Suitability Assessment of Regional Development Competitiveness Success Determinants in Iran
IntroductionGlobalization and advances in information and communication technologies and also emerging knowledge based economies fundamentally alter the policy approaches of countries relying on "comparative advantage" to the "competitive advantage"; This trend have raised the concept of "Territorial Competitiveness". Competitiveness, a concept that previously was meaningful only at the level of activities and firms, in the mid-1990s, coinciding with the increasing importance of place, caused by the movement of human resources and capital, enjoyed spatial manifest and came into the discourse of regional science and spatial development planning.
In this regard, the aim of the research ahead dedicated to address two questions in the context of regional development competitiveness: First, the nature of competitiveness in the region and the other one, the reason of being more competitive in some regions relative to others; Responding these two questions would reveal how to achieve a competitive position in the region in relative to the others, and develop the "spatial development competitiveness frameworks".
Current approaches are imperfect in answering mentioned questions above; addressing the issue from the perspective of just one point of view or discipline, assume the same importance quotient for all of the known drivers in achieving regional competitiveness, and ignoring or regarding the role of mediator variables as the least importance in formulation of the causal relationship are all factors that make the available approaches imperfect. On the other hand, the impossibility of generalizing available regional development competitiveness models, which is being used in developed countries, to the context of other countries, has put recognizing the specific and most suitable drivers for yielding regional competitiveness in Iran on agenda of the ahead research, as the main step in formulating theoretical model of regional development competitiveness in territory.
MethodologySeeking a comprehensive spatial development framework for making regions more competitive in Iran, with least shortcomings in available approaches mentioned above, and best fit to the Irans context, would be met by a procedure that is scheduled in some steps in this research: At first, by considering the main differences in territorial competitiveness definition between different scales, from firms level to local (city or regions) and national level, we would review different definitions of regional competitiveness, as dependent latent variable, by means of archival studies and try to propose a typology to get rid of the ambiguities in the literatures. By this review and typology, according to the purpose of the study, the most suitable definition would be selected and accordingly appropriate index would be defined. In next step, we try to extract all of the drivers mentioned in different disciplines literature. These drivers or success determinants for regional development could be traced in seven main theoretical visions: new economic geography theories, strategists point of view, Evolutionary theories or Neo-Schumpeterian point of view, new growth theory, endogenous growth theories, creative capital theory, consumer city theoretical view and last one cognitive-cultural industries theory. In this step, after definition, these success determinants would be indexed to enter into the casual relationship model as independent latent variables. In next step, importance quotient of the drivers in yielding RC would be measured by means of Path Analysis method. The strength of this model is its ability in eliminating linearitys between drivers and considering the role of mediator variables. Accordingly Irans casual model of regional competitiveness would be formulated.
Accessing formal required information and statistics limited the scope of this research to the province level of Iran. Besides, addressing the issue from the perspective of spatial development planning and considering the study scope and responsibilities of regional science disciplines, kept away this research from logging to the macroeconomics issues and just those drivers or success determinants would be analyzed that are within the scope of the place related areas.
Results And DiscussionAs model shows, specializing based on relative advantages such as oil in Iran would not be a good driver in yielding competitiveness unlike its advantages in increasing wealth. Since it would not be leaded to innovation and does not have flexibility in meeting changing needs in global market. Even, creativity capital theories that is used in American context, is not applicable in Iran. C.C activities and clustering are most suitable drivers for Irans context. These activities must be placed in top of the RC agenda since they are able to occupy niche markets.
ConclusionThe proposed theoretical framework for yielding regional competitiveness in Iran, in this research, shows that most of the available models in the world are not directly applicable in the context of Iran. Each context needs innovative solutions in proposing the best fitted model. The proposed model in this research needs to be tested by means of structural equation modeling methods in future researches. This method would approve this theoretical model by empirical data. So, more researches are needed for formulating the best framework for Irans regional development. Up this way, we would be able to respond correctly to the emerging needs of regional policy takers and maker in finding best solutions for making their regions competitive.
The proposed theoretical framework for yielding regional competitiveness in Iran, in this research, shows that most of the available models in the world are not directly applicable in the context of Iran. Each context needs innovative solutions in proposing the best fitted model. The proposed model in this research needs to be tested by means of structural equation modeling methods in future researches. This method would approve this theoretical model by empirical data. So, more researches are needed for formulating the best framework for Irans regional development. Up this way, we would be able to respond correctly to the emerging needs of regional policy takers and maker in finding best solutions for making their regions competitive.
Human Geography Research Quarterly, Volume:48 Issue: 95, 2016
105 - 123
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