Traditionally, regional endowments are viewed as external variables when it comes to location choices of companies. In most concepts on location choices and regional economics companies are thought to view the local labour market, the local innovation system or the general quality of life in a region as given and chose the location that best suits the company's needs. Increasingly however, scholars from different research fields are providing arguments to reverse that view and show that there can be good reasons for a company to engage in improving its location despite implicit externalities. In this paper we try to systematically analyse issue of corporate engagement in regions. We will show how strong and in which fields companies engage in their respective region, how this engagement can be related to their existing regional integration and what differences appear between industries and types of companies in this respect. In this study we draw upon extensive interviews with over thirty companies from three industrial sectors in the Austrian region of Styria: the metals industry, which dates back to medieval times and has gone through a deep process of economic restructuring, the automotive industry, the first industry in which a comprehensive cluster policy approach was applied in Austria and the software industry, a rather young industry that experienced high growth rates in the past years. We will conclude that even though there are differences between the industries and types of companies in terms of scope and scale of regional integration and regional engagement, there is a strong correlation between the two: the higher the regional integration, the higher corporate regional engagement and vice versa.
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