In this survey, we examine the operations of innovation processes within industrial districts by exploring the ways in which differentiation, specialization, and integration affect the generation, diffusion, and use of new knowledge in such districts. We begin with an analysis of the importance of the division of labor and then investigate the effects of social embeddedness on innovation. We also consider the effect of forms of organization within industrial districts at various stages of product and process life, and we examine the negative aspects of embeddedness for innovation. We conclude with a discussion of the possible consequences of new information and communications technologies on innovation in industrial districts.
Robertson, Paul L.; Jacobson, David; and Langlois, Richard N., "Innovation Processes and Industrial Districts" (2008). Economics Working Papers. Paper 200803.