PUBLISHED WORK

by author

ZUZANA HOLICKA

 

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ALL PUBLISHED WORK

References and Links to Papers and Books

USING AREAL INTERPOLATION TO DEAL WITH DIFFERING REGIONAL STRUCTURES IN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH

P Netrdova, V Nosek, P Hurbanek (2020)
ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 9 (2), 126

When working with regional data from different countries, issues concerning data comparability need to be solved, including regional comparability. Differing regional unit size is a common issue which influences the results of socio-economic analyses. In this paper, we introduce a strategy to deal with the regional incomparability of administrative data in international research. We propose a methodological approach based on the areal interpolation method, which facilitates the usage of advanced spatial analyses. To illustrate, we analyze spatial patterns of unemployment in seven Central European countries. We use a very detailed spatial (municipal) level to reveal local tendencies. To have comparable units across the whole region, we apply the areal interpolation method, a process of projecting data from source administrative units to the target structure of a grid. After choosing the most suitable grid structure and projecting the data onto the grid, we perform a hot spot analysis to show the benefits of the grid structure for socio-economic analyses. The proposed approach has great potential in international research for its methodological correctness and the ability to interpret results.

THE VARIEGATED ROLE OF PROXIMITIES IN ACQUISITIONS BY DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES IN DIFFERENT PHASES OF ECONOMIC CYCLES

V Kveton, A Belohradsky, J Blazek (2020)
Papers in Regional Science

This paper aims at an understanding of acquisition processes in a strongly industrialized and export‐oriented economy in Central Europe. Drawing on a proximity framework and behaviour theory, the paper investigates that the geographical proximity dimension is more influential than the cognitive proximity dimension. At the same time, cognitive proximity matters more for foreign firms investing into the economy than for domestic acquisitions. While the role of cognitive proximity diminished during the economic crisis, geographical proximity keeps its importance throughout the economic cycle. Moreover, cognitive proximity has become more important for acquisitions of large companies and less for SMEs.

RESTRUCTURING AND INTERNATIONALIZATION OF THE EUROPEAN AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

P Pavlinek (2019) 
Journal of Economic Geography

This article draws on Harvey’s theory of uneven development and spatio-temporal fix to conceptualize the changing geography of the European automotive industry based on the spatial profit-seeking strategies of automotive firms. It employs the spatial concept of integrated peripheries, in order to explain the growth of the automotive industry in peripheral regions and its contemporaneous restructuring in existing locations. The empirical analysis is based on 2124 restructuring events of large automotive industry firms in the European Union countries and Norway between 2005 and 2016, and on 91 interviews with foreign automotive industry subsidiaries conducted in Czechia and Slovakia between 2009 and 2015. Large differences in labor costs and other production costs across the European Union explain the growth in the East European integrated periphery and simultaneous restructuring in both traditional core regions and old integrated peripheries in Western Europe. The empirical analysis also confirmed the increasing internationalization and the decreasing role played by large domestic firms in the European automotive industry.

THE DARK SIDE OF REGIONAL INDUSTRIAL PATH DEVELOPMENT: TOWARDS A TYPOLOGY OF TRAJECTORIES OF DECLINE

J Blazek, V Kveton, S Baumgartinger-Seiringer, M Trippl (2019)
European Planning Studies

Over the past few years, scholarly debates on new path development have attracted increasing attention within the economic geography literature. This work distinguishes various trajectories of regional and industrial evolution. So far, these evolutionary trajectories have been mainly conceptualized as ‘positive’ forms of path development. However, in reality, many regions are undergoing phases that can be characterized as ‘negative’ trajectories. Despite their potentially detrimental social and political effects, negative pathways have to date largely been ignored in the extant literature. This paper seeks to shed light on the ‘dark side’ of path development by outlining a typology of ‘pathways of decline’. Three forms of negative pathways are identified, namely path contraction, path downgrading and path delocalization. Empirical illustrations are provided for each of them.

P Netrdova, J Blazek (2019)
Journal of Maps 15 (1), 69-76

This study presents an analysis and visualisation of the evolutionary dynamics of unemployment at the municipal level in Czechia during the global economic crisis. The analysis is based on a monthly time series of unemployment data at a detailed territorial level. Namely, there are 6,258 municipalities in Czechia, which makes it particularly suitable for a detailed investigation of the unfolding and evolution of the recent crisis. Our focus is on analysing and mapping the spatiotemporal patterns of unemployment using variability and autocorrelation measures. Given the detailed territorial level of our analysis, large-scale maps will be presented to assist with interpretation and analytical conclusions. The Main Map (1:600 000) shows the categories of municipalities according to the rate of unemployment and its evolutionary dynamics. Three additional maps (1:1 400 000) visualise the results of spatiotemporal analyses.

SPEED DATING: AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER IN A FRAGMENTED REGIONAL INNOVATION SYSTEM?

V Kadlec (2019)

The main goal of this paper is to demonstrate the impacts of speed dating on the enhancement of university-business collaboration. With the example of the metropolitan region of Prague and its largest university (Charles University), the case study on a speed dating event was organized by this University in the field of life science and medical devices. The results show, that speed dating itself has limited direct impact on real technology transfer. Only 1 of the 44 newly gained contacts was transformed into real cooperation in the form of consultancy. On the other hand, speed dating has several indirect impacts, which can moderate fragmentation of the regional innovation system, ie community and trust building, learning of common “language” and exchange of information. Direct impact can be enhanced by the follow-up activities of dedicated people (eg technology scouts or business development managers), who can encourage and support creation of more new technology partnerships.

TRANSFER OF JAPANESE-STYLE MANAGEMENT TO THE CZECH REPUBLIC: THE CASE OF JAPANESE MANUFACTURING FIRMS

K Natsuda, J Sykora, J Blazek (2019)
Asia Europe Journal, 1-23

This study examines the level of application of Japanese-style management to the Czech Republic from the perspective of hybridization, by employing a survey of Japanese manufacturing firms based in this country. The survey reveals that the Japanese system of production control is strictly enforced, while work organization, labour relations and group consciousness have been—despite targeted practices used by Japanese companies to facilitate application of the Japanese system—largely adapted to the local conditions. Furthermore, this study identifies the transitional process from relying upon Japanese expatriates towards engaging local human resources in the parent-subsidiary relationship. In addition, even though the Japanese-style procurement method is applied with a large number of local suppliers, the local content ratio nevertheless remains relatively low in the Czech Republic. Overall, Japanese manufacturing firms, via their vigorous effort to transfer their distinctive management style, are challenging European business practices and Czech socio-cultural traditions, even though the level of hybridization is strongly variegated according to particular management spheres.

