A History of Industrial Clusters: Knowledge, Innovation Systems and Sustainability in the UK



Industrial clusters are a much-studied topic in business, economic and management history, with much of the focus examining why firms cluster together and the resulting benefits of this process. Seventeen years ago, Wilson and Popp edited a collection of essays that analysed English industrial clusters across history, applying a framework provided by Mark Casson to reveal some important characteristics of a range of case-studies (Wilson & Popp, 2003). Since then, the diversity of experience in the history of British industrial clusters has been celebrated and emphasised through a growing body of case studies.

This workshop brings together some of the leading researchers across the field of business and economic history showcasing the breadth and depth of current work. At its core are the themes of innovation, knowledge and sustainability and a framework developed by David Charles bringing these together. This will allow new questions to be asked and provide a historical dimension to regional economic development in the UK. The research presented will also offer some contemporary insights into policy-making and industrial strategy.

The core research output arising from the workshop will be a new edited collection on industrial clusters (under the same title as the workshop and edited by Chris Corker, Joe Lane and John Wilson). This is currently under contract with Routledge for publication in 2021 and will form part of their ‘International Studies in Business History’ series



4-5th March (full day 4th, half day 5th)


Who Should Attend

In addition to business and management historians interested in the development of industrial districts and clusters, we anticipate the participation of David Charles will attract contemporary scholars who can contribute in a multi-disciplinary setting .


Benefits of Attendance

Attendees will have the opportunity to converse with leading scholars on aspects of researching and analysing industrial districts over time. Those offering work to be presented will also benefit from involvement in the editorial process and publication process .



Henley Business School, University of Reading
Whiteknights Campus
RG6 6U



Confimed Speakers include:

David Charles - Northumbria University

Emily Buchnea – Northumbria University

Duncan Ross – University of Glasgow

John Wilson – Northumbria University

Lucy Newton – University of Reading

Mark Billings – University of Exeter

Jason Begley – Coventry University

Joe Lane – University of Reading

Chris Corker – University of York

Jack Southern – University of Central Lancashire

Bethan Atkinson – No institutional affiliation

Harry Smith – No institutional affiliation


Provider Information

British Academy of Management Management and Business History SIG, Henley Business School, University of Reading (Centre for International Business History)



For specific information about this event please contact the workshop facilitator, Joe Lane at j.lane@henley.ac.uk  

For general enquiries please contact Raluca Stroe at the BAM Office on +44(0)2073837770, or at eventsandnetworks@bam.ac.uk


Event Fee 

BAM Members: £50
BAM Student Members: £15
Non-BAM Members: £80



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Non-BAM Members 


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Cancelation Policy - Should you wish to cancel your place, you will receive a full refund if your cancelation is made 4 weeks prior to the event. After this, full payment will be required.  BAM reserves the right to cancel the event if there are not enough people to justify running the workshops.


4th March 2020   through   5th March 2020
BAM Doctoral Student Members £ 15.00
BAM Members £ 50.00
Non-BAM Members £ 80.00
Event Information
Product Code
Event Provider
Date / Time 4-5 March 2020
Event Type
Target Audience
Booking Deadline 28 February 2020
Link to Booking Form
Delegate List Available? No

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