Quality & Quantity

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 2481–2505 | Cite as

Through the magnifying glass: an analysis of regional innovation models based on co-word and meta-synthesis methods

  • Reza Naghizadeh
  • Shaban Elahi
  • Manoochehr Manteghi
  • Sepehr Ghazinoory
  • Marina Ranga


This paper performs a fine-grained analysis of regional innovation models discussed in the literature, using a combination of quantitative (co-word analysis) and qualitative (meta-synthesis) methods applied to 300 papers from the Scopus and Sage databases covering the period 1990–2013. The co-word analysis produced knowledge maps that identify the most frequently occurring regional innovation models and group them into three clusters: Cluster 1 (industrial districts, local production systems), Cluster 2 (industrial clusters and regional clusters), and Cluster 3 (innovative milieus, regional innovation systems, innovation networks and learning regions). The meta-synthesis analysis used for exploring the content of these models identified three main themes, each with several sub-themes, as well as distinct features of the regions implementing them. Based on these distinctions, a typology of regions was derived, distinguishing between Early Innovators, Transitional Innovators and Advanced Innovators, which can serve as a useful instrument for academic researchers, policy-makers and practitioners involved in regional innovation.


Regional innovation models Knowledge map Co-word analysis  Meta-synthesis Clusters Regional typology 

Supplementary material

11135_2014_123_MOESM1_ESM.doc (189 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (doc 189 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reza Naghizadeh
    • 1
  • Shaban Elahi
    • 1
  • Manoochehr Manteghi
    • 2
  • Sepehr Ghazinoory
    • 1
  • Marina Ranga
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Information Technology Management, School of Management and EconomyTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Industrial Engineering, College of EngineeringTehran UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.H-STAR InstituteStanford UniversityStanfordUSA

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