USING MIXED METHOD APPROACH IN MEASURING EFFECTS OF TRAINING IN FIRMS: CASE STUDY OF THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND SUPPORT

M Pelucha, V Kveton, O Potluka (2019)
Evaluation and program planning 73, 146-155

Public support of training in firms corresponds to the long-term importance of the quality of human capital in the competitiveness of firms and nations. Thus, the EU supports such training via the European Social Fund (ESF). The evaluation community evaluates the support by using either qualitative or quantitative methods. The simultaneous application of these two approaches is rare. The purpose of this paper is to combine quantitative (counterfactual impact evaluation) and qualitative (qualitative comparative analysis) methods in order to fill the methodological gap. Based on the combination of both approaches, it explores their strengths, complementarity and disadvantages to evaluate public support for employee training in the Czech Republic. The combination of methods makes it possible to identify not only the impacts but also their causes. Linking the ESF support to corporate competitiveness is crucial for demonstrating the effectiveness of public spending.

INNOVATION-BASED REGIONAL CHANGE IN EUROPE: CHANCES, RISKS AND POLICY IMPLICATIONS: SOUTH MORAVIA: FROM A QUICK FIX BY FOREIGN INVESTMENTS TOWARDS A BOTTOM-UP POLICY LEARNING?

J Blazek, D Uhlir, V Kveton, D Marek (2019), eds. K Koschatzky, T Stahlecker

A central assumption in current debates on the geography of innovation is that a firm's location affects its ability to innovate (Isaksen and Karlsen 2016). Conceptualised as geographical proximity, it is argued that co-location of firms and actors such as universities and intermediaries effectively supports the emergence of innovation, especially in larger agglomerations. This assumption rests on two theoretical building blocks: localisation and urbanisation economies. The idea of localisation economies goes back to Marshall (1927) who suggested that a regional specialisation of economic activities provides pecuniary and non-pecuniary benefits to firms from related industries, for instance through eased exchange of knowledge and common use of regional resources such as a specialised labour market. Discussed in terms of urbanisation economies (Jacobs 1969), the diversity of economic activities and actors and the associated potential of cross-fertilisation provide further positive externalities. Diverse economic structures bring together heterogeneous actors and facilitate a fruitful exchange of resources.

REGIONAL EMBEDDEDNESS, RELATEDNESS AND INTER-REGIONAL LINKAGES AMONG LESS DEVELOPED REGIONS IN CENTRAL EUROPE

V Kveton, K Safr (2019)
European Planning Studies

This paper aims at a comprehension of existing intra-/inter-regional production flows in a dynamically transforming, export-oriented economy in Central Europe. Drawing on evolutionary economic geography combined with input–output approaches, we have assessed the sectoral compositions and relationships between regions from a buyer-supplier interactions perspective. Inspired by contemporary literature we applied concepts of regional embeddedness, relatedness and vertically related variety. Conceptually we argue that the degree of embeddedness of regions is differentiated and spatially non-random. The differences will depend to a large extent on the economic characteristics and on the ability of key actors and institutions in these regions to respond actively to changing opportunities and threats. Empirically we have found: that economically more developed regions are relatively more embedded in terms of production flows and have greater sectoral variety, whereas regions with high export-dependence are economically backward, and have higher concentration of industry and negative associations with innovation activity and overall innovation potential. The intensity of interregional production flows increases as the regional economies vary more from each other, but beyond a certain level of structural difference the rate of mutual flows decreases; and that the intensity of interregional relations depends on the relatedness of the economic bases.

INDIGENOUS LEAD FIRMS IN RURAL REGIONS: GEOGRAPHY OF GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORKS REVISITED

M Srholec, P Zízalova, P Horak (2019)
Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 1-18

This paper examines regional distribution of indigenous lead firms in global production networks (GPNs). The paper triangulates unique evidence at the firm-level from a large innovation survey, extensive field interviews and detailed case studies in Czechia. The results indicate that lead firms are not predominantly urban species, as often assumed in the literature, but tend to be located to a surprisingly high extent in rural areas. Nevertheless, rural lead firms differ significantly from the urban ones in many respects. Urban regions turn out to be a seedbed for young, ambitious, close to the market and networked lead firms in new industries, which conforms to typical urbanization economics in action, whereas rural regions tend to harbor mature, established and relatively self-reliant lead firms with strong technical know-how in traditional industries, which build on location-specific resources and traditions. The results call for a more nuanced view on the coupling between GPNs and location advantages and more granular take on the regional dimension of innovation policy.

GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORKS, FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT, AND SUPPLIER LINKAGES IN THE INTEGRATED PERIPHERIES OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

P Pavlinek (2018)
Economic Geography 94 (2), 141-165

This article examines the regional development effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the integrated peripheries of the automotive industry by analyzing supplier linkages between foreign subsidiaries and domestic firms. It develops the spatial concept of integrated peripheries in core-based macroregional production networks. Conceptually, it draws on the dynamic notion of uneven development in contemporary capitalism, namely, on David Harvey’s spatiotemporal fix and on the global production networks concept of strategic coupling to investigate the mode of articulation of integrated peripheries into macro-regional production networks. Empirically, it analyzes the quantity and quality of supplier linkages in the automotive industry of Slovakia based on unique data collected by the author from both foreign subsidiaries and domestic firms through a survey completed by 133 automotive firms in 2010 and interviews with 50 automotive firms conducted between 2011 and 2015. The empirical analysis uncovered weak and dependent supplier linkages between foreign subsidiaries and domestic firms, which undermine the potential for technology and knowledge transfer from foreign subsidiaries to the domestic economy and positive long-term regional development effects of large FDI by automotive industry corporations in integrated peripheries.

KNOWLEDGE BASES, R&D STRUCTURE AND SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND INNOVATION PERFORMANCE OF EUROPEAN REGIONS

J Blazek, V Kadlec (2018)
Innovation: The European Journal of Social Science Research 32 (1), 26-47

Due to numerous idiosyncratic features, a profound variety in the level of development and in the nature of regional innovation systems is often acknowledged. This paper has aimed to contribute to existing research by unraveling mutual relationships among knowledge bases, R&D structure and innovation performance of European regions. Our analysis showed that the differences among the European regions in their prevailing knowledge base and in the absolute and relative sizes of key segments of R&D systems are systematic and mutually interwoven. Generally, advanced regions are often typified by the lowest share of synthetic knowledge base and either by a dominance of the private R&D or by a relatively balanced structure between private and public R&D, while the opposite holds for lagging regions.

