Evolutionary approaches to strategic coupling show how regions harness and match assets, then negotiate their alignment with lead firms. For regions intersected by multiple networks in the same industry, however, the reconfiguration of network-territory relations can have aggregate, co-evolutionary effects that exceed coupling to a single lead firm. In such cases network switching rather than asset matching can be a primary driver of regional transformation, as assets transferred from one lead firm to another become embedded in qualitatively different production networks with contrasting power dynamics and logics of value capture. We analyse transformation in UK offshore oil to reveal three trajectories of change—in ownership, control, and capital—arising from the transfer of regional assets between different categories of lead firm; and identify simultaneous processes of globalisation and localisation in network geographies. We argue that network switching—guided by a heuristic of ‘re-territorialisation’—can complement strategic coupling.
Bridge, G., & Dodge, A. (2022). Regional assets and network switching: shifting geographies of ownership, control and capital in UK offshore oil. Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, https://doi.org/10.1093/cjres/rsac016