Final PhD seminar with Hanna Martin on “Cleantech industry dynamics, innovation and regional context: Biomass based industries in Sweden”

Hanna Martin

Hanna Martin, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and the Department of Human Geography (KEG), will present her PhD project with the working title “Cleantech industry dynamics, innovation and regional context – biomass based industries in Sweden”. The final seminar is the last seminar before the actual PhD defence. Hanna will provide a 10-minute presentation which will be followed by the actual discussion.

Discussant: Prof. Bernhard Truffer from EAWAG, Switzerland and Utrecht University, the Netherlands.

Date: Tuesday June 7th 13.15-15
Place: Geocentrum, Sölvegatan 10, 4th floor, room ‘Malmö’

Abstract: Economic geography, innovation studies and related disciplines have during the past decade experienced an increasing interest in regional economic evolution and the question how and why regional industries emerge and grow, respectively decline, over time. The literature as it now stands however provides only limited insights regarding how a broad range of actors commonly contributes to new regional industrial path development – and especially how institutions matter, what institutions matter and at what spatial scale they matter. By addressing this gap, the dissertation aims at contributing to a more coherent conceptual framework on regional economic evolution. In particular, the regional innovation system (RIS) approach is identified as framework with potential to bring forward insights: Its strength lies in addressing innovation-based regional development by considering a broad range of innovation actors and institutions and policy; and moreover, RIS allow conceptualising regions as open, nationally and internationally connected systems. Yet as RIS possess some limitations with regard to bringing about an evolutionary perspective, the insights are complemented by the literature on socio-technical transitions. This research field targets the closely interdependent, co-evolutionary relationship between technologies and their overall economic, societal, and institutional context. Its strength lies in explaining and conceptualizing the emergence and formation of new so-called socio-technical configurations, yet with a strong notion on ecological sustainability. The dissertation empirically focusses on the endeavour of different Swedish regions to transform established, respectively build-up new, industry structures towards more environmentally friendly modes. In particular, it focusses on attempts of regional industries to increasingly replace fossil by renewable bio-based resources. The dissertation therefore also makes a contribution to better understanding the roles, possiblities and limitations of regions in the transformation towards a ’bio-economy’.

CIRCLE Seminar with Helene Ahlborg on “Towards a conceptualization of power and micro-level politics in energy transitions”

Dr. Helene Ahlborg

Dr. Helene Ahlborg

Helene Ahlborg, Post-doctoral researcher at Chalmers University of Technology, Division of Environmental Systems Analysis, will give a seminar on “Towards a conceptualization of power and micro-level politics in energy transitions”.

Date: 01/06: 14.00-15.00
Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room

Discussant: Lea Fünfschilling, CIRCLE

Abstract: The conceptualization of political dimensions of energy transitions is still in an early stage. The article’s aim is to develop conceptual tools for studying relations of power in micro-level energy transitions, and identify how power relations become de/stabilized in such processes. Based on sociotechnical systems approaches and philosophical understandings of power, the article presents an analytical approach for studying the introduction of electricity as a politically charged process of formation of a new sociotechnical system at the local level. The approach is applied to a case of mini-hydropower electrification in Tanzania. The study explains why and how electrification processes simultaneously reinforce social inequality and enhance social mobility. It identifies material, symbolic and discursive domains that work as sources of de/stabilization of social hierarchies. These domains help explain why electrification processes unfold in certain directions, with particular consequences for actors involved, for system sustainability and for the goal of poverty alleviation.

CIRCLE SEMINAR with Daniel S. Hain on “The Development of National Innovation System Research: Towards an Interdisciplinary Framework?”

Dr. Daniel S. Hain

Dr. Daniel S. Hain

Daniel S. Hain, Assistant Professor, Ph.D., Department of Business and Management/ IKE / DRUID, Aalborg University, Denmark, will give a seminar on “The Development of National Innovation System Research: Towards an Interdisciplinary Framework”

Date: 25/05: 14.00-15.00
Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room

Discussant: TBA

Abstract: The main idea of the paper is to map the development in the studies on National Systems of Innovation. A greater comprehensiveness in understanding and systematic operationalization of the NIS concept has a potential to contribute to the development of comparative studies of different NISs. The first aim of the paper is to come to a more comprehensive understanding of the initial versions of the NIS analytical framework as introduced in the three NIS books, that shaped the development of the field. The second aim of the paper is to provide an insight into its developments over time, in terms of whether (or not) it has over time led to a more comprehensive understanding, and a coherent framework suitable for conducting a systematic analysis of NIS. Therefore, we analyze the development of work within – and relationship between – dominant analytical focuses. We explain this by the underlying academic community structure, and trends in the research themes. In order to map the structure and development within the branch of NSI research, we first carry out a bibliometric analysis. Our main aim here is to identify existing and emerging academic community structures within the NIS literature, as revealed in by a network-analysis of co-citation pattern. Our assumption is that the way articles and other contributions refer to each other’s carries information on their conceptual relatedness. Further, we deploy methods from natural language processing, namely LDA topic modeling, to add in an unrestricted and data-driven way a qualitative layer of information on the context and themes of work within the literature and its communities. Finally, we manually categorized the most relevant publications in this branch of literature according to its conceptual and analytical focus.

