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European Countryside

The Journal of Mendel University in Brno

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Volume 3, Issue 3


Expanding horizons: local embeddedness and local engagement among small firms in the European countryside

Andrew Copus / Alexandre Dubois / Moa Hedström
Published Online: 2012-01-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10091-012-0002-y

Expanding horizons: local embeddedness and local engagement among small firms in the European countryside

The relative importance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), of local embeddedness and engagement with the wider economic and technical environment has been a subject of debate, in the context of regional development, for some years. There is increasingly general acceptance that both are essential for regional development. This paper considers the role and characteristics of business networks within the structural shift of the rural economy, away from local resource based activities towards a more diversified 'New Rural Economy'. A better understanding of the relative importance of local and wider networking by rural SMEs is crucial for more effective policy, especially that intended to support rural-urban interaction and cooperation. Findings from a case study in Northern Sweden are presented.

Den relativa betydelsen för små och medelstora företag (SMF) av dels lokal förankring, och dels vidare förbindelser i ett större ekonomiskt och tekniskt sammanhang, har debatterats inom ramen för regional utveckling i ett antal år. Att båda är viktiga för regional utveckling är allt mer allmänt accepterat. I den här artikeln studeras företagsnätverks roll och egenskaper inom den strukturella förändringen av landsbygdens ekonomi, där utvecklingen går från aktiviteter baserade på lokala naturresurser mot en mer diversifierad ekonomi på landsbygden ("New Rural Economy"). En bättre förståelse för den relativa betydelsen av SMFs lokala så väl som vidare nätverkande är avgörande för en effektivare policy, särskilt för den som riktas mot interaktion och samarbete mellan stad och land. Resultat från en fallstudie i norra Sverige presenteras.

Keywords: Business networks; global; rural; embeddedness; new rural economy; SME

Keywords: Företagsnätverk; global; rural; förankring; nya ekonomin på landsbygden; SMF

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About the article

Published Online: 2012-01-24

Published in Print: 2011-01-01

Citation Information: European Countryside, Volume 3, Issue 3, Pages 164–182, ISSN (Online) 1803-8417, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10091-012-0002-y.

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