Revisiting the theoretical roots of the key concepts of “embeddedness” and “networks” that underpin many recent regional innovation polices, this paper strives to achieve a more systematic understanding of the overall network structure of geographic agglomerations, which helps to form a more convincing model of regional development based on learning. This also helps to establish an analytical framework with indicators to assess the overall network structure in regional innovation policies. Employing the framework, the examination of cluster policy in the West Midlands highlights its weakness in addressing the overall cluster network structure and the contingent factors influencing the structure. The analysis suggests that there may be similar weaknesses in other regional innovation policies and the theories underpinning them as they share a common weakness in addressing the structural characteristics of overall networks.
- Network structure