelines for either investment or management. These four discourses reflected and further affected power relations between the field's actors, and they were differentially distributed across separate social spaces between the conferences and within them. The contribution of this study to our understanding of institutional multiplicity lies in demonstrating how it is maintained in practice, politically negotiated between actors, and refracted across separate social spaces.
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In this paper I uncover the routine, ongoing practices that sustain institutional multiplicity. Drawing on a comparative study of the two high-tech conferences held in Israel in 2002,1 examine how diverse institutions are discursively handled in field-configuring events. Institutional multiplicity was expressed at this site through two identity discourses, one that situated the industry within a national context and another that oriented it toward the global markets. In addition, the conferences were constructed around different best-practice discourses that focused on guidelines for either investment or management. These four discourses reflected and further affected power relations between the field's actors, and they were differentially distributed across separate social spaces between the conferences and within them. The contribution of this study to our understanding of institutional multiplicity lies in demonstrating how it is maintained in practice, politically negotiated between actors, and refracted across separate social spaces.
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Work on clusters during the last few decades convincingly demonstrates enhanced opportunities for local growth and entrepreneurship, but external upstream knowledge linkages are often overlooked or taken for granted. This article is an attempt to remedy this situation by investigating why and how young, single-site firms search for distant sources of complementary competences. The discussion is positioned within a comprehensive framework that allows a systematic investigation of the approaches available to firms engaged in globally extended learning. By utilizing the distinction between problem awareness (what remote knowledge is needed?) and source awareness (where does this knowledge reside?) the article explores the relative merits and inherent limitations of pipelines, listening posts, crowdsourcing and trade fairs to acquire knowledge and solutions from geographically and relationally remote sources.
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This postscript discusses the contributions to the special issue of HSR in the light of recent interdisciplinary studies on markets and market societies. It picks out the problem of legitimacy, the importance of events in the formation of markets and the configuration of fields, the role of disorder in the evolution of markets and the relation of markets and fields as the major threads running through the issue and identifies the investigation of the development of modern capitalism as a pressing task for future collaborative research by sociologists, historians, and political scientists.
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Although many foreign buyers attend American trade shows, domestic exhibitors often overlook export opportunities because of the numerous difficulties involved in foreign sales. This article examines the problems encountered by exhibitors as they attempt to export at trade shows. Based on an analysis of export and trade show literatures, hypotheses regarding the types of difficulties exhibitors experience at shows are developed. Data collected from over 200 exhibitors at a major industrial trade show are used to test the hypotheses. The results suggest that the ability to sell to foreign attendees is associated with two internal characteristics of the exhibiting firm: its commitment to exporting and its show staffing practices.
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Participating in trade shows (TSs) is an increasingly important marketing activity for many companies, but current measures of TS performance do not adequately capture dimensions important to exhibitors. Based on the marketing literature's outcome- and behavior-based control system taxonomy, a model that captures an outcome-based sales dimension and four behavior-based dimensions (i.e., information-gathering, relationship-building, image-building, and motivation activities) is built. A 16-item instrument is developed for assessing exhibitors' perceptions of their TS performance. The paper presents evidence of the scale's reliability, factor structure, and validity on the basis of analyzing data from independent samples of exhibitors at the international TSs SIAL (Paris) and ANUGA (Cologne); it concludes a discussion of potential managerial applications and implications for future research. New explanations of antecedents beyond those previously explained in the TS literature are proposed.
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A substantial share of the photographs that are used in advertisements, product packaging, corporate marketing and website design are supplied by the stock photography business. Nevertheless, this global, billion-dollar industry, dominated by a handful of transnational corporations, remains largely invisible to consumers and has been almost totally neglected by cultural analysts. This article attempts to redress that neglect and lift the veil on a powerful force in contemporary visual culture. First it places stock photography in social and historical context, examining the consolidation of the business in its modern form in the 1970s and 1980s and setting out its core practices and discourses in the broader context of commercial culture and advertising. Next it employs the key industry terms `success' and `meaning' to offer an integrated analysis of stock photography both as a system of cultural production and as a mode of representation.
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Participating in trade shows (TSs) is an increasingly important marketing activity for many companies, but current measures of TS performance do not adequately capture dimensions important to exhibitors. Based on the marketing literature's outcome- and behavior-based control system taxonomy, a model that captures an outcome-based sales dimension and four behavior-based dimensions (i.e., information-gathering, relationship-building, image-building, and motivation activities) is built. A 16-item instrument is developed for assessing exhibitors' perceptions of their TS performance. The paper presents evidence of the scale's reliability, factor structure, and validity on the basis of analyzing data from independent samples of exhibitors at the international TSs SIAL (Paris) and ANUGA (Cologne); it concludes a discussion of potential managerial applications and implications for future research. New explanations of antecedents beyond those previously explained in the TS literature are proposed.
