Author ORCID Identifier
https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9552-9326 Micek Grzegorz
The article aims to identify main research challenges in studying coworking spaces (CSs) within the field of economic geography. It combines the perspective of proximity economics with the growing body of papers about spatial aspects of the operations of CSs and their role in stimulating collaboration. Based on a review of literature, the author identified the characteristic features of CSs and the corresponding proximity dimensions. He further assessed the significance of various dimensions of proximity in CSs. The article reveals how various proximities differ between CSs. It also distinguished the research strands referring to the spatialities of CSs. Next, it discusses the conceptualisation and operationalisation of proximity. Then, it applied it in the micro-scalar context of coworking spaces. The paper sheds a new light on ‘real CSs’ as physical spaces of strong institutional, cognitive and social proximities. It has been argued that even if organisational proximity in CSs is taken for granted, there is a heterogeneity amongst their users.
coworking spaces (CSs), collaborative spaces, new working ecosystems (environments), proximity, operationalisation
2018 Coworking Forecast. 2018 Global Coworking Survey, Deskmag.
2019 CMCAs (Coworker Members’ Choice Awards) Official Data Report, 2019, https://coworkinginsights.com/who-uses-coworking-spaces-most-common-demographics/
2019 Coworking Forecast. 2019 Global Coworking Survey, Deskmag.
AGUILÉRA, A., LETHIAS, V. and RALLET, A. (2015), ‘Spatial Proximity and Intercompany Communication: Myths and Realities’, European Planning Studies, 23 (4), pp. 798–810. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2014.979137
AKHAVAN, M., MARIOTTI, I., ASTOLFI, L. and CANEVARI, A. (2019), ‘Coworking Spaces and New Social Relations: A Focus on the Social Streets in Italy’, Urban Science, 3 (2). https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010002
AMATO, D. (2016), ‘Creating a Taxonomy of Shared and Collaborative Spaces’, CHI’16, May 07–12, 2016, San Jose, CA, USA. http://dx.doi.org/10.475/123_4
AVDIKOS, V. and MERKEL, J. (2019), ‘Supporting open, shared and collaborative workspaces and hubs: recent transformations and policy implications’, Urban Research & Practice. https://doi.org/10.1080/17535069.2019.1674501
BALLAND, P.-A. (2012), ‘Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence form Research and Development Projects within the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Industry’, Regional Studies, 46 (6), pp. 741–756. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2010.529121
BALLAND, P.-A., BOSCHMA, R.A. and FRENKEN, K. (2015), ‘Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics.’, Regional Studies, 49 (6), pp. 907–920. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2014.883598
BALLAND, P.-A., BOSCHMA, R. and FRENKEN, K. (2020), ‘Proximity, Innovation and Networks: A Concise Review and Some Next Steps’, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography.
BASILE, R., CAPELLO, R. and CARAGLIU, A. (2012), ‘Technological interdependence and regional growth in Europe: Proximity and synergy in knowledge spillovers’, Papers in Regional Science, 91 (4), pp. 697–722. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1435-5957.2012.00438.x
BATHELT, H., MALMBERG, A. and MASKELL, P. (2004), ‘Clusters and Knowledge: Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation’, Progress in Human Geography, 28 (1), pp. 31–56. https://doi.org/10.1191/0309132504ph469oa
BEN LETAIFA, S. and RABEAU, Y. (2013), ‘Too close to collaborate? How geographic proximity could impede entrepreneurship and innovation’, Journal of Business Research, 66 (10), pp. 2071–2078. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.033
BIANCHI, F., CASNICI, N. and SQUAZZONI, F. (2018), ‘Solidarity as a byproduct of professional collaboration: social support and trust in a coworking space’, Social Networks, 54, pp. 61–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socnet.2017.12.002
BILANDZIC, M., SCHROETER, R. and FOTH, M. (2013), ‘Gelatine: making coworking places gel for better collaboration and social learning’, [in:] SHEN, H., PAAY, J., SMITH, R., WYELD, T. and CALDER, P. (eds.) Proceedings of the 25th Australian Computer-Human Interaction Conference: Augmentation, Application, Innovation, Collaboration, Association for Computing Machinery, pp. 427–436. https://doi.org/10.1145/2541016.2541027
BOSCHMA, R.A. (2005), ‘Proximity and innovation. A critical assessment’, Regional Studies, 39 (1), pp. 61–74. https://doi.org/10.1080/0034340052000320887
BOSCHMA, R.A. and FRENKEN, K. (2010), ‘The Spatial Evolution of Innovation Networks: a Proximity Perspective’, [in:] BOSCHMA, R.A. and MARTIN, R. (eds.), The Handbook of Evolutionary Economic Geography, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp. 120–135. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781849806497.00012
BOTSMAN, R. and ROGERS, R. (2011), What’s mine is yours: how collaborative consumption is changing the way we live, Collins, London.
