This discussion paper resulted in an article in the Annals of Regional Science (2012). Volume 48, issue 2(SI), pages 501-527.
This paper addresses the performance of creative firms from the perspective of complex spatial systems. Based on an extensive high-dimensional database on both the attributes of individual creative firms in the Netherlands and a series of detailed regional facilitating and driving factors related, inter alia, to talent, innovation, skills, networks, accessibility and hardware, a new methodology called self-organizing mapping (SOM) is applied to identify and explain in virtual topological space, the relative differences between these firms and their business performance in various regions. It turns out that there are significant differences in the spatial and functional profile of large firms vis-à-vis SMEs across distinct geographical areas in the country.