Innovation Networks and the Governance of Rural Territories

Conference proceedings article


Research Areas

Publication Details

Subtitle: The Case of Coruche
Author list: Ferreiro MD, Sousa C
Publication year: 2015
Start page: 205
End page: 213
Number of pages: 9
ISBN: 978-1-910810-49-1
ISSN: 2049-1050
Languages: English-Great Britain (EN-GB)


The paper presents the results of a research on the governance and innovation dynamics in a specific sectoral and geographical context: cork production and transformation in a rural territory - Coruche, the so-called 'Capital of Cork'. The actors related with this raw material in this particular territory, their interactions, the main innovations and scales of action are considered through a network analysis. The research contributes to the extant literature, by addressing an empirical context that has been neglected by most innovation scholars: rural territories and traditional sectors, namely agro-forest industry. Moreover, it introduces the analysis of the governance system in the study of innovation processes, discussing the role of several type of actors in the system and the institutions that frame and emerge from their interactions. We use both primary and secondary data. Primary data was collect through semi-directed interviews, conducted in 17 organizations between January and September 2014. Secondary data was collect through the analysis of websites, reports, newsletters and press articles. We resort to social network analysis and use a typology of actors and of their roles in the innovation system to analyse the governance of the innovation system. The results reveal a governance system characterized by multi-actor and multi-scale nature and a diversity of norms and rules that frame the interactions between actors. The governance of cork-based activities includes important cork transformation companies, cork (forest) producers, professional and development associations, and public administration entities with competences in regulation and the development of the territory, including the management of European Funds. The results also reveal an important presence and role of the world main enterprise in the sector in different aspects of the system, namely innovation activities. The local presence of this multinational enterprise introduces interesting issues related with some aspects of its attachment to the territory including the creation of employment and the collaboration with local entities.


Innovation, Institutions


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Last updated on 2019-20-07 at 00:30