Geography of success

January 3, 1997

Businesses located in strong geographical "clusters" of related industrial activity still perform better than their more isolated counterparts, despite the communications revolution, research from the Manchester Business School's new Innovation Research Centre has found.

Ongoing research backed by the Economic and Social Research Council and led by MBS director of research Peter Swann has found that in regions where there is a strong concentration of related business activity, such as in California's Silicon Valley, businesses grow faster, are more innovative and generally more successful.

Professor Swann's research has challenged the growing notion that the rise of information technology networks, the emergence of cheaper communications and the globalisation of companies is making location largely irrelevant to business performance.

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