level, scope, and scale of innovation activities in
diﬀerent technology districts are conditioned by the
level and form of regional and national economic
development (Castells and Hall 1994).
Moreover, not all eﬀorts to build technology districts are successful, and some established districts have experienced diﬃculties, stagnation, and decline.
Some studies (e.g., Saxenian 1994) attribute this to the
rigidities in path-dependent local corporate structure
and business culture that hinder the development of
innovation networks. Other factors that may stiﬂe
local synergy include poor planning, weak entrepreneurialism in face of tight bureaucratic control, predominance of divergent agendas and interests (e.g.,
property development), and intradistrict negative externalities (e.g., infrastructural overloading and environmental deterioration).
The full socioeconomic ramiﬁcations of technology
districts remain to be explored. What are their eﬀects
on interregional disparities? How do they stimulate
economic growth and institutional change beyond the
region? How and to what extent do they foster elitism
and increase cleavages in society? These are some of
the important issues that have been raised but need to
be examined more closely.
Furthermore, technology districts are evolving with
the forces that they help unleash. In particular, their
spatial organization faces growing impact from the
explosive expansion of the Internet and rapid development of information technology, which could signiﬁcantly reduce the constraints posed by distance
and locality-speciﬁc institutions on social interaction.
How this redeﬁnes the role of location in fostering
innovation will be a major focus of attention among
both practitioners and observers.
See also: Community Economic Development; Local
Economic Development; Regional Geography; Technological Innovation; Technology-supported Learning Environments
Castells M, Hall P 1994 Technopoles of the World: The Making of Twenty-ﬁrst-century Industrial Complexes. Routledge,
Malecki E J 1997 Technology and Economic De elopment: The
Dynamics of Local, Regional and National Competiti eness,
2nd edn. Longman, Harlow, UK
Massey D, Quintas P, Wield D 1992 High-tech Fantasies: Science Parks in Society, Science and Space. Routledge, London
Porter M E 1990 The Competiti e Ad antage of Nations. Free
Press, New York
Saxenian A 1994 Regional Ad antage: Culture and Competition
in Silicon Valley and Route 128. Harvard University Press,
Scott A J 1993 Technopolis: High-technology Industry and
Regional De elopment in Southern California. University of
California Press, Berkeley, CA
Sternberg R 1996 Regional growth theories and high-tech
regions. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 20(3): 518–38
Technology, Social Construction of
SCOT is one approach among several constructivist
ways of studying science and technology that emerged
in the 1980s. Here, ‘constructivist’ means that the
truth of scientiﬁc facts and the working of technical
artifacts are studied as accomplishments—as being
constructed—rather than as intrinsic properties of
those facts and machines. The term ‘social construction of technology’ can be used to denote two diﬀerent things. First it is a research approach to study technical
change in society, both in historical and in contemporaneous studies. Second, it is a theory about the development of technology. Historically the development of SCOT is closely linked to the sociology of scientiﬁc knowledge (SSK) and to the science, technology, and society (STS) movement in the 1970s. In the 1980s and 1990s, it developed primarily as an
academic enterprise, but then also found application
in the policy domain, in innovation management, and
in discussions about new forms of democracy.
1. Constructi ist Studies of Science and
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