The Baltic Region

2014 Issue №4(22)

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The concept of “network” in the system of basic concepts of regional economic geography



The concept of “network” is traditionally used in sociological and economic sciences and serves as an in important object of research on the organisational forms of different phenomena and processes. This article examines the use of the “network” concept in socioeconomic geography through identifying the place of this concept in the system of traditional concepts of this branch of geography: spatial system, territorial production complex, and cluster. The interaction between networks on a certain territory at a certain stage of its development comprises the framework of a region as a complex socioeconomic territorial system. The author examines economic networks as organic systems characterised by resistance to external effects and comprised of interconnected economic agents from one or several related industries. A concentration of strong connections within such network constitutes its core or a cluster. Based on a retrospective analysis of studies into the spatial organisation of economy, it is concluded that there is a need to examine network forms from the perspective of regional socioeconomic geography in the context of managerial decision-making. The regional economic geographical approach to studying network forms of spatial organisation makes it possible to take into account not only the organisational features of the network itself, but also their connections to the related contextual conditions. It is an integrated approach, thus, it makes it possible to forecast the development of a certain network form in case of a change in the conditions or factors affecting it.


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