ENTRANCE-EXIT DYNAMICS OF SUPPLIERS AND THE REPERCUSSIONS FOR RESHAPING THE STRUCTURE OF GVCS/GPNS

J Blazek, K Natsuda, J Sykora (2018)
European Planning Studies 26 (12), 2364-2386

The analysis of entrance and exit dynamics of suppliers into and from GVCs/GPNs has remained on a sideline, despite emerging evidence of the substantial dynamics of suppliers exiting value chains, induced for example by a paradigm of streamlining the supply base. Thus, this article aims to contribute to research on global production via the identification of the key firm-level causal drivers guiding the entrance-exit dynamics of companies within GVCs/GPNs leading to substantial but variegated evolutionary dynamics reshaping the structure of particular chains or networks, resulting in profound impacts upon the companies, localities and regions concerned.

PATH-DEVELOPMENT TRAJECTORIES AND BARRIERS PERCEIVED BY STAKEHOLDERS IN TWO CENTRAL EUROPEAN LESS DEVELOPED REGIONS: NARROW OR BROAD CHOICE?

V Kveton, J Blazek (2018)
European Planning Studies 26 (10), 2058-2077

This paper aims at the comprehension of feasible development trajectories conceptualized within the new path-development model in the case of two less developed regions in Central Europe (CE). The main new element of this paper comprises the examination of the perception of key barriers and mechanisms hindering particular evolutionary trajectories by regional stakeholders and their comparison with those conceptualized in the literature. Although conceptual characteristics of prevailing path types in different regional innovation systems do exist, empirical verification from less developed regions such as those in CE is insufficient. On the basis of interviews with regional stakeholders, a typology of barriers for pathways conceptualized to date was elaborated from a CE perspective. Our study showed that the feasibility of a more radical path is hindered by a wide range of barriers operating at different levels. The elaborated typology of barriers for various path-development trajectories outlined the main hindrances constraining key regional actors, linkages and institutions. Given the general weakness of the overall RIS, path-extension and path-modernization trajectories are bound to be the most realistic options for this type of less developed regions. Our study revealed existing regional dynamics as built predominately upon incremental changes within rooted but prospective industrial branches.

THE IMPACTS OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS AND ITS AFTERMATH ON THE BANKING CENTRES OF EUROPE

J Blazek, T Hejnov, H Rada (2018)
European Urban and Regional Studies

This paper aims to unravel the impacts of the global economic crisis upon European banking centres on the basis of the evolution of key economic indicators, such as total assets, profitability and the level of risk to the banking sector over the 2004–2015 period. Counterintuitively, the European leading banking centres (London, Paris and Frankfurt), despite their extensive exposure to capital markets, displayed a high level of resilience, which contrasts with the evolution of the other major Western European centres, which clearly lagged behind the European leaders. From a macro-regional perspective, banking centres in Western Europe exhibited the first signals of both the crisis and the recovery, which were subsequently diffused across Europe. Surprisingly, the profitability of low-ranking banking centres in Central and Eastern Europe remained the highest over the whole 2004–2015 period, as these banks operate predominantly within a regional (national) market. Overall, during the 2004–2015 period, London, Paris and Frankfurt clearly strengthened their dominance among European banking centres.

SMART SPECIALISATION IN REGIONS WITH LESS-DEVELOPED RESEARCH AND INNOVATION SYSTEMS: A CHANGING ROLE FOR UNIVERSITIES?

P Vallance, J Blazek, J Edwards, V Kveton (2018)
Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space 36 (2), 219-238

Universities and other knowledge institutions have quickly come to be seen as central to smart specialisation. However, their exact role in Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation has yet to receive much critical attention in the academic literature. This is particularly notable as defining features of smart specialisation – such as the entrepreneurial dynamic of the strategy-formation process, and differentiated nature of the goals for strategies in regions with varying research and innovation capabilities – represent challenges to the notion that public research organisations should be drivers of smart specialisation in all regions. This paper articulates these conceptual tensions and then explores how they are unfolding in practice with particular reference to regions with less-developed research and innovation systems. The empirical material is drawn from a European-wide survey of institutional factors affecting the implementation of Research and Innovation Strategies for Smart Specialisation and two regional case studies from Central and Eastern Europe. Overall the paper reveals a multifaceted picture of still emerging (and potentially conflicting) dynamics around the introduction of smart specialisation that have the potential to reconfigure the role of universities in regional innovation systems in Europe.

EVOLUTION OF KNOWLEDGE BASES IN EUROPEAN REGIONS: SEARCHING FOR SPATIAL REGULARITIES AND LINKS WITH INNOVATION PERFORMANCE

V Kveton, V Kadlec (2018)
European Planning Studies 26 (7), 1366-1388

This paper aims at a greater comprehension of the distribution of differentiated knowledge bases and their association with innovation performance. Drawing on evolutionary economic geography, we applied a combinatorial and dynamic view on knowledge bases. The main contribution is the examination of changes and transformations of knowledge bases over time in particular group of regions in Europe and links with innovation performance. Our study revealed systematic regularities between regions with different innovation performance and their knowledge bases. With decreasing regional innovation performance the volatility of knowledge bases over time increases. Innovation leaders evinced stability over time and the most balanced composition of knowledge bases (compared with Central and Eastern Europe regions). Western European countries and regions exhibit the most balanced structure of knowledge bases. An important complementarity and synergy has been identified in the close relatedness of the symbolic knowledge base to the analytical knowledge base. The highest intensity of SME cooperation takes place in regions with a strong analytical base and in regions with the most balanced mix among all three bases (particularly in the UK, the Netherlands and Belgium. Underperforming in innovation show a balanced mix of synthetic and symbolic knowledge bases.

THE EFFECT OF PUBLIC R&D SUBSIDIES ON FIRMS' COMPETITIVENESS: REGIONAL AND SECTORAL SPECIFICS IN EMERGING INNOVATION SYSTEMS

V Kveton, P Horak
Applied Geography 94, 119-129

This article examines regional and sectoral impacts of R&D subsidies on firms in Czechia during the period 2007–2014. Driven by still-developing innovation policies where regional innovation systems are emerging, R&D support plays an important role for activating regional potential. To explore this we employed a geographical perspective and a combination of two counterfactual approaches. Our results revealed that R&D support has a higher net effect on companies operating in regions with lower R&D intensity. In the most advanced regions, the differences in effects between supported and unsupported entities are very small and targeted support no longer plays such a significant role. In contrast, indirect tax support associated with innovation activity is applied much more often. Furthermore, our case study in the South Moravian Region revealed that the impact of R&D support is changing over time and reflects from economic cycles. It has been confirmed that direct R&D support in this advanced regional innovation system is associated negatively with firms' competitiveness.

