Michael H. Best
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Open systems and regional innovation
The resurgence of Route 128 in Massachusetts

This chapter argues that the severe decline of 1985-1992 in Massachusetts can be explained in terms of the emergence in Silicon Valley of a new model of technology management that undermined Route 128's competitive advantage in a range of industries. It also argues that the return to regional competitiveness can be explained in terms of the emergence of a new 'focus and network' business model that established the institutional foundations for a regional 'open systems' model of innovation. Complex system products are training grounds for systems integrators, individuals who can speak in several technological languages. The chapter seeks to bring 'technology management' into the discussion of the reasons for regional growth and decline. Treatment of the notion bridges three institutional domains: business model, production system and skill formation. The notion of technology management is rarely invoked in discussions of competitive advantage and industrial growth.

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