BOUNCKEN, R.B. and REUSCHL, A.J. (2018), ‘Coworking-spaces: how a phenomenon of the sharing economy builds a novel trend for the workplace and for entrepreneurship’, Review of Managerial Science, 12 (1), pp. 317–334. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11846-016-0215-y
BROEKEL, T. and BOSCHMA, R.A. (2012), ‘Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox’, Journal of Economic Geography, 12 (2), pp. 409–433. https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbr010
BROEKEL, T., BRENNER, T. and BUERGER, M. (2015), ‘An Investigation of the Relation between Cooperation Intensity and the Innovative Success of German Regions’, Spatial Economic Analysis, 10 (1), pp. 52–78. https://doi.org/10.1080/17421772.2014.992359
BROWN, J. (2017), ‘Curating the “Third Place”? Coworking and the mediation of creativity’, Geoforum, 82, pp. 112–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.04.006
BUTZIN, A. and WIDMAIER, B. (2016), ‘Exploring Territorial Knowledge Dynamics through Innovation Biographies’, Regional Studies, 50, pp. 220–232. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2014.1001353
CABRAL, V. and VAN WINDEN, W. (2016), ‘Coworking: an analysis of coworking strategies for interaction and innovation’, International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development, 7 (4), pp. 357–377. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJKBD.2016.10001777
CAPDEVILA, I. (2015), ‘Co-working spaces and the localised dynamics of innovation in Barcelona’, International Journal of Innovation Management, 19 (3), 1540004, pp. 1–25. https://doi.org/10.1142/S1363919615400046
CAPDEVILA, I. (2017), ‘A typology of localized spaces of collaborative innovation’, [in:] VAN HAM, M., REUSCHKE, D., KLEINHANS, R., SYRETT, S. and MASON, C. (eds.), Entrepreneurial neighbourhoods – towards an understanding of the economies of neighbourhoods and communities, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishers, pp. 80–97. https://doi.org/10.4337/9781785367243.00013
CAPDEVILA, I. and MOILANEN, J. (2013), ‘Typologies of localized spaces of collaboration’, [in:] SMEDS, R. and IRRMANN, O. (eds.), Co-Create 2013. The Boundary-Crossing Conference on Co-Design in Innovation, Conference proceedings. Aalto University Publication Series. Science and Technology, 15, pp. 15–26. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2414402
CASTILHO, M. and QUANDT, C. (2017), ‘Collaborative Capability in Coworking Spaces: Convenience Sharing or Community Building?’, Technology Innovation Management Review, 7 (12), pp. 32–42. https://doi.org/10.22215/timreview/1126
CHESBROUGH, H.W. (2003), Open Innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology, Harvard Business School Press, Boston.
COE, N.M. and BUNNELL, T.G. (2003), ‘Spatializing knowledge communities: towards a conceptualization of transnational innovation networks’, Global Networks, 3 (4), pp. 437–456. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-0374.00071
CRESCENZI, R., NATHAN, M. and RODRÍGUEZ-POSE, A. (2013), ‘Do Inventors Talk to Strangers? On Proximity and Collaborative Knowledge Creation’, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) Discussion Paper, 7797.
ELMQUIST, M. and OLLILA, S. (2011), ‘Managing open innovation: exploring challenges at the interfaces of an open innovation arena’, Creativity and Innovation Management, 4 (20), pp. 273–283. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8691.2011.00616.x
ENGESTRÖM, Y. (2009), ‘The future of activity theory: A rough draft’, [in:] SANNINO, A., DANIELS, H. and GUTIERREZ, K. (eds.), Learning and expanding with activity theory, Cambridge University Press, New York, NY, pp. 303–328. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511809989.020
ERRICHIELLO, L. and PIANESE, T. (2018), ‘Smart Work Centers as “creative workspaces” for remote employees’, CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation, 2 (1), pp. 14–21.
