Can Florida’s Place Pyramid be applied in ...

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Title Can Florida’s Place Pyramid be applied in organizational settings?: an exploratory study of knowledge worker environments
Author(s) Joan Turner-Adams
Date 2010
Institution University of Prince Edward Island
Supervisor(s) Wendy Carroll
Degree earned Master of Business Administration
Place published Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Abstract The need for a country to innovate has always been important to ensure a growing economy, but with the continued progress towards globalization there has been increased emphasis on the development of a knowledge economy driven by innovation. Two recent documents, Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada’s Advantage (Government of Canada, 2007)) and The Canadian Blueprint: Beyond Moose and Mountains (BioTech Canada, 2009), are focused entirely on Canada advancing its global advantage by promoting innovation through a knowledge economy. On Prince Edward Island, as in the rest of Canada, government policies have focused heavily on growing the knowledge economy through innovative products and services. In recent years there have been significant investments in the information technology and biotechnology sectors. Much of the research around innovation has been at a macro level, specifically relating to the geographic region where the innovation has occurred. There are numerous studies examining the nature of regions that have higher levels of innovation focusing on the clustering effect that is occurring. Richard Florida, an economic geographer, has developed a framework to help us understand the elements that relate to clustering and the attraction of people to a particular area. Given our knowledge about regions, it leads us to question how innovation occurs in a region, and what is happening in workplaces that attract innovative workers? Is there some magic formula for creating the perfect environment that attracts and retains those highly qualified people who have been identified as critical to the success of an innovative economy? In this study, I explore this question using Florida’s “Place Pyramid”. Although the Place Pyramid was developed to assist in our understanding of the factors that influence where people choose to live, I apply it to organizational settings to examine if the same factors can be found at the micro-level. My findings from this study suggest that it may be possible to build place from the “inside” out. In other words, organizations can develop innovative workplaces that over time form the foundation of clusters. The findings from this exploratory study provide preliminary evidence that place can start at a micro-level and serves as a foundation to examine whether it can later impact the macro level. This finding may be counter to Florida’s premise that place is everything and suggests that further examination of this phenomena is warranted.
Use/Reproduction In presenting this signature project report in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Prince Edward Island, the author has agreed that the Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island, may make this signature project freely available for inspection and gives permission to add an electronic version of the signature project to the Digital Repository at the University of Prince Edward Island. Moreover the author further agrees that permission for extensive copying of this signature project report for scholarly purposes may be granted by the professor or professors who supervised the author’s project work, or, in their absence, by the Dean of the School of Business. It is understood that any copying or publication or use of this signature project report or parts thereof for financial gain shall not be allowed without the author’s written permission. It is also understood that due recognition shall be given to the author and to the University of Prince Edward Island in any scholarly use which may be made of any material in the author’s report.

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