Place-renewing leadership: trajectories of change for mature manufacturing regions in Europe

David Bailey, Marco Bellandi, Annalisa Caloffi, Lisa de Propis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The forces of globalisation now impacting on local economies pose threats to the existing paradigm of competences and routines, yet simultaneously offer
opportunities to integrate new knowledge and learning. This is particularly
pertinent with respect to Europe’s ‘mature regions’, which are undergoing a major economic restructuring by trying to shift from traditional manufacturing
activities to hybrid activities that comprise a combination of manufacturing
and a higher component of intangible inputs and related knowledge service
activities. The objective of the article is to discuss the concept of ‘place leadership’ by looking at how the embedded skills, knowledge and cumulated learning of a place can be used by its institutional infrastructure to identify sustainable growth trajectories. In other words, its aim is to explore how the economic, social, institutional and cultural aspects of places shape the opportunities for upgrading and renovation drawing upon their historical specialisation. The conceptual contribution of the article draws on two case studies, in the West Midlands, UK and in Prato, Tuscany, where we study the processes of decision-making, forms of leadership and ultimately the nature of local leadership.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)457-474
Number of pages18
JournalPolicy Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policy Studies on 17/06/2010, available online:


  • place leadership
  • public policy
  • clusters
  • mature industrial regions
  • regional economic development


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