P Netrdova, V Nosek (2019)
GEOGRAFIE 123 (2), 225-251

The paper is focused on the geographical differentiation of the population in Czechia between the years 1980 and 2011. Data from population censuses were adjusted in all years to the municipal structure in 2011, so an analysis of evolution on a municipal level could be undertaken. Besides analyzing geographical differentiation of the population for different types of phenomena (demographic, social, and economic) and its evolution, we study underlying processes (such as concentration/deconcentration, convergence/divergence) and conditional factors and mechanisms. When studying geographical differentiation, we distinguish between simple regional differentiation measured by standard statistical measures, relative regional differentiation measured by Theil index decomposition, and spatial differentiation quantified by Moran’s I. Thee empirical results show that the geographical differentiation of the population in the transformation period and beyond has been steadily decreasing in a majority of studied variables. Variables with increasing geographical differentiation of the population are always connected with specific conditional factors and mechanisms. Moreover, the geographical differentiation of the population has shifted to lower geographical levels.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN EUROPE

P Pavlínek, R Aláez-Aller, C Gil-Canaleta, M Ullibarri-Arce (2017)
ETUI Research Paper-Working Paper

This working paper provides an overview of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the automotive industry in Eastern Europe and Spain, examining trends and patterns since the 1990s, with a focus on the 2000s and especially the period after the 2008- 2009 economic crisis. It draws on analyses prepared in the context of an ETUI project on developments in FDI after the crisis of 2008 (see Galgóczi et al. 2015).
The first part focuses on Central Eastern Europe (CEE) as an example of an integrated periphery in the automotive industry where the main characteristics of FDI can be seen. Besides a comparative analysis, the author provides a detailed description of the sector’s developments country by country. The paper argues that the 2008-2009 global economic crisis coincided with the end of the period of rapid expansion of the CEE automotive industry that was related to the opening up of CEE to foreign trade and FDI in the 1990s and European Union membership in the 2000s.
The second part of this working paper seeks to analyse the investment decisions of automotive groups with plants in Spain during the years of the Great Recession, focussing on FDI inflows to vehicle assemblers in Spain. The analysis seeks to provide a description of the trends affecting the position occupied by Spanish vehicle assembly plants in Europe.

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN CZECHIA – GEOGRAPHIC AND MEDICAL CONTEXT

J Jarolímek, P Urban, P Pavlínek, D Dzurova (2017)
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health 30(3), 455–468

Objectives: The automotive industry represents the most important industrial sector in Czechia. The objective of this study has been to analyze the occurrence of occupational diseases (OD) in the automotive industry during the period from 2001 till 2014. Material and Methods: Data on OD cases was retrieved from the National Registry of OD. Further, we conducted a survey in automotive companies with focus on occupational health services and positions of the companies in global pro- duction networks (GPNs). An analysis of OD distribution in the automotive industry was performed (age, gender, company size and its role in GPNs, regional distribution of studied companies, and regional unemployment rate), and was accom- panied by assessment of the quality and range of occupational health services. Results: Employees older than 40 years old have nearly 2.5 times higher probability of OD occurrence as compared with employees younger than 40 years old (odds ra- tio (OR) = 2.41, 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.05–2.85). Occupational diseases occurrence probability was 3 times higher for women than for men (OR = 3.01, 95% CI: 2.55–3.55). Occupational diseases incidence rates increased with the size of the company (0 OD/10 000 employees in micro enterprises to 57 OD/10 000 employees in large enterprises). A particu- larly steep rise in OD incidents in the automotive industry was observed in the Plzeň Region between 2001 and 2011. An association between OD incidents and the unemployment rate was not statistically confirmed. Conclusions: A statistically significant increase in OD incidents dependent on company size may be arguably attributed to a higher quality of occu- pational medical services in bigger companies, which ensures better detection and diagnosis of OD. In the Plzeň Region, the rapid increase in OD incidents was mainly caused by a change in the production process of automobile textiles in one factory due to the introduction of a glue containing isocyanates, which are potent allergising agents. This led to an increase in occupational allergic diseases – bronchial asthma in particular.

DEPENDENT GROWTH: FOREIGN INVESTMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN EAST-CENTRAL EUROPE.

P Pavlinek (2017)
Springer International Publishing

This book offers a critical analysis of recent developments in the automotive industry of East-Central Europe (ECE). Economists, industry specialists and national governments have considered the rapid development of the automotive industry in ECE in the past twenty years an unqualified success. This rapid growth has been based on large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) from Western Europe, North America, Japan and South Korea, and it significantly contributed to GDP growth, created thousands of new jobs, and completely transformed the previously existing automotive industry in the region. This volume offers an analysis that goes beyond uncritical celebratory accounts of this rapid growth. It is based on original, detailed firm-level research conducted by the author in Czechia and Slovakia between 2009 and 2015 that covered assembly firms and the networks of component suppliers. Theoretically and conceptually, the analysis will draw on the global production networks and global value chains perspectives. Drawing on the original empirical data and on additional available information, this volume concentrates on several important questions related to the development of the automotive industry in ECE in the 2000s

CLUSTERS, INDUSTRIAL DISTRICTS AND THE IMPACT OF THEIR GROWING INTERSECTION WITH GLOBAL VALUE CHAINS

MD Parrilli, J Blaek (2017)
Local Clusters in Global Value Chains, 65-82, Routledge

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EXPLORING THE VARIABILITY AND GEOGRAPHICAL PATTERNS OF POPULATION CHARACTERISTICS: REGIONAL AND SPATIAL PERSPECTIVES

P Netrdova, V Nosek (2017)
Moravian Geographical Reports 25 (2), 85-94

The variability and geographical patterns of population characteristics are key topics in Human Geography. There are many approaches to exploring and quantitatively measuring this issue. Besides standard aspatial statistical methods, there is no universal framework for incorporating regional and spatial aspects into the analysis of areal data. This is mainly because complications, such as the Modifiable Areal Unit Problem or the checkerboard problem, hinder analysis. In this paper, we use two approaches which uniquely combine regional and spatial perspectives of the analysis of variability. This combination brings new insights into the exploration of the variability and geographical patterns of population characteristics. The relationship between regional and spatial approaches is studied with models in a regular grid, using variability decomposition (Theil index) as an example of the regional approach, and spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) as an example of the spatial approach. When applied to empirical data based on the Czech censuses between 1980 and 2011, the combination of these two approaches enables us to categorise the studied phenomena according to the regional and spatial nature of their variability. This is a useful advance, especially for assessing evolution over time or comparisons between different phenomena.

