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Regional agility and upgrading in Hong Kong and the PRD


Economic activities in the Greater Pearl River Delta (GPRD) are embedded into fragmented global value chains and shaped by the spatial division of labour between Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland. Business success in such competitive environments depends on competences and resources of firms to capitalise on both informal and formal institutions. Against this background, our project is based on the assumption that a firm can achieve a sustained competitive advantage by agile firm organisation - an organisational innovation to seize opportunities and to cope with uncertain threats in volatile markets proactively.

Major Goals

Our multidisciplinary consortium covers 1) the informality continuum of governance and institutions facilitating agile firm organisation in the GPRD, 2) the regional economic rationale of agile firm organisations, and 3) social dynamics that stabilise and smoothen regional agility. Mega-urban regions offer the best conditions for agile firm organisation due to thick input markets and distinct global-local interfaces. Agile firms are boosting mega-urban economies and have wider impacts on its social, political, and ecological development. Hence, our topic is an eminent emerging field to explain the informal dynamics of global change in mega-urban regions.

Research Team

University of Hannover, Institute of Economic and Cultural Geography The Kiel Institute of the World Economy University of Gießen University of Cologne