ETZKOWITZ, H. and LEYDESDORFF, L. (2000), ‘The Dynamics of Innovation: From National Systems and “Mode 2” to a Triple Helix of University-Industry-Government Relations’, Research Policy, 29 (2), pp. 109–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0048-7333(99)00055-4
FIORENTINO, S. (2019), ‘Different typologies of «co-working spaces» and the contemporary dynamics of local economic development in Rome’, European Planning Studies, 27 (9), pp. 1768–1790. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2019.1620697
FRITSCH, M. and SLAVTCHEV, V. (2011), ‘Determinants of the Efficiency of Regional Innovation Systems’, Regional Studies, 45 (7), pp. 905–918. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343400802251494
FUZI, A. (2015), ‘Co-working spaces for promoting entrepreneurship in sparse regions: the case of South Wales’, Regional Studies, Regional Science, 2 (1), pp. 462–469. https://doi.org/10.1080/21681376.2015.1072053
GANDINI, A. (2015), ‘The rise of coworking spaces: a literature review’, Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 15 (1), pp. 193–205.
GERDENITSCH, C., SCHEEL, T.E., ANDORFER, J. and KORUNKA, C. (2016), ‘Coworking Spaces: A Source of Social Support for Independent Professionals’, Frontiers in Psychology, 7 (581), pp. 1–12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00581
GERSHENFELD, N. (2012), ‘How to Make Almost Anything The Digital Fabrication Revolution’, Foreign Affairs, 91 (6), pp. 41–57.
GILL, J. and BUTLER, R.J (2003), ‘Managing instability in cross-cultural alliances’, Long Range Planning, 36 (6), pp. 543–563. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lrp.2003.08.008
GODART, F.C. (2015), ‘Trend Networks: Multidimensional Proximity and the Formation of Aesthetic Choices in the Creative Economy’, Regional Studies, 49 (6), pp. 973–984. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2012.732693
GRANDADAM, D., COHENDET, P. and SIMON, L. (2013), ‘Places, Spaces and the Dynamics of Creativity: The Video Game Industry in Montreal’, Regional Studies, 47 (10), pp. 1701–1714. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2012.699191
HATCH, M. (2014), The Maker Movement Manifesto, McGraw Hill Education, New York.
HOWELL, T. and BINGHAM, C. (2019), ‘Coworking spaces: Working alone, together’, Kenan Institute Working Paper.
HUBER, F. (2012), ‘On the Role and Interrelationship of Spatial, Social and Cognitive Proximity: Personal Knowledge Relationships of R&D Workers in the Cambridge Information Technology Cluster’, Regional Studies, 46 (9), pp. 1169–1182. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2011.569539
IVALDI, S. (2017), Understanding coworking: Between typology and contradiction, PhD dissertation at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano, http://tesionline.unicatt.it/bitstream/10280/35572/1/Tesiphd_completa_Ivaldi_PDF.pdf
IVALDI, S., PAIS, I. and SCARATTI, G. (2018), ‘Coworking(s) in the Plural: Coworking Spaces and New Ways of Managing’, [in:] TAYLOR S., and LUCKMAN S. (eds.), The New Normal of Working Lives. Dynamics of virtual work, Cham, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 219–241. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-66038-7_11
KATZ, B. and WAGNER, J. (2014), ‘The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America’, Brookings, May 2014, https://www.brookings.edu/essay/rise-of-innovation-districts/
KATZ, B., VEY, J.S. and WAGNER, J. (2015), ‘One year after: Observations on the rise of innovation district’, Brookings, 24 June 2015, https://www.brookings.edu/research/one-year-after-observations-on-the-rise-of-innovation-districts/
KNOBEN, J. and OERLEMANS, L.A.G. (2006), ‘Proximity and inter-organizational collaboration: A literature review’, International Journal of Management Reviews, 8 (2), pp. 71–89. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2006.00121.x
KOJO, I. and NENONEN, S. (2016), ‘Typologies for co-working spaces in Finland – What and how?’, Facilities, 34 (5/6), pp. 302–313. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-08-2014-0066
KOJO, I. and NENONEN, S. (2017), ‘Evolution of co-working places: drivers and possibilities’, Intelligent Buildings International, 9 (3), pp. 164–175. https://doi.org/10.1080/17508975.2014.987640
LANGE, B. and BÜRKNER, H.J. (2018), ‘Flexible value creation: Conceptual prerequisites and empirical explorations in open workshops’, Geoforum, 88, pp. 96–104. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2017.11.020
MARIOTTI, I., PACCHI, C. and DI VITA, S. (2017), ‘Co-working Spaces in Milan: Location Patterns and Urban Effects’, Journal of Urban Technology, 24 (3), pp. 47–66. https://doi.org/10.1080/10630732.2017.1311556
MATTES, J. (2012), ‘Dimensions of Proximity and Knowledge Bases: Innovation between Spatial and Non-spatial Factors’, Regional Studies, 46 (8), pp. 1085–1099. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2011.552493
MERKEL, J. (2015), ‘Coworking in the City’, Ephemera: Theory and Politics in Organization, 15 (2), pp. 121–139.
