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CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University

No 2016/1:
Institutional Thickness Revisited

Elena Zukauskaite (), Monica Plechero () and Michaela Trippl ()

Abstract: Over the last two decades, the notion of “institutional thickness” has become a key reference for a large body of work that has sought to provide profound insights into the link between institutions and regional development. However, only few attempts have been made to reassess the concept, to improve its methodology and to reflect upon its empirical application. The aim of this paper is to identify some crucial limitations of the theoretical and empirical work on institutional thickness and to sketch out elements of a strategy that could help to advance the debate on the notion. It is argued that much can by gained by (1) employing a clear analytical distinction between the organizational and institutional dimensions of thickness; (2) moving beyond overly static views on thickness; (3) developing a multi-scalar approach to thickness; and (4) acknowledging that thickness can only be assessed in relative terms.

Keywords: institutional thickness; Institutions; Organizations; Multi-scalar analysis; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: D29; O18; P48; (follow links to similar papers)

35 pages, January 18, 2016

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