Olof Ejermo presenting “The PARIS dataset on publication of academic researchers in Sweden”

Dr. Olof Ejermo

Dr. Olof Ejermo

Olof Ejermo, Associate Professor at CIRCLE, will present the new CIRCLE dataset of academic publications PARIS (Publications of Academic Researchers in Sweden). Olof will explain this new and comprehensive source of data and will provide some hints on possible uses by researchers at CIRCLE.

Discussant: Torben Schubert, CIRCLE

Date: 11/05: 14.00-15.00
Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room

CIRCLE Seminar with Mark Partridge on “Are the Most Productive Regions Necessarily the Most Successful?”

Prof. Mark Partridge

Prof. Mark Partridge

Mark Partridge, Ph.D., Professor in the Agricultural, Environment, and Development Economics, Ohio State University, will give seminar on “Are the Most Productive Regions Necessarily the Most Successful?”.

Date: 27/04: 14.00-15.00
Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room

Discussant: Claudio Fassio, CIRCLE

Abstract: Economists typically celebrate productivity growth as key to improving living standards for the general population. In addition, economists also advocate that particular cities and regions should strive to be as productive as possible in order to attract business and increase employment and incomes. However, while productivity growth can reduce costs or improve quality, if demand is not sufficiently responsive or elastic, labor demand may decrease, reducing employment in the location. Productivity growth may be skill biased, creating larger wage gaps that increase the area’s inequality or poverty. Thus, there may be a fallacy of composition in that productivity growth is good for society as a whole, but the most productive locations may face some unintended consequences associated with productivity growth such as reduction in quality of life or weakening of local labor markets.

CIRCLE Seminar with Allard van Mossel on “The evolutionary roots of adaptive capacity: How the past quirks of an organization’s environment influence its future latitude”

Allard van Mossel

Allard van Mossel

Allard van Mossel, PhD Candidate in Organization Science, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, will give a seminar on “The evolutionary roots of adaptive capacity: How the past quirks of an organization’s environment influence its future latitude”.

Date: 06/04: 14.00-15.00
Place: CIRCLE, Seminar Room

Discussants: Joeri Wesseling and Pierre-Alexandre Balland, CIRCLE

Abstract: Contemporary research touching on the adaptive capacity of organizations departs from two fundamentally different perspectives. The first views organizations as structurally inert and unlikely to change; the second as malleable and actively balancing immediate performance against adaptive capacity. So far it remains unclear how to reconcile the two and, as a result, whether active intervention is necessary to develop adaptive capacity. We engage this issue with an evolutionary version of Kauffman’s NK-model and explore how the degree to which organizations evolve to exhibit adaptive capacity varies across patterns of environmental dynamics. Somewhat paradoxically, our results show that environmental selection acts as an enabler of future adaptation. In dynamic environments, it endows surviving organizations with significant adaptive capacity—even when the organizations are fully myopic and unwilling or unable to balance their immediate performance against their adaptive capacity.


Final PhD seminar by Sabrina Fredin on “History matters: the social dimension of entrepreneurship”

Sabrina Fredin

Sabrina Fredin

Sabrina Fredin, PhD candidate at CIRCLE and at the School of Management at Blekinge Institute of Technology, will give a final seminar to present her PhD project. The title of the thesis is “History matters: the social dimension of entrepreneurship”.

Discussant: Professor Erik Stam (Utrecht University)

Date: April 6th, 10.00-12.00
Place: CIRCLE seminar room

Abstract: This dissertation is based on the assumption that entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon. This assumption requires an analytical shift from few grand entrepreneurial events to everyday entrepreneurial activities. Instead of focusing on a few individuals, the focus shifts to embeddedness and context where one entrepreneurial activity creates the context for others. Up to date, we know little about how the social dimension of entrepreneurship influence the context for entrepreneurial activities. The aim of this dissertation is to uncover the role of the social dimension of entrepreneurship by studying how culture influences behaviour. This is most adequately studied on the regional and local level and the empirical part of this dissertation is concentrated on two Swedish cities: Norrköping and Linköping. Both are closely situated within the same region and are of comparable size, but they provide a rather different context for entrepreneurial activities. Linköping’s economic development is driven by a combination of small and large high-tech companies and is often referred to as an entrepreneurial success story in Sweden. Norrköping’s economic development on the other hand, was based on the longstanding dominance of a few manufacturing companies in the textile and paper industry. These two apparently polar cases within the same region are two good examples for theorizing general conclusions on the importance of the social dimension for entrepreneurial activities. The argument is made that the past economic development not only influences which entrepreneurial opportunities might be created or discovered due to sectoral inertia, but that the industrial legacy also influences the social dimension of the context which stimulates or hinders entrepreneurial behaviour.