METCALFE, S. (1994), ‘The economic foundations of technology policy: equilibrium and evolutionary perspectives’, [in:] DODGSON, M. and ROTHWELL, R. (eds.), The Handbook of Industrial Innovation, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp. 409–512.
MICEK, G. (2011), ‘Estimating Multiplier Effects on the Local Scale’, Acta Universitatis Lodziensis, Folia Oeconomica, 252, pp. 175–190.
MICEK, G. (2017), Bliskość geograficzna przedsiębiorstw zaawansowanego przemysłu i usług a przepływy wiedzy, Kraków, Instytut Geografii i Gospodarki Przestrzennej UJ.
MIKHAK, B., LYON, C., GORTON, T., GERSHENFELD, N., MCENNIS, C. and TAYLOR, J. (2002), Fab Lab: An Alternate Model of ICT for Development, 2nd International conference on open collaborative design for sustainable innovation, Bangalore, ThinkCycle, pp. 1–7.
MOODYSSON, J. and JONSSON, O. (2007), ‘Knowledge collaboration and proximity: the spatial organization of biotech innovation projects’, European Urban and Regional Studies, 14 (2), pp. 115–131. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969776407075556
MORISET, B. (2014), Building new places of the creative economy, the rise of coworking spaces, Proceedings of the 2nd Geography of Innovation International Conference, Utrecht University.
MORRISON, A. (2018) ‘A Typology of Places in the Knowledge Economy: Towards the Fourth Place’, [in:] CALABRO F., DELLA SPINA L. and BEVILACQUA C. (eds.), New Metropolitan Perspectives, Local Knowledge and Innovation Dynamics Towards Territory Attractiveness Through the Implementation of Horizon/E2020/Agenda2030, Springer Publishing International, Cham, pp. 444–451.
MÜLLER, F.C. and IBERT, O. (2015), ‘(Re–)sources of Innovation: Understanding and Comparing Time–spatial Innovation Dynamics through the Lens of Communities of Practice’, Geoforum, 65, pp. 338–350. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.10.007
OERLEMANS, L.A.G. and MEEUS, M. (2005), ‘Do organizational and spatial proximity impact on firm performance?’, Regional Studies, 39 (1), pp. 89–104. https://doi.org/10.1080/0034340052000320896
OLDENBURG, R. (1989), The Great Good Place: Cafes, Coffee Shops, Bookstores, Bars, Hair Salons, and Other Hangouts at the Heart of a Community, Cambridge, MA, Da Capo Press.
OLDENBURG, R. and BRISSETT, D. (1982), ‘The third place’, Qualitative Sociology, 5 (4), pp. 265–284. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00986754
OLMA, S. (2012), The Serendipity Machine. A Disruptive Business Model for Society 3.0, Lindonk & De Bres, Amersfoort.
OREL, M. (2019), ‘Coworking environments and digital nomadism: balancing work and leisure whilst on the move’, World Leisure Journal, 61 (3), pp. 215–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/16078055.2019.1639275
OREL, M. and ALONSO ALMEIDA, M. (2019), ‘The ambience of collaboration in coworking environments’, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 21 (4), pp. 273–289. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRE-12-2018-0050
OREL, M. and DVOULETÝ, O. (2019), ‘Transformative changes and developments of the coworking model: A narrative review’, [in:] Managing Sustainable Innovation, Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group (forthcoming). https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26245-7_2
OREL, M. and KUBÁTOVÁ, J. (2019), ‘Coworking as a model for conscious business’, Journal of Global Responsibility. https://doi.org/10.1108/JGR-11-2018-0068
PARRINO, L. (2015), ‘Coworking: Assessing the Role of Proximity in Knowledge Exchange’, Knowledge Management Research & Practice, 13 (3), pp. 261–271. https://doi.org/10.1057/kmrp.2013.47
PAUCEANU, A.M. and DEMPERE, J.M. (2018), ‘External factors influencing Fablabs’ performance’, Journal of International Studies, 11 (2), pp. 341–351. https://doi.org/10.14254/2071-8330.2018/11-2/23
PONDS, R., VAN OORT, F. and FRENKEN, K. (2007), ‘The geographical and institutional proximity of research collaboration’, Papers in Regional Science, 86 (3), pp. 423–443. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1435-5957.2007.00126.x
RODRÍGUEZ-POSE, A. (2011), ‘Economists as geographers and geographers as something else: on the changing conception of distance in geography and economics’, Journal of Economic Geography, 11 (2), pp. 347–356. https://doi.org/10.1093/jeg/lbq034
ROSS, P. and RESSIA, S. (2015), ‘Neither office nor home: Coworking as an emerging workplace choice’, Employment Relations Record, 15 (1), pp. 42–57. https://doi.org/10.1002/ert.21500
RUS, A. and OREL, M. (2015), ‘Coworking: A community of work’, Teorija in Praksa, 52, pp. 1017–1038.
