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Entreprenørenes rolle i regional næringsutvikling

Jan Ole Rypestøl disputerer for ph.d.-graden fredag 3. august 2018 med avhandlingen “New Regional Industrial Path Development: Entrepreneurs, Knowledge Exchange and Regional Contexts”.

The main research question addressed in the thesis is the following: Which key actors and mechanisms influence new industrial path development in various regional settings?

Jan Ole Rypestøl

Ph.d.-kandidat / forsker

Jan Ole Rypestøl  forsvarer den 3. august sin doktoravhandling om regional næringsutvikling med spesielt fokus på entreprenørenes rolle som endringsagenter.

Rypestøl disputerer for ph.d.-graden med avhandlingen “New Regional Industrial Path Development: Entrepreneurs, Knowledge Exchange and Regional Contexts” fredag 3. august 2018.

Han har fulgt doktorgradsprogrammet ved Handelshøyskolen ved UiA.

Avhandlingen adresserer et tidsaktuelt tema, da mange europeiske regioner de siste ti årene har opplevd store utfordringer som følge av finanskrisen og et radikalt fall i oljeaktiviteten.

I avhandlingen ser Rypestøl spesielt på entreprenørenes rolle i utviklingen av regionalt næringsliv. Han identifiserer to ulike typer endringsagenter: Bedriftsentreprenører og aktører som arbeider for å bedre betingelsene for entreprenørskap i regionene.

Rypestøl finner i sin forskning at bedrifters innovasjonsgrad og ambisjoner, samt samspillet mellom de to typene av endringsagenter, påvirker hvor godt regionen er rustet for å stimulere næringsutvikling,

Slik beskriver kandidaten selv essensen i avhandlingen:

The role of new entrepreneurial firms in regional development

In recent years, new regional industrial path development has become more important than ever before due to increased competition fuelled by digitalisation and an intensifying globalisation.

The need for regional industrial transformation

One way for regions to respond to this increasing global competition is to promote processes that can transform and renew regional industries, as well as processes that can create new industries within regional boundaries. Such processes of change are vital, because, if there is no industrial dynamism, regional industries will eventually be outpaced by competitors and the region will face augmented economic challenges.

As the issues related to regional industrial change are of such importance, economic geographers have increasingly turned their research attention towards the issue of regional industrial development.

Such processes of industrial change have been identified in the relevant literature as evolutionary and path dependent, and it has also been found that processes of regional industrial development unfold within regional innovation systems (RISs).

Further, the literature found that such regional innovation systems vary in their number and diversity of actors as well as in their institutional arrangements, and argued that such regional differences will affect the ability of regions to foster and promote industrial renewal and new path creation.

Who are the key actors?

However, contemporary research has met some critique. One important criticism refers to the research as being overly focused on systemic factors and less observant of the actors contributing to regional industrial change. Thus, we know relatively little about who the key actors in new regional industrial path development processes are, their distribution of roles, and with whom they interact and share knowledge for innovation.

Further, we lack knowledge of how contextual factors influence such processes.

This doctoral thesis addresses these shortcomings and presents novel research that aims to shed new light on the process of new regional industrial path development.

The main research question addressed in the thesis is the following: Which key actors and mechanisms influence new industrial path development in various regional settings?

Knowledge sourcing as a key mechanism

Concerning actors, the thesis researches the role of new entrepreneurial firms and suggests a link between innovation radicalism and the ambition of the new entrepreneurial firm on the one hand and the expected effect of the entrepreneurial action to regional industrial development, on the other hand.

Further, the thesis introduces the notion of system-level entrepreneurs and assesses the importance of these entrepreneurs in relation to foster industrial development.

Concerning the mechanisms, the thesis identifies knowledge sourcing as a key mechanism in new regional industrial path development.

It contends that the nature and geography of knowledge sourcing vary and that the expected outcomes of new regional industrial path development should be analysed in relation to the nature of the process and the actors involved in knowledge sharing activities.

Finally, when addressing the role of geography, the thesis finds that new industrial path development processes vary in space, because regions are differently conditioned to foster innovativeness and knowledge sourcing activities.

Empirical cases from several regions

The research design of the thesis is inspired by critical realism, and the empirical evidence draws from a rich selection of triangulations. The empirical cases are drawn from several regional innovation systems in Norway.

This doctoral thesis includes four articles and this ‘kappa’ (capstone paper). The four included articles are independent contributions that have either been published in peerreviewed journals or are in the review phase.

The articles research new regional industrial path development in various ways.

The purpose of the kappa is to outline the overall theoretical and analytical framework as well as the methodological foundation that has informed the presented research.

Furthermore, the kappa presents the overall findings and draw conclusions.

Disputasfakta:

Kandidaten: Jan Ole Rypestøl (1963) fra Kristiansand har mastergrad fra UiA (2013) i “Innovation and knowledge development”.  Han har ti års erfaring som internasjonal gründer og leder av oppstartsbedrifter, og ti års erfaring fra veiledning, undervisning og trening i entreprenørskap. De siste fire årene har han arbeidet i Agderforskning ved siden av doktorgradsarbeidet. Han fortsetter i full stilling i det nye forskningssenteret NORCE - der Agderforskning inngår - som seniorforsker etter disputasen.

Prøveforelesning og disputas finner sted i Auditoriet i F-bygget, Campus Grimstad fredag 3. august 2018

Disputasen blir ledet av dekan Kristin Wallevik, Handelshøyskolen ved UiA

Prøveforelesning kl 10:15

Disputas kl 12:15

Oppgitt emne for prøveforelesning: 

“Context is an important concept in economic geography. Present the origins of the concept and discuss how it is being used in economic geography. How can context be operationalized within studies of regional innovation in Norway?

Tittel på avhandling: “New Regional Industrial Path Development: Entrepreneurs, Knowledge Exchange and Regional Contexts”

Søk etter avhandlingen i AURA - Agder University Research Archive, som er et digitalt arkiv for vitenskapelige artikler, avhandlinger og masteroppgaver fra ansatte og studenter ved Universitetet i Agder. AURA blir jevnlig oppdatert. Avhandlingen vil være tilgjengelig til utlån ved Universitetsbiblioteket. Det vil bli også lagt ut noen eksemplarer av avhandlingen til utlån i lokalet hvor disputasen finner sted.

Opponenter:

Førsteopponent: Professor Helen Lawton Smith, Birkbeck University of London – direktør for Birkbeck Centre for Innovation Management Research

Annenopponent: Professor Bjørnar Sæther, Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi, Universitetet i Oslo

Bedømmelseskomitéen er ledet av førsteamanuensis Tor Helge Aas, Institutt for strategi og ledelse, UiA

Veiledere i doktorgradsarbeidet var professor Arne Isaksen ved Institutt for arbeidsliv og innovasjon, UiA (hovedveileder) og førsteamanuensis James Karlsen  Institutt for arbeidsliv og innovasjon, UiA (bi-veileder)

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