The Annals of Regional Science

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 501–527 | Cite as

High performers in complex spatial systems: a self-organizing mapping approach with reference to The Netherlands

  • Karima Kourtit
  • Daniel Arribas-Bel
  • Peter Nijkamp
Open Access
Special Issue Paper


This paper addresses the performance of creative firms from the perspective of complex spatial systems. Based on an extensive high-dimensional database on both the attributes of individual creative firms in the Netherlands and a series of detailed regional facilitating and driving factors related, inter alia, to talent, innovation, skills, networks, accessibility and hardware, a new methodology called self-organizing mapping is applied to identify and explain in virtual topological space, the relative differences between these firms and their business performance in various regions. It turns out that there are significant differences in the spatial and functional profile of large firms vis-à-vis SMEs across distinct geographical areas in the country.

JEL Classification

M1 M19 M2 M20 M21 Q5 Q56 R1 R10 R11 R12 R15 R30 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License which permits any noncommercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karima Kourtit
    • 1
  • Daniel Arribas-Bel
    • 2
  • Peter Nijkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Spatial EconomicsFree UniversityAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and ComputationArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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