The sociospatial dynamics of creativity and production in Tanzanian industry: Urban furniture manufacturers in a liberalizing economy
The author examines the design, production, and marketing activities of furniture makers in Mwanza, Tanzania and assesses the degree to which innovative and creative competencies and capabilities are emerging within this industry. A conceptual framework from evolutionary economics is applied, and emphasis is placed on situating the social and spatial characteristics of production, innovation, and knowledge creation within the selection environment or context created by Tanzania's economic liberalization process. Specifically, the cognitive, innovative, and organizational competencies and capabilities of furniture makers are detailed and their emergence is explained in relation to the markets, institutions, and spatial structures concomitant with neoliberal reform. The findings demonstrate how liberalization has, in effect, selected for less creative, smaller scale, and largely informal manufacturers while discouraging the development of more innovative, larger scale, and/or formal firms. In a broad sense, the results of the study raise questions about whether or not structural adjustment policies are contributing to the development of viable, globally oriented, and indigenously owned manufacturing firms in African cities like Mwanza.
Environment and Planning A
furniture industry, production, economic theory, marketing strategy, industrial productivity, supply and demand, evolutionary economics, industrial management, Mwanza, Tanzania, Africa
Murphy, James T., "The sociospatial dynamics of creativity and production in Tanzanian industry: Urban furniture manufacturers in a liberalizing economy" (2006). Geography. 417.