RUTTEN, R. (2017), ‘Beyond proximities: The socio-spatial dynamics of knowledge creation’, Progress in Human Geography, 41 (2), pp. 159–177. https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132516629003
SALONE, C., BONINI BARALDI, S. and PAZZOLA, G. (2017), ‘Cultural production in peripheral urban spaces: lessons from Barriera, Turin (Italy)’, European Planning Studies, 25 (12), pp. 2117–2137. https://doi.org/10.1080/09654313.2017.1327033
SCHAMP, E.W., RENTMEISTER, B. and LO, V. (2004), ‘Dimensions of Proximity in Knowledge-based Networks: The Cases of Investment Banking and Automobile Design’, European Planning Studies, 12 (5), pp. 607–624. https://doi.org/10.1080/0965431042000219978
SCHMIDT, S. and BRINKS, V. (2017), ‘Open creative labs: Spatial settings at the intersection of communities and organizations’, Creativity and Innovation Management, 26, pp. 291–299. https://doi.org/10.1111/caim.12220
SCHMIDT, S., BRINKS, V. and BRINKHOFF, S. (2014), ‘Innovation and creativity labs in Berlin – organizing temporary spatial configurations for innovations’, Zeischrift für Wiirtschaftsgeographie, 58 (4), pp. 232–247. https://doi.org/10.1515/zfw.2014.0016
SCHMIDT, S., IBERT, O., KUEBART, A. and KÜHN, J. (2016), Open Creative Labs: Typologisierung, Verbreitung und Entwicklungsbedingungen, Erkner, Leibniz‐Institut für Raumbezogene Sozialforschung.
SPINUZZI, C. (2012), ‘Working alone together coworking as emergent collaborative activity’, Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 26 (4), pp. 399–441. https://doi.org/10.1177/1050651912444070
SUIRE, R. (2019), ‘Innovating by bricolage: how do firms diversify through knowledge interactions with FabLabs?’, Regional Studies, 53 (7), pp. 939–950. https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2018.1522431
TALBOT, D. (2010), ‘La dimension politique dans l’approche de la proximite’, Géographie, Economie, Société, 22 (2), pp. 125–144. https://doi.org/10.3166/ges.12.125-144
TORRE, A. and RALLET, A. (2005), ‘Proximity and localization’, Regional Studies, 39 (1), pp. 47–60. https://doi.org/10.1080/0034340052000320842
VAN HOLM, E.J. (2017), ‘Makerspaces and Local Economic Development’, Economic Development Quarterly, 31 (2), pp. 164–173. https://doi.org/10.1177/0891242417690604
VAN WINDEN, W., DE CARVALHO, L., VAN TUIJL, E., VAN HAAREN, J. and VAN DEN BERG, L. (2012), Creating Knowledge Locations in Cities. Innovation and integration challenges, Routledge, London. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203127162
WATERS-LYNCH, J. and POTTS, J. (2017), ‘The social economy of coworking spaces: A focal point model of coordination’, Review of Social Economy, 75 (4), pp. 417–433. https://doi.org/10.1080/00346764.2016.1269938
WATERS-LYNCH, J., POTTS, J., BUTCHER, T., DODSON, J. and HURLEY, J. (2016), ‘Coworking: A Transdisciplinary Overview’ (26 January 2016), available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2712217 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2712217
WEIJS-PERRÉE, M., VAN DE KOEVERING, J., APPEL-MEULENBROEK, R. and ARENTZE, T. (2019), ‘Analysing user preferences for co-working space characteristics’, Building Research & Information, 47 (5), pp. 534–548. https://doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2018.1463750
WENGER, E. (1998), Communities of practice: Learning, meaning, and Identity, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511803932
WOLF-POWERS, L., DOUSSARD, M., SCHROCK, G., HEYING, C., EISENBURGER, M. and MAROTTA, S. (2017), ‘The maker movement and urban economic development’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 83 (4), pp. 365–376. https://doi.org/10.1080/01944363.2017.1360787
YANG, E., BISSON, C. and SANBORN, B. (2019), ‘Coworking space as a third-fourth place: changing models of a hybrid space in corporate real estate’, Journal of Corporate Real Estate, 21 (4), pp. 324–345. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRE-12-2018-0051