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We show how award ceremony rituals influence organizational field evolution through four critical processes: distributing prestige in "situated" performances; en- acting a highly charged ceremonial form designed to attract the collective attention of a field; serving as a medium for surfacing and resolving conflicts about the legitimacy of field participants; and tightening horizontal linkages within the field. Using the Grammy Awards as a case study, we present a mixed-method, longitudinal analysis of these processes operating in tandem. In this article, we use perspectives from ritual theory to show how award ceremonies are an im- portant institutional mechanism for shaping organ- izational fields. The idea of field is central to insti- tutional theory. Because institutional theorists are concerned with the seepage of social context into organizations (Meyer & Rowan, 1977), field serves as a cogent location in which to situate the inter- play of institutional and organizational forces. Con- ceptually, field is broader than industry, which usually refers to a set of equivalent firms that pro- duce a similar product or service (Kenis & Knoke, 2002).1 DiMaggio and Powell defined a field as "those organizations that, in the aggregate, consti- tute a recognized area of institutional life: key sup- pliers, resource and product consumers, regulatory agencies, and other organizations that produce sim- ilar service or products" (1983: 148). One of the more intriguing and unresolved puzzles in institu-
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This article outlines the mechanism by which brokerage provides social capital. Opinion and behavior are more homogeneous within than between groups, so people connected across groups are more familiar with alternative ways of thinking and behaving. Brokerage across the structural holes between groups provides a vision of options otherwise unseen, which is the mechanism by which brokerage becomes social capital. I review evidence consistent with the hypothesis, then look at the networks around managers in a large American electronics company. The organization is rife with structural holes, and brokerage has its expected correlates. Compensation, positive performance evaluations, promotions, and good ideas are disproportionately in the hands of people whose networks span structural holes. The between-group brokers are more likely to express ideas, less likely to have ideas dismissed, and more likely to have ideas evaluated as valuable. I close with implications for creativity and structural change.
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This article uses research on business air travel to study the external linkages of clusters. Using a typology of travellers (from commuters, explorers, and nomads to visiting tradesmen and missionaries) we show how elements of the cluster have more complex external connections than proposed by most of the cluster research literature. Maintaining these linkages involves hyper-mobility of individuals. We explore the implications of such continued physical travel for understandings of the workplace, for work-life balance and for citizenship. We conclude by warning against any one-dimensional understanding of the relationships.
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abstractTrade shows and other temporary clusters have recently emerged as key sites of theoretical relevance for scholars who are interested in the spatial consequences of interactive learning. Recent research has viewed these events as relational spaces in which countless actors interact and learn spontaneously without a central actor governing the process. In the case of permanent clusters, however, studies have started to unpack the practices through which key actors, such as entrepreneurial and professional associations, stimulate learning and interaction. In this article, we hold that these central subjects also have an important role in activating the benefits of colocalization with regard to temporary clusters. In an empirical study of the European Union clothing fabric trade shows between 1986 and 2006, we identified four types of practices through which trade show organizers shape learning and interaction at their events. Contrary to current views, our study found that exchanges of knowledge at these events do not always occur at the global level. Instead, the geographic scale of the processes of exchanging and acquiring knowledge in temporary clusters is socially and politically constructed at several levels—from the merely local to the truly global. We also found that organizers of trade shows facilitate vertical relationships between exhibitors and typical visitors (i.e., buyers), whereas other knowledge flows are neglected or even hindered. We conclude this article by highlighting the theoretical implications of our study for the literature on the spatial consequences of interaction and innovation.
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Abstract In this article I focus on three kinds of overlapping social coordinates — fields, networks and frames — as they are worked out in the day-to-day activities of a large Tokyo advertising agency. My aims are threefold. First, to show how the three social forms of fields, networks and frames interlock in a dialectical manner that permits both macro- and micro-levels of sociological analysis. I thus present methodological approaches hitherto perceived to be different in emphases or interests as complementary rather than at odds with one another. Second, I take up and reexamine the notions of network and frame as developed within the specific context of Japanese social organization. Third, I make a statement in favour of anthropological studies of business as a means of understanding how industries and organizations function in a global economy.