The Communal Roots of Entrepreneurial-Technological Growth? Social Fragmentation and the Economic Stagnation of Atlanta’s Technology Cluster

57 Pages Posted: 4 Oct 2009

See all articles by Dan Breznitz

Dan Breznitz

Georgia Institute of Technology

Mollie Taylor

Georgia Institute of Technoloy

Date Written: October 2, 2009

Abstract

Why do some entrepreneurial high-technology industrial clusters grow and prosper, while others stagnate? Even after several decades of research, we have yet to find a definitive answer. One of the main debates in the literature revolves around the importance of societal variables, such as the growth of a cohesive community, versus the importance of factor availability, such as the supply of highly educated labor. Employing a critical case study design utilizing a multi-method research strategy to analyze the technology industry in metropolitan Atlanta this paper shows that although the availability of certain factors might be necessary, it is not sufficient without the crystallization of a cohesive social structure. More specifically, we argue that unless a local high-technology industry develops rich multiple, locally centered social networks, which embed companies in the region, cluster development will stagnate. This is true even if the region is extremely rich in all the factors identified as growth-inducing in the literature.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, Industrial Clusters, High Technology, Regions, Economic Development, Public Policy

JEL Classification: R30, R38, R11, O30, O40, O18, L86, L63, L65, L50

Suggested Citation

Breznitz, Dan and Taylor, Mollie, The Communal Roots of Entrepreneurial-Technological Growth? Social Fragmentation and the Economic Stagnation of Atlanta’s Technology Cluster (October 2, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1481857 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1481857

Dan Breznitz (Contact Author)

Georgia Institute of Technology ( email )

Atlanta, GA 30332
United States

Mollie Taylor

Georgia Institute of Technoloy ( email )

781 Marietta Street NW
Atlanta, GA 30332-1610
United States

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