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Title: Assessing the determinants of location : with particular reference to science parks in the United Kingdom; a philosophical investigation.
Author: Gower, Simon Marcus.
Awarding Body: University of Wolverhampton
Current Institution: University of Wolverhampton
Date of Award: 1996
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Understanding of the 'market' for property development is critical to the procedure of property research. But this market's constitution is fundamentally derived from the end users of property - namely the occupiers / tenants. It in turn, therefore, becomes appropriate that an endeavour into property research explores what determines occupiers' / tenants' choice of location. By exploring the underlying logic and reasoning that the 'end users' of property bring to their decision-making we may come to a better understanding of the market. Science parks in the UK, and indeed globally, are typically predicated upon the ideal of 'proactively' accommodating the needs of their occupying companies. Such companies are for the most part small, start-up enterprises for whom the science park developer / manager actively makes provisions of facilities and services as well as physical accommodation, that may nurture and enhance the prospects of potentially vulnerable business ventures. It is therefore evident that the concept of science parks is founded upon principles that would bridge the gap between 'property developer' and 'property user'. It is apparent that these 'principles' would heighten knowledge and understanding of the market for the property that is science parks. Implicit to the science park concept, then, is recognizance that property and in particular its management concerns far more than mere considerations for its physical, fiscal and quantitative characteristics; the success or otherwise of a property development is distinctly influenced by the perceptions and qualities that are attached to the property. Such perceptions and qualities are, thus, distinct players in the determination of location. The research therefore takes as its focus the predominantly perception borne qualitative variables that act as location determinants. Consequent to literature review and piloting surveys a system of classification, (categories), of science park tenants for analysis is developed and a host of location determinants / variables was derived for inclusion in the 'main survey'. Via the administration of the 'main' questionnaire survey to occupiers of science park premises throughout the United Kingdom these qualitative variables are examined. The survey methodology introduces measurement and thus quantitative assessments of, what are termed, 'primary', 'secondary' and 'minor' determinants of location, but the qualitative origin of these determinants is not treated disparagingly. Indeed a central contention of the thesis is that if true knowledge and understanding of the 'market' is to be achieved the underlying logic and reasoning for the quantitative responses to the qualitative variables / determinants must be pursued. The analysis therefore is conducted through narrative, description and circumspection for the sources of response to the inquiry. 11 Abstract Having exercised such circumspection in consideration of the sources of response, propositions are made as to the nature of location determinants for each of the categories of science park tenant, (respondent), that have been generated through review and piloting. These propositions are, then, in turn checked for their veracity against a further, independent sample of science park tenants. That is - a follow-up survey is conducted the results of which are used to check the extent to which agreement exists between the two independent samples. With high degrees of agreement between the main survey results and those of the follow-up survey, the propositions may be upheld as valid representations of location determinants for science parks in the UK. The primary findings, pursuant to this procedure, would indicate that though science parks are predicated upon principles of altruistic origin in their support for the initiation of new, high technology orientated business, commercial realities may be seen to impinge upon such altruism. Consequently the tenants of science park premises are found to be only limitedly motivated by the additional facilities and services that may be offered by science parks. Instead they are found to be more distinctively motivated, (i.e. their location is determined), by fundamental and basic concerns for adequacy, appropriateness and the affordability of their premises.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography Geography Economics Regional planning