WHAT VALUES OF MORAN’S I AND THEIL INDEX DECOMPOSITION REALLY MEAN UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS: ON THE ISSUE OF INTERPRETATION

V Nosek, P Netrdova (2017)
Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences 10 (2), 149-159

In recent decades, improved methodological apparatuses and increased data availability have enhanced data analyses in social sciences. Moreover, complex analyses using sophisticated methods take just a matter of seconds nowadays thanks to highly powerful software. However, such methods are often poorly understood from a methodological point of view despite the fact that knowledge of their specific properties is crucial to accurately interpreting the results. In this paper we study methods of spatial aspects of variability and examine a specific property of such methods to demonstrate how it can affect the final interpretation. By modelling data in a regular 100 by 100 grid as well as empirical examples from Czechia based on data from the 2011 Czech census, this paper presents possible interpretation-biases and recommendations for how to avoid them. We use the example of spatial autocorrelation (measured by Moran’s I) and variability decomposition (measured by the Theil index); two basic methods which enable us to measure variability in regions and in space.

THE ROLE OF EU RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY IN THE NEO-PRODUCTIVIST AGRICULTURAL PARADIGM

M Pelucha, V Kveton (2017)
Regional Studies 51 (12), 1860-1870

The role of EU rural development policy in the neo-productivist agricultural paradigm. Regional Studies. European Union rural development policy tools have renewed their emphasis on agriculture for the period 2014–20. This shift has been driven by an incoming neo-productivism paradigm, a terminology only recently applied to rural studies. This paper focuses on the discussion of European Union rural policy positions in the context of key drivers of neo-productivism. Existing academic debates focus mainly on ‘neo-productivist agriculture’, with less attention paid to rural development policy. This review shows the need to address the terminological issues of this policy and to reflect upon the territorial impact of other sectoral policies.

BARRIERS OF SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT – A CASE STUDY OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC

M Pelucha, J Kourilova, V Kveton (2017)
Journal of Social Entrepreneurship 8 (2), 129-148

Social entrepreneurship (SE) began to be strongly supported in Central and Eastern European countries during the programming period of 2007–2013. However, the level of SE development still lags behind developed countries. The paper focuses on the identification of barriers to SE development in the Czech Republic and recommendations for policymaking. The value added is the adaptation of the Community of Practice on Inclusive Entrepreneurship methodology and its verification. A limited range of financial support options and a lack of interest of banks to improve the availability of loans were identified as main barriers to the development of SE.

THEORY AND REALITY OF THE EU’S RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY APPLICATION IN THE CONTEXT OF TERRITORIAL COHESION PERSPECTIVE—THE CASE OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN THE LONG-TERM PERIOD OF 2004–2013

M Pelucha, V Kveton, K Safr (2017)
Land use policy 62, 13-28

Strategic and legislative documents concerning the EU’s rural development policy emphasise the link with territorial cohesion. Long-term identification of the countryside with agriculture, however, ushered in a focus on this sector in the rural development policy. This has been also further emphasised by the policy inclusion into the Common Agricultural Policy in 2007. The aim of this paper is to assess the socio-economic characteristics of the municipalities, within which subsidies of the rural development policy were localised. The analysis includes the most important tools in terms of financial allocation. These tools are divided into the agricultural and non-agricultural allocations, for the period of 2004–2013. The results of the analysis indicate close interconnections and a targeting of agricultural tools on farmland and municipalities with characteristics of the supported sector. Non-agricultural tools were marginal in financial terms and diversified with respect to their focus. The relationship of the provided subsidies with the socio-economic level of the supported municipalities was not entirely clear. The dominant part of the rural development policy was therefore not implemented in line with the objectives of the socio-economic dimension of territorial cohesion.

EVALUATION CULTURE WITHIN INSTITUTIONAL AND METHODOLOGICAL CONTEXT: THE CASE OF EU STRUCTURAL FUNDS IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

M Pelucha, V Kveton (2017) 

Evaluation Theory and Practice

Evaluation culture within institutional and methodological context: the case of EU Structural Funds in the Czech Republic

WHOSE SUCCESS? THE STATE–FOREIGN CAPITAL NEXUS AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN SLOVAKIA

P Pavlínek (2016)
European Urban and Regional Studies 23 (4), 571-593

Using the case study of Slovakia, this article considers the role of the state in the rapid growth of the automotive industry in integrated peripheral markets of the global automotive industry. Although this growth has been mainly driven by the investment strategies of automotive lead firms, the state has played an important role by accommodating the strategic needs of foreign capital through neoliberal economic policies. In addition to secondary sources, the empirical research is based on a 2010 survey of 299 Slovak-based automotive firms with a response rate of 44% and on 38 on-site firm-level interviews conducted between 2011 and 2013 and one in 2005. The analysis draws upon approaches in economic geography, international political economy and upon global value chains and global production networks perspectives to argue that the successful development of the automotive industry in Slovakia has been achieved at the expense of its overwhelming dependence on foreign capital and corporate capture. The article considers the potential consequences of dependent industrial development for the domestic automotive industry and its position in the international division of labor.

VALUE CREATION AND VALUE CAPTURE IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM CZECHIA

P Pavlinek, J Zenka (2016)
Environment and Planning A 48 (5), 937-959

This article investigates how distinct tiers of firms contribute to value creation and value capture in the automotive industry. We employ firm-level indicators to evaluate the value creation and capture of distinct supplier tiers in the Czech automotive industry, while considering differences between foreign-owned and domestic firms. Our analysis suggests that the economic effects of the automotive industry largely depend on its capital intensity and that mostly foreign-owned higher tier firms generate and capture greater value than lower tier firms, which include the vast majority of domestic suppliers.

