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Sampaio P. Saraiva P. Sternad D. Krenn M. Talwar B. Zink K. Home About us Subjects Contacts. Advanced Search Help. Entire Site De Gruyter Online. Sign in Register. English Deutsch. Business excellence models: a comparison. Sorin-George Toma tomagsorin62 yahoo. Open access. Export References.


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Proceedings of the International Conference on Business Excellence. Terms Privacy Share Share. Among other works, the Polynet 1 research programme distinctively attempted to integrate Castells' network society theory into the scientific analysis of the city-region.


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Its objective was to expand understanding of the new spatial organisation of economic activities within city-regions by specifically examining the spaces of flows that interlink city-regions in the world city network. This has led to a methodological change in the research stream that needs to be clarified here. In debates both at an inter city-region level and within city-regions, a shift reflecting that of world city network literature can be identified in recent research programmes.

Early studies of the location of knowledge-intensive business services KIBs , and more specifically APS, relied on employment data using national censuses. Such attribute-based approaches postulate that the location of a firm is an acceptable proxy to distinguish the contribution of a particular place to the urban system it belongs to, hence the number of jobs in knowledge economy industries are supposedly efficient markers of intra-metropolitan spatial reorganisation.

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The continuation of this type of limited study most probably reflects the lack of alternative, superior data. But a second set of studies has taken on board Castells' theory of cities and city-regions as nodes in the circulation of heterogeneous flows under globalisation and it is this latter approach that was the basis of the Polynet research programme.

We have already mentioned empirical works focusing on the world city and world city network levels drawing on the work of Sassen and Castells.

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At the level of the city-region also, several attempts have been proposed to follow suit by considering city-regions as spaces of interactions and flows rather than places with static attributes. Commuting data have provided a classic indicator of flows but these are very limited since they depict the interdependencies between the places of work and residence rather than the effective daily working of an urban-regional productive system see Pain, b; for further discussion. Polynet has been conceived within this general research framework as an attempt to find empirical evidence of the contribution of APS professionals to the daily functioning of several city-regions.

Moving beyond approaches based on attribute data, the research has investigated how, in their day-to-day practices, APS interlink several parts of the city-region into a network structure operating at different geographical levels, regional, national, European and global. In particular, the distinction between city-region linkages that are associated with global as opposed to regional level networks has been seen as an important marker of world city-regions which are connected with distant but similar nodes for APS through processes of globalisation.

Importantly, in examining city-region functional connections, the MCR concept focuses specifically on the APS knowledge-related activities which interlink the world city network, thus it was hypothesised that where these are located in several cities, and not only in the central world city, their interactions potentially bypass the world city creating a MCR complex. Although the principal distinguishing feature of the study was its focus on APS network analysis quantitative measurement and interviews with APS agents , traditional attribute population, employment, etc.

Since Hall's world cities analysis, Paris and London have been considered the two most dominant world cities in Europe. Parallels include:. Recent investments have also increased their functional and infrastructure complementarities. The EuroStar shuttle is an infrastructure that physically links France and UK but in practice it is a transportation service that brings together Paris and London. Moving on to consider the quantitative results from the Polynet study, we consider the existence of an enlarged world city-region with new relational geographies associated with APS network agents in order to test different elements of the MCR definition, namely morphological, functional, economic, organisational and relational integrations.

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Sprawl and urbanisation: mapping population densities morphology and travel to work data functional areas in PAR-LON shows a similar pattern of joining up of contiguous urban areas to form enlarged urban regions comprising 20 to 50 cities around the world cities Paris and London. Whereas the extent of medieval and modern cities was in the order of 10 kms, and for industrial cities 30 to 40 kms, the scale of the PAR-LON world city-region is now over to kms.

In both cases the regions are dominated in a morphological sense by the London and Paris agglomerations. In London's case, strict post World War II planning policies, introduced in the Greater London Plan have prevented the progressive outward development to form continuous sprawl. New towns did contend urban sprawl but at a shorter geographical radius than in London. However, in both cases, development sprawl has taken place beyond the zone of planning restriction leading to the formation of world city-regions of multiple proximate urban centres. The data shows the city-regions as extensive spaces of places that are internally functionally connected by spaces of flows daily travel to employment.

An economic division of labour is also well established in both city-regions. Until the s, the division of tasks was of the fordist type with command, control and innovation functions in Paris and London versus manufacturing in the rest of the city-region. T his is now shifting to a complex structure with not only the regionalisation of retail services to households but also of APS services to businesses in secondary cities.

Polycentricity and commuting: Maps of commuter data show the importance of centre-periphery movement but also the development of cross-cutting flows in both city-regions. Radial flows into and out of Paris and London dominate but other centres, some at a much greater distance, have complex interlinkages with other centres. But, what about the geography of APS organisations? Where are they located?

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How and where do they interconnect cities within these two enlarged urban regions through their network relations? Here d ata on the links between cities associated with APS organisational networks are used in preference to data on nodal size employment and firms in order to show to what extent cities are interconnected across the space of places by the presence of service network activity. The degree of polycentricity of the city-regions is assessed by measuring the relative connectivity conferred on their urban centres by the APS networks operating there.

Data on office networks at four scopes - regional, national, European and global — are extracted from the World-Wide Web and from business directories to form a regional service activity matrix. This data has been computed by GaWC to show the connectivity of each urban centre, the linkages between them, and thus the degree of polycentricity for each region.

An important limiting factor must be mentioned before we turn to consider the results. The assessment of polycentricity is necessarily comparative between regions. The connectivity values for each urban centre are calculated as a proportion of the first city, hence differences in the world city network connectivity of first cities are not visible in this analysis. This proves a particularly important limitation in considering the cases of London and Paris which have the highest world city network connectivity of the European cities studied.

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Compared to other city-regions studied in Polynet, urban centres outside Paris and London are better connected to the world city network. A t the international, European and global scales of network connectivity, polycentricity becomes apparent, reducing the primacy of these world city nodes at the MCR scale Taylor et al. The reasons are as yet undetermined but the high world city network connectivity of first cities Paris and London seems to be the most likely causal factor.

The inconclusiveness of the analysis as to the reasons for this phenomenon illustrate a further limitation of the GAWC quantitative methodology. Its focus is the space of flows, yet flows of information between places remain theoretical, a postulate of organisational networks of firms. According to the GAWC quantitative methodology, actual flows can only be inferred from the network analysis. It is semi-structured face-to-face interviews with senior business actors that provide in-depth insights into the effective interactions taking place or not in APS office networks and their implications for relational polycentricity.

However, the qualitative data on the day-to-day practices of APS agents which is discussed next leads to two models that denote an important distinction between effective MCR processes in these two world city-regions. South East England exhibits relational polycentricity versus Bassin Parisien which seems to have a centre-periphery relational model at best, in other words, it is lacking in cross-cutting integration conferred by active agent practices.

The focus of the qualitative analysis is the organisational practices of city-based office networks. The methods employed and the potential limitations of qualitative analysis are discussed in detail by Pain and Hall Data from interviews of 45 minutes to 1. According to static attribute-based approaches, first cities are the places where APS firms cluster, but they are also the nodes in the networked organisations of these firms which makes them fluid spaces or containers of the active relations and interactions between APS agents and associated information flows and knowledge transfer.

It is in these central places that the corporate complex finds heterogeneous material and immaterial resources transport and ICT infrastructures, office spaces and labour and where APS firms access multinational corporate MNC clients, including APS competitors, in addition to local markets. Access to rare and specific human resources is shown to be of even greater importance to APS firms than access to their clients in London and in Paris for London see also Cook et al.

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