Interlocking Firm Networks in the German Knowledge Economy. On Local Networks and Global Connectivity

  • Stefan LüthiEmail author
  • Alain Thierstein
  • Michael Bentlage
Wissenschaftlicher Beitrag


The knowledge economy is a key driver of spatial development in metropolitan regions. A relational perspective on its business activities emphasizes the importance of knowledge-intensive firms and their networking strategies. The aim of this paper is to analyse the spatial networking patterns created by the interaction of knowledge-intensive firms and to place these activities in the theoretical context of the knowledge economy. Our central question is which large-scale interlocking networks and functional urban hierarchies are produced by Advanced Producer Services and High-Tech firms located in Germany. The intra-firm locational networks of these companies are analysed on three spatial scales: global, national and regional. The empirical findings show that the functional urban hierarchy in the German city system proves to be steeper than is claimed by the political debate on German Mega-City Regions.


Germany Knowledge economy Advanced Producer Services firms High-Tech firms Interlocking firm networks 

Standortverflechtungen in der deutschen Wissensökonomie. Über lokale Netzwerke und globale Konnektivität


Die Wissensökonomie ist ein zentraler Treiber der Raumentwicklung. Eine relationale Perspektive auf deren Aktivitäten unterstreicht die Bedeutung von wissensintensiven Unternehmen und ihren Vernetzungsstrategien. Das Ziel dieses Beitrages besteht darin, die räumlich bestimmten Verflechtungsmuster durch die Interaktionen wissensintensiver Unternehmen zu analysieren, und diese in den theoretischen Kontext der Wissensökonomie zu stellen. Im Zentrum steht die Frage, welche großräumigen Netzwerkstrukturen und funktional-räumlichen Hierarchien wissensintensive Dienstleister und High-Tech Firmen in Deutschland kennzeichnen. Die firmeninternen Standortverflechtungen dieser Unternehmen werden auf drei räumlichen Maßstabsebenen in ihrer Intensität betrachtet: global, national und regional. Die Forschungsergebnisse zeigen, dass die funktional-räumliche Hierarchie im deutschen Städtesystem deutlich steiler ist, als die politische Debatte um deutsche Metropolregionen es vermuten lässt.


Deutschland Wissensökonomie Wissensintensive Dienstleistungen High-Tech Firmen Netzwerkanalyse 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan Lüthi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alain Thierstein
    • 1
  • Michael Bentlage
    • 1
  1. 1.Lehrstuhl für RaumentwicklungTechnische Universität MünchenMünchenDeutschland

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