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How to improve the region´s ability to learn : a micro-level model on regional actor´s knowledge and (informal) learning processes

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In the last decades we can state a paradigmatic shift in theories on regional development. Different approaches are drawn upon to explain the success of a region extending beyond the quality of classic location factors. One basic approach is of particular relevance in this respect, which centers on the knowledge and competencies of the regional actors and institutions: the 'larning region´approach. This chapter is about how we can improve a region´s ability to learn. The main hypothesis is that if we introduce an in-depfth understanding of learning processes on the micro-level of single actor´s learning we can gain new insights into regional development approaches and also we can develop tools and strategies to foster learning regions.
This chapter starts with a short overview of actual theories of regional development which show a diversity of approaches existing side by side. It emphasizes the role of learning and knowledge as one pattern to analyse regional development prcesses. With the second section we start from a micro-behavioral model on the process of learning and distinguish between different kinds of learning and knowledge with respect to their contribution to regional development prcesses. The third section describes different types of learning and knowledge. It is followed by a case study of a regional development process in the region Walgau (Austria), which uses different measures to improve regional learning. The last section discusses the use of the micro-level model of learning to enhance the methodological kit of regional development and formulates the need for rurther research.
   
type book chapter (English)
   
keywords
   
book title Foundations of the knowledge economy : innovation, learning and clusters
date of appearance 2012
publisher Elgar (Cheltenham)
ISBN 978-0-85793-771-1
page(s) 161-175
citation Walser, M., & Scherer, R. (2012). How to improve the region´s ability to learn: a micro-level model on regional actor´s knowledge and (informal) learning processes. In Foundations of the knowledge economy : innovation, learning and clusters (pp. 161-175). Cheltenham: Elgar. - ISBN 978-0-85793-771-1.