Proximity relationships and entrepreneurship: some reflections based on an applied case study

Par André Torre
The aim of this article is to draw some lines about the application of proximity analysis in business relations, be there face to face exchanges or distant relations, with a peculiar attention to innovative behaviors, whether they imply local interactions, virtual exchanges or mobility of white collars and engineers. We first give a broad definition of various types of proximity relations, especially the most important ones: geographical proximity, organized proximity, and temporary geographical proximity, and then provide some developments about the theoretical origins and the development of the proximity analysis. The third part of the paper is devoted to a summary of the main applied studies and to the design of a core model of proximity relations for business firms, involving different types of proximity links, be there local or abroad. We then apply this model to the analysis of the local and external relations of the firms in the optics cluster in the greater Paris Region, and identify four types of firms and their proximity figures.
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