LINKAGES AND SPILLOVERS IN GLOBAL PRODUCTION NETWORKS: FIRM-LEVEL ANALYSIS OF THE CZECH AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY

P Pavlinek, P Zízalova (2016)
Journal of Economic Geography 16 (2), 331-363

The aim of this article is to analyze the linkages between and spillovers from foreign-owned (foreign) to domestic-owned (domestic) firms in the Czech automotive industry. Theoretically and conceptually, our research draws on two strands of literature: spillovers, linkages and effects of foreign direct investment on domestic firms and regional economic development; and literature on global production networks, global value chains and industrial upgrading. Empirical analysis is based upon unique data collected by the authors through a questionnaire completed by 317 foreign and domestic firms in 2009 and on-site interviews with 100 firms conducted between 2009 and 2011. Data analysis has identified a low share of domestic suppliers in the total supplies of Czech-based foreign firms and diverse spillover effects from foreign to domestic firms. Domestic firms vary in their capabilities and absorptive capacity which, along with the particular nature of the contemporary automotive value chain, significantly influence their ability and potential to benefit from linkages and spillovers.

TOWARDS A TYPOLOGY OF REPOSITIONING STRATEGIES OF GVC/GPN SUPPLIERS: THE CASE OF FUNCTIONAL UPGRADING AND DOWNGRADING

J Blazek (2016)
Journal of Economic Geography 16 (4), 849-869

This article examines various upgrading and downgrading repositioning firm strategies within global value chains (GVCs) or global production networks (GPNs). It builds upon recent evidence that the mode of governance could vary profoundly among firms engaged in the same GVC/GPN. Therefore, the relevance of particular types of upgrading that were originally derived from the ideal types of GVC/GPN governance will be reconsidered. It is argued that the existing dissonance in the literature over possibilities for functional upgrading can be attributed to the different modes of governance that can exist within a particular GVC/GPN and to the diverse nature of functional upgrading. Consequently, a typology of functional upgrading is outlined, and it is argued that these different types vary significantly according to their probability and potential risk-benefit ratios. The article also introduces passive, adaptive and strategic downgrading and outlines their potential negative and positive effects on firms.

CAN EMERGING REGIONAL INNOVATION STRATEGIES IN LESS DEVELOPED EUROPEAN REGIONS BRIDGE THE MAIN GAPS IN THE INNOVATION PROCESS?

J Blazek, P Csank (2016)
Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 34 (6), 1095-1114

This article considers key barriers to the process of innovation, as identified in a survey of firms and research institutions in the Czech region of South Moravia, which has been trying for more than a decade to spur innovation via successive regional innovation strategies. The article makes particular reference to the nature of newly emerging regional innovation systems in postcommunist countries and contributes to debates concerning the significance of localized processes of knowledge creation and dissemination for the competitiveness of a region. The article is based upon 188 in-depth interviews with representatives of firms and 90 interviews with leaders of prominent research teams in the region. The in-depth interviews allowed the identification of a wide array of barriers to the innovation process, which proved to be systematically related to the level of a firm’s entrepreneurial ambition. The level of ambition of firm’s strategy also translates into differing extent, to which analytical knowledge is being employed. The analysis identifies factors that are not yet adequately reflected in national or regional innovation policies and strategies, and several associated policy recommendations are set out in the concluding section of the paper.

THE VARIETY OF RELATED VARIETY STUDIES: OPENING THE BLACK BOX OF TECHNOLOGICAL RELATEDNESS VIA ANALYSIS OF INTER-FIRM R&D COOPERATIVE PROJECTS

J Blazek, D Marek, V Kveton (2016)
Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography 1301

The aim of this article is twofold. First, on the basis of a review of recent literature on related variety, it shows that there are not only differences between ex-ante and ex-post conceptualisations of relatedness, but also several striking methodological differences within this research stream. Therefore, it is argued, the growing number of studies on relatedness using different conceptualisations and methodologies can result in a “hollowing-out” of the original explanatory power of the concept. Second, this paper aims to open the black box of relatedness among industries by exploring one of the main channels through which the effects of relatedness can operate by simultaneous application of both ex-ante and ex-post approaches to measuring relatedness. In particular, joint R&D projects among companies represent a vigorous mechanism of knowledge exchange and mutual learning, but, as of yet, these studies have not been systematically linked to the concept of related variety. Our results prove that R&D collaboration according to technological distance is indeed far from random, but, contrary to our expectation, the results show that R&D collaboration occurs most frequently among unrelated companies. Thus, the search for partners in R&D projects seems to be driven by the novelty of knowledge rather than by probabilities of its comprehension. Conceptually, these findings suggest that in reality there might be various processes that require vastly different level of relatedness. This could lead to important policy implications as overreliance upon support for related industries might be misleading.

THE CHALLENGE OF BREAKING THE ACADEMIA–BUSINESS FIREWALL IN CZECHIA: COMPARING THE ROLE OF DIFFERENTIATED KNOWLEDGE BASES IN COLLABORATIVE R&D PROJECTS

D Marek, J Blažek (2016)
European Planning Studies 24 (4), 809-831

Contemporary innovation processes increasingly involve a large number of networked actors, and cross-fertilization between knowledge institutions and firms has thus become a significant driver for innovation. Important insights into the differing nature of research and development (R&D) collaboration in particular sectors have been provided by research inspired by the knowledge-base approach embedded within innovation system (IS) theory. This study aims to contribute to this body of literature by applying the concept of differentiated knowledge bases to the former state-socialist countries, where the IS operates through a firewall between academia and industry. Data on collaborative R&D projects co-financed by public resources have allowed a detailed analysis of the nature of collaboration networks, revealing emerging patterns of academia–industry linkages and questioning the propositions stemming from the knowledge-based approach. The study concludes that collaborative science–industry networks show a very distinct topography when analytical and synthetic knowledge is compared.

THE ANATOMY OF DIFFERENCE: COMPREHENDING THE EVOLUTIONARY DYNAMICS OF ECONOMIC AND SPATIAL STRUCTURE IN THE AUSTRIAN AND CZECH ECONOMIES

J Novotny, J Blazek, V Kveton (2016)
European Planning Studies 24 (4), 788-808

The research on the economic convergence of Central and Eastern European countries towards the old EU members is voluminous, and it has an obvious appeal to both policy-makers and public. Unlike the traditional literature concerned with selected macro-patterns of the European convergence process, this paper presents a comparative study of two economies, attempting to comprehend more nuanced aspects and underlying mechanisms shaping their evolution. It examines the evolutionary dynamics of the structure and spatial organization of the Czech and Austrian economies since the late 1980s. Therefore, as a basis for subsequent analysis, the conceptual part attempts to systematize the key specific factors of the former command economies. The empirical results show that, despite significant similarities in the structure of these economies, the absolute and relative productivity as well as the spatial relatedness of the main types of industries reveal important differences between these two countries. These distinctions tend to be disregarded when making inferences about the European convergence process on the basis of traditional literature concerned predominantly with macro-patterns. Consequently, this study shows that since the collapse of socialism, Czechia has been reintegrated into the global economy in a different way from Austria, implying different evolutionary trajectories in the future.

