AnnaLee Saxenian

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AnnaLee Saxenian is a professor and the current Dean of the UC Berkeley School of Information, known widely for her work on technology clusters and social networks in Silicon Valley.

In her book Regional Advantage: Culture and Competition in Silicon Valley and Route 128 (1994), Saxenian proposes a hypothesis to explain why California's Silicon Valley was able to keep up with the fast pace of technological progress during the 1980s, while the vertically integrated firms of the Route 128 beltway fell behind. She argues that the key was Silicon Valley's decentralized organizational form, non-proprietary standards, and tradition of cooperative exchange (sharing information and outsourcing for component parts), in opposition to hierarchical and independent industrial systems in the East Coast.

Her most recent book, The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy (2006), explores the globalization of the technology workforce that has occurred as the "brain drain" becomes a "brain circulation" with immigrant Indian, Chinese, and Israeli professionals taking the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial model to their home countries while also maintaining connections with the US.

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