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Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie

The German Journal of Economic Geography

Editor-in-Chief: Henn, Sebastian / Thomi, Walter

4 Issues per year

IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.516

CiteScore 2016: 0.74

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.403
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.737

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Volume 56, Issue 1-2


Emergence through branching and evolution

The automation industry in Penang, Malaysia

Leo van Grunsven / Inge Witte
Published Online: 2015-10-21 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2012.0012


Evolutionary economic geography proposes regional branching as a mode of industry emergence and development. It is claimed that branching enhances performance and evolution. In this article we investigate the relevance of regional branching and this claim in the context of Southeast Asia’s late-industrialization. We report research into the industrial automation industry in Penang, Malaysia.We first demonstrate that the emergence of this industry conforms well to regional branching. We show that despite this mode of genesis, industry development has stalled at an early stage and its evolution shows bifurcation: amongst the firms there are growers but also - and substantially more - stagnators. We offer a framework for understanding regional branching in late-industrialization context and for understanding differential performance/evolution. Applying this framework to our research context we find that regional branching, stalling, and the occurrence of stagnators and only a few growers can be understood from factors and hampering/ conducive circumstances at the levels of the industry, the region and individual firms.

Keywords: regional branching; automation industry; evolution; Penang; Malaysia

About the article

Published Online: 2015-10-21

Published in Print: 2012-10-01

Citation Information: Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, Volume 56, Issue 1-2, Pages 168–184, ISSN (Online) 2365-7693, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2012.0012.

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© 2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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