THE TAKEOVER OF PRAGUE'S BANKING CLUSTER BY MULTINATIONAL GROUPS FROM AN EVOLUTIONARY PERSPECTIVE

J Blazek, I Becicova (2016)
Geografie 121, 254–278.

This article identifies the main drivers in the evolution of the banking cluster in Prague over the last two centuries. Conceptually, it employs the adaptive-cycle model of cluster evolution, which acknowledges the role of external factors in cluster evolution. An empirical analysis shows that the evolution of the banking cluster in Prague has been primarily driven by several episodes of major external disruptions. A particular attention is paid to the latest phase of cluster evolution, which started around the beginning of the 21st century when Prague’s banks were taken over by foreign multinational groups. We argue that, despite the numerous costs and risks associated with this “subsidiarisation” of the banking cluster in Prague, there were benefits, some of which were surprisingly manifested during the 2008–2009 global economic crisis.

SPATIAL PATTERNS OF UNEMPLOYMENT IN CENTRAL EUROPE: EMERGING DEVELOPMENT AXES BEYOND THE BLUE BANANA

P Netrdova, V Nosek (2016)
Journal of Maps 12 (4), 701-706

In this paper, we focus on mapping and analysing the spatial patterns of unemployment in four Central European countries – Austria, Czechia, Germany, and Poland, on municipal level in 2010. Specifically, based on the geo-social differentiation patterns, we are searching for secondary axes stretching from the Blue Banana (the major European economic development axis running from London to Milan) towards Eastern Europe. Unemployment is supposed to approximate economic development, thanks to its close relation to GDP and other economic indicators. To study spatial patterns and development axes on a micro scale, we use the concept of spatial autocorrelation, specifically Moran's I and LISA analysis. While we analyse more than 44,000 units, the resulting maps are very detailed and difficult to interpret on small scales. In this paper, we take advantage of the opportunity to present large-scale maps (1:2,500,000 and 1:6,000,000), which are also more suitable for the analytical conclusions that follow.

THE EFFICIENCY OF AREAL UNITS IN SPATIAL ANALYSIS: ASSESSING THE PERFORMANCE OF FUNCTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE REGIONS

P Klapka, M Halas, P Netrdova, V Nosek (2016)
Moravian Geographical Reports 24 (2), 47-59

An attempt to provide a procedure for the assessment of the efficiency of various regional systems for the purposes of spatial analysis is presented in this paper. Functional regions as well as approximated functional regions and the existing administrative regions in the Czech Republic are evaluated, as examples of regional systems to be compared and assessed. Functional regions and approximated functional regions are defined according to the adjusted third variant of the CURDS regionalisation algorithm, using the latest knowledge on the operation of the constraint function. The comparisons of individual regional systems are based on LISA maps and particularly on the assessment of regional variability, including the measures of internal homogeneity and external variability in the regional systems.

WHAT VALUES OF MORAN’S I AND THEIL INDEX DECOMPOSITION REALLY MEAN UNDER DIFFERENT CONDITIONS: ON THE ISSUE OF INTERPRETATION

V Nosek, P Netrdova (2017)
Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences, 10(2), 149-159

In recent decades, improved methodological apparatuses and increased data availability have enhanced data analyses in social sciences. Moreover, complex analyses using sophisticated methods take just a matter of seconds nowadays thanks to highly powerful software. However, such methods are often poorly understood from a methodological point of view despite the fact that knowledge of their specific properties is crucial to accurately interpreting the results. In this paper we study methods of spatial aspects of variability and examine a specific property of such methods to demonstrate how it can affect the final interpretation. By modelling data in a regular 100 by 100 grid as well as empirical examples from Czechia based on data from the 2011 Czech census, this paper presents possible interpretation-biases and recommendations for how to avoid them. We use the example of spatial autocorrelation (measured by Moran’s I) and variability decomposition (measured by the Theil index); two basic methods which enable us to measure variability in regions and in space.

TRANSPORT SUPPLY AND DEMAND CHANGES IN RELATION TO UNEMPLOYMENT: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC IN A TIME OF CRISIS

M Marada, V Kveton (2016)
Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie 107 (5), 611-627

The continuing European recession underlines the urgency of the unemployment and labour force mobility issue. Therefore, the objective of this study is to scrutinise the relationship between changes in unemployment rate and transport indicators in the intercensal period 2001–2011. Both primary and secondary data are used in the analysis. Rate of car ownership and commuting data were taken from national censuses in 2001 and 2011 which surrounded the 2008 crisis. Primary data came from 1,023 interviews. The relationships among indicators are identified with the help of several statistical techniques whose results are analysed. Further, analyses have confirmed the dominant importance of passenger car ownership and car use in relation to decreased unemployment. It is particularly important in economically weaker areas with a poor access, that are endangered by social exclusions. Furthermore, it is necessary to emphasise the importance of public transport as a means of preventing social exclusion.

FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY IN CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPE

Pavlínek P (2015)
In: Béla Galgóczi, Jan Drahokoupil, Magdalena Bernaciak (eds) Foreign investment in eastern and southern Europe after 2008: Still a lever of growth? ETUI, Brussels, pp. 209-255.

In an increasingly globalized economy, foreign direct investment (FDI) by transnational corporations (TNCs) is considered a major force in the economic development of less developed economies, including the economies of central and eastern Europe (CEE)(eg Jindra et al. 2009). 1 In the early 1990s, it was argued that a successful ‘transition’to capitalism in CEE would depend on large FDI inflows for triggering the necessary industrial restructuring, modernization and successful economic development (eg Fischer and Gelb 1991; Dunning 1993; EBRD 1993). Consequently, CEE countries were urged to open up their economies to global capital (Gowan 1995). The automotive industry was at the forefront of this FDI-driven development strategy in which foreign TNCs took over the CEE automotive industry through heavy capital investment, restructuring it and incorporating it into European and global production networks in the 1990s and 2000s (Pavlínek 2002a; Pavlínek 2002c; Pavlínek et al. 2009). The goal of this chapter is to analyze FDI in the CEE automotive industry, examining trends and patterns since the 1990s with a focus on the 2000s and especially the period after the 2008-2009 economic crisis.

