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Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 [Paperback]

by AnnaLee Saxenian
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 31, 1996 0674753402 978-0674753402
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


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 Science)

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 San Francisco Chronicle)

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 Los Angeles Times)

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 San Jose Mercury News)

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

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 Research Review)

About the Author

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

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 31, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674753402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674753402
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #267,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Structural Analysis February 21, 2000
Contrary to one of the other reviewer's comments, the importance of this book is in showing precicely that it is not the "endemic" culture of Silicon Valley, but rather the innovative institutions and networked relationships in Silicon Valley that explains the region's success. A great contribution to the literature on embeddedness and network forms of organization.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This book was recommended to me by a VP at Sun Microsystems to explain why Silicon Valley happened [open-org-networks and strong entrepreneurial initiatives] and how other communities can learn from this success. The answers to why and why-not for a community are found embedded in the local or regional business culture. How close-minded is your town?
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative, great piece of work July 20, 2005
The book is written by a person who lived in the Route 128 area and in the Silicon Valley. Besides the great insights and fantastic scholarly work, the book reflects the experience of seeing the development of both regions, not only through the eyes of a scholar, but also through the experiences that can only be gained by "being there."
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