Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research

No 2022/11: Bouncing back, forward, and beyond: Towards regenerative regional development in responsible value chains

Markus Grillitsch () and Bjørn Asheim ()
Additional contact information
Markus Grillitsch: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden
Bjørn Asheim: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: Understanding, explaining, and affecting regional economic resilience and transformation has become more important in recent years than a narrow economic growth perspective. The paper investigates why, how and to what consequences local actors engage in regional development during and after crisis times to understand the role of human agency for regional resilience. We identify the differences in the underlying processes that lead to adaptation – bouncing back to economic activities existing before the crisis, adaptability – bouncing forward or diversification into new economic activities, or transformation – bouncing beyond the current organization of the economy towards a more green and inclusive future. In our empirical study of the maritime industry in Sunnmøre/Norway, we found two starkly contrasting development rationales: a traditional, neoliberal economic rationale of globalization, and a progressive rationale combining regenerative regional development with responsible value chains. We trace the origin of these rationales and show how they differ in agentic orientation and time perspective. Subsequently, we engage in a theoretical discussion about the downsides of global value chains embedded in a neoliberal ideology, and how it would be possible to combine regenerative regional development with responsible value chains; including important elements of policy interventions to facilitate the shift.

Keywords: Regional resilience; sustainability transformation; human agency; global value chains; automation and industry 4.0; innovation; industrial and innovation policy

JEL-codes: O30; R10; R11; R50; R58

Language: English

21 pages, October 11, 2022

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