ŠKODA AUTO: THE TRANSFORMATION FROM A DOMESTIC TO A TIER TWO LEAD FIRM.

Pavlínek P (2015)

 In: John R. Bryson, Jennifer Clark and Vida Vanchan (eds) Handbook of Manufacturing Industries in the World Economy, Edward Elgar, pp. 345-361.

The automotive industry is considered to be a key industrial sector of strategic importance because of its size, links to other industries, employment effects and its potential regional development effects through the development of networks of component suppliers. As such, the governments of both developed and developing countries have supported the development of the automotive industry through various measures and economic policies (Dicken, 2011). Between 1990 and 2012, the production of cars in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) increased 2.5 times to 5.3 million units and that of East-Central Europe (ECE) quadrupled to 3.3 million units. 1 This rapid development was orchestrated by core-based transnational corporations (TNCs) through large inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI). As a result, the automotive industry has become a leading industrial sector in terms of its share of industrial production …

THE IMPACT OF THE 2008–2009 CRISIS ON THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY: GLOBAL TRENDS AND FIRM-LEVEL EFFECTS IN CENTRAL EUROPE

  

P Pavlínek (2015)
European Urban and Regional Studies 22 (1), 20-40

This article examines the impact of the 2008–2009 economic crisis on the automotive industry. The uneven nature of the crisis contributed to the gradual shift in production from traditional core areas of the global automobile industry to selected less developed economies. In this context, the paper analyses the firm-level effects of the economic crisis in the Czech and Slovak automotive industries as two examples of automotive industry peripheries that were integrated in the European automobile production system and experienced rapid production increases after 1990. The analysis draws on unique data collected during a survey of 274 Czech-based and 133 Slovak-based automotive firms conducted in autumn 2009 and spring 2010, 98 company interviews conducted with automotive firms in Czechia in 2010 and 2011, and 30 interviews conducted in Slovakia in 2011. Changes in revenues, production and employment during the economic crisis are compared between Czechia and Slovakia, and are analysed according to ownership, the involvement of firms in the automotive value chain and firm size. The article also investigates plant closures and relocations in the Czech and Slovak automotive industries during the economic crisis.

IS THERE A CREDIT-GAP IN A PERIPHERY? THE PERCEPTION OF THIS PROBLEM BY SMALL ENTREPRENEURS

I Becicova, J Blazek (2015)
Journal of rural studies 42, 11-20

The article seeks to contribute to the relatively neglected, yet recently expanding, body of financial geography literature. It examines the propositions of the theory of regional segmentation of financial markets, which – within a centralized financial system – foresees credit rationing for small businesses located in peripheral regions. The research methodology is based upon a case-study approach employed in the most peripheral municipalities in Moravia-Silesia region in Czechia. The contribution of this research lies in its focus upon the detailed investigation of the experience with credit applications of small entrepreneurs running a business in a periphery. The results show that the interviewed entrepreneurs do not perceive discrimination by the banks due to their peripheral location, but rather they face the problem that the value of their premises, when setting them as collateral, is significantly underestimated.

UNIVERSITY-BUSINESS COLLABORATION AS PERCEIVED BY LEADING ACADEMICS: COMPARING AND CONTRASTING THE TWO MOST INNOVATIVE CZECH REGIONS

V Kadlec, J Blaek (2015)
Erdkunde, 327-339

 This article compares the nature of academia-business collaboration in the two most innovative Czech regions, where the respective regional decision-makers and universities’ representatives differ sharply in their approaches towards the commercialization of academic knowledge. An analysis of the nature of collaboration between life-science researchers in two leading Czech universities and private companies has been performed to identify whether targeted support provided at the regional and university levels can make a real difference and can overcome hindrances from the national level. In particular, the article investigates the motivation and approaches of leaders of life-science research teams to cooperation with private companies, the perceived barriers impeding such cooperation, including the strength of demand for innovation in both analyzed regions. The research identified significant differences in the perception of barriers between life scientists in Prague and South Moravia, vindicating the positive role of the South Moravian innovation strategy. Thus, researchers in South Moravia no longer face barriers preventing the emergence of cooperation with the business sector, and instead they are concerned about obstacles that stand in the way of its more intensive development. 

INDUSTRIAL SPECIALIZATION AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE: A CASE OF CZECH MICROREGIONS

J Zenka, J Novotny, O Slach, V Kveton (2015)
Norsk Geografisk Tidsskrift-Norwegian Journal of Geography 69 (2), 67-79

An influential body of literature suggests that economic diversity rather than specialization fuels the economic performance of regions and nations. The authors argue that this hypothesis has no universal applicability and that a more differentiated view is needed. In particular, historical specificity of the local environment and structural characteristics of regional economies should be taken into account. They focus on the effects of industrial specialization on economic performance and the vulnerability of Central European post-communist regions, namely Czech microregions with less than 200,000 inhabitants. They examine whether the economic performance and vulnerability of these regions is fuelled rather by industrial specialization or diversity when controlling for other potential determinants of regional economic performance. Their findings show that the dependence of Czech regions on manufacturing correlates with higher economic performance but also with higher regional vulnerability. In addition, industrial specialization within manufacturing was found to be instrumental for the economic performance of regions with high dependence on manufacturing. With a decreasing share of employment in manufacturing, industrial diversity rather than specialization becomes more valuable for the economic performance of Czech regions.

MORAVIAN-SILESIAN REGION (SUBREGION NUTS 3) AS AN EXAMPLE OF A SUCCESSFUL TRANSFORMATION–CASE STUDY REPORT

J Blazek, I Becicova (2014)
GRINCOH Working Paper Series, Paper

The Moravian-Silesian region had to deal with many challenges in the past, mainly restructuring, deindustrialization and resulting high unemployment rate. Its pathway to prosperity was rather thorny, nevertheless, the performance of the region improved significantly until the crisis hit the regional economy in the second half of 2008. The developmental trajectory switched from growth to stagnation or even decline. However the complicated situation taught regional actors to cooperate to achieve a common goal. Their effort and relatively well developed social capital might become one of the most important sources for improvement of the overall socioeconomic situation in the region.

REGIONS WITH LESS DEVELOPED RESEARCH AND INNOVATION SYSTEMS

Jiri Blazek, Adrian Healey, Michaela Trippl, Björn Asheim, Johan Miörner, Mari José Aranguren, Edurne Magro, Mikel Navarro, James Wilson (2014)
Cardiff University

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