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The relation between proximity and transnational learning in pan-European networks : a case study on the URMA project

Garos, V.L. (2018) The relation between proximity and transnational learning in pan-European networks : a case study on the URMA project.

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Abstract:The EU’s motto: “United in Diversity” plays a central role in Pan-European Networks, as it is assumed that diversity in these networks will stimulate learning between partners. Nevertheless, theory shows that more proximity between partners will generate more learning (Boschma, 2005). This thesis examines the above by investigating the relation between proximity and knowledge transfer. Proximity is operationalized by employing an adapted version of Boschma’s five-fold proximity framework covering geographical, institutional, cognitive and organizational proximity. On the other hand, learning is operationalized through a version of Nonaka and Takeuchi’s (2005) SECI model based on the identification of four modes of knowledge conversion. The case study chosen to research this relationship is the following: Urban-Rural Partnerships in Metropolitan Areas (URMA). URMA is a European Regional Initiative Project which consists of seven regions, namely: Hamburg (Germany), the Tuscany Region (Italy), the Lombardy Region (Italy), Krakow (Poland), Szczecin (Poland), Borne (the Netherlands), Enschede (the Netherlands). Between 2012 and 2014 these seven regions have come together to exchange knowledge and experiences on the topic of Urban-Rural Partnerships. This research demonstrates that there is no relation between proximity and learning. Yet, another variable is apparent, which is strength. In this context strength may be seen as experience, expertise on the topic in question and the welfare level of partners. It has been determined that partners with lower strength levels are able to learn from partners with higher strength levels and partners with higher strength levels are able to learn from each other. This means selecting partners with different strength levels will stimulate learning.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76577
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