Local embeddedness and rural entrepreneurship: Case study evidence from Cumbria, England

C. Kalantaridis, Zografia Bika

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

225 Citations (Scopus)


There is a growing realisation among scholars and policymakers of the role of local contextual factors and circumstances in influencing the behaviour of key economic agents, including the entrepreneur. This approach has stretched the boundaries of academic inquiry well beyond mainstream conceptualisations of economic agency as isolated from its setting. An assumption that underpinned research and policymaking in the new learning is that economic activity is typically socially embedded, which is generally taken to imply local embeddedness. In our paper, drawing upon the findings of extensive research in rural Cumbria, we question this assumption. We argue that in the context of rural Cumbria, the conceptualisation of locality may go beyond territorial notions. This argument does not support a return to the notion of the isolated economic agent, but advocates a move forward to the detailed exploration of the interface between agency and context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1561-1579
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006


  • conceptual framework
  • economic activity
  • entrepreneur
  • policy making
  • rural economy
  • rural planning
  • Cumbria
  • England
  • Eurasia
  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
  • Western Europe

Cite this