Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128

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Overview

Why is it that business in California's Silicon Valley flourished while along Route 128 in Massachusetts declined in the 90s? The answer, Saxenian suggests, has to do with the fact that despite similar histories and technologies, Silicon Valley developed a decentralized but cooperative industrial system while Route 128 came to be dominated by independent, self-sufficient corporations. The result of more than one hundred interviews, this compelling analysis highlights the importance of local sources of competitive advantage in a volatile world economy.
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Editorial Reviews

Science

A welcome addition to the growing literature on American high technology, offering fresh insights in a thorough...account of the economic and technological evolution of America's premier high-technology regions.
— Richard Florida

San Francisco Chronicle

Regional Advantage is an impressive demonstration of why new technologies and new markets both create and are driven by new business models and corporate structures.
— Michael Stern

Los Angeles Times

Saxenian's findings are important because they highlight the fundamental organizational practices behind California's economic successes in several key sectors, a reality dangerously ignored by many of the state's political and business leaders.
— David Friedman

San Jose Mercury News

The best book I've seen at analyzing the secrets of Silicon Valley's success. And it shows why the valley's future remains bright even though costs are high.
— James J. Mitchell

Boston Globe

This is scholarship at its best-thoroughly researched, elegantly written, a compelling story that's relevant to business executives and policymakers everywhere.
— John Case

Research Review

Over the past decade however there has been a growing interest in the role which territory (in the form of regions, industrial districts or innovative milieux)plays in fostering technical change and industrialinnovation…One of the many virtues of this book is the way it penetrates beneath these superficial similarities, exposing a more complex, more telling set of differences which help to explain the very different fortunes of these regions in recent years…what we have here is a well-researched, elegantly written and provocative book on a subject which should engage a wide array of disciplines, especially those with an interest in innovation and regional development.
— Kevin Morgan

Science - Richard Florida
A welcome addition to the growing literature on American high technology, offering fresh insights in a thorough...account of the economic and technological evolution of America's premier high-technology regions.
San Francisco Chronicle - Michael Stern
Regional Advantage is an impressive demonstration of why new technologies and new markets both create and are driven by new business models and corporate structures.
Los Angeles Times - David Friedman
Saxenian's findings are important because they highlight the fundamental organizational practices behind California's economic successes in several key sectors, a reality dangerously ignored by many of the state's political and business leaders.
San Jose Mercury News - James J. Mitchell
The best book I've seen at analyzing the secrets of Silicon Valley's success. And it shows why the valley's future remains bright even though costs are high.
Boston Globe - John Case
This is scholarship at its best-thoroughly researched, elegantly written, a compelling story that's relevant to business executives and policymakers everywhere.
Research Review - Kevin Morgan
Over the past decade however there has been a growing interest in the role which territory (in the form of regions, industrial districts or innovative milieux)plays in fostering technical change and industrialinnovation…One of the many virtues of this book is the way it penetrates beneath these superficial similarities, exposing a more complex, more telling set of differences which help to explain the very different fortunes of these regions in recent years…what we have here is a well-researched, elegantly written and provocative book on a subject which should engage a wide array of disciplines, especially those with an interest in innovation and regional development.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674753402
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

AnnaLee Saxenian is Dean of the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley.
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Table of Contents

Prologue

Introduction: Local Industrial Systems

1. Genesis: Universities, Military Spending, and Entrepreneurs

2. Silicon Valley: Competition and Community

3. Route 128: Independence and Hierarchy

4. Betting on a Product

5. Running with Technology

6. Inside Out: Blurring Firms' Boundaries

Conclusion: Protean Places

Notes

Historical Data

Definitions and Data Sources

Acknowledgments

Index

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