Department of Geography

Grete Rusten as supervisor

Professor Grete Rusten is a supervisor for master project in economic geography and regional development.

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Grete Rusten is professor in Economic Geography at Department of geography, University of Bergen.  Research includes a variety of topics involving business, industrial and regional issues. This includes different topics about the knowledge economy, production innovation and industrial design, firm strategies and structures as well as how different production systems are organised, localised and operate. My research field includes: Corporate geography, Location strategies and internationalization. Industrial and regional development, Service Economies, Industrial design and innovation economies, Green Economies. My field of expertize do mainly cover Norway/Western Economies.

Topic 1: Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional development

Entrepreneurship and innovation play a key role in the development and restructuring of economies and welfare. Research questions may include: 1) the biographies and motivations of entrepreneurship, 2) structures and strategies, conditions and constraints related to business start-ups as well as 3) the industrial dynamics and regional effects linked to these establishments.  Master projects may also include topics linked to the collective entrepreneurship with local government and industry in partnership. These projects will be linked to the Swedish/Norwegian research activities.

Topic 2: Industry and sustainability

This can for example include 1) questions about the  way industries and services may provide knowledge, technology or products that leads to a sustainable improvement of the society or 2) or the development of more sustainable industrial processes, or 3) public and private sustainable consumption.  Master studies are relevant to ongoing research and networks in regional development and economic geography. For further details see http://greeneconomies.h.uib.no

Topic 3: Geographies of industrial design

This topic includes 1) questions around the ways buyers and sellers of design find each other, and how relations are organised and regulated and incorporated into the value chain. The topic may also 2) address the role of linkages and geographical clusters for the creation of design knowledge. Master projects will be linked to the supervisors’ research. See:  http://org.uib.no/design/

Topic 4: Service Economies

This field of research includes a variety of topics about the knowledge economy, geography and services. Topics include sourcing strategies, management strategies, development of competence, entrepreneurship and innovations as well as how different production systems have organised and localised their service activities. The research and publications cover SMEs, large companies as well the public sector. The activities are based on a long-term collaboration with colleagues at RESER European Association for Research on Services. Ongoing research by Grete Rusten and her team with master and Phd-projects include:

  • Cross-sector partnerships and social innovations linked to vocational education
  • Green economies and services
  • The geography of the service economy

Topic 5: The Internet of things and the green economy -structures and product developments in Norway

Smart technologies are emerging as a new way of presenting products and services.  Is this merely a more sophisticated way of creating customer ties, or are these products a response to reduce environmental burden and resource use in our society?  This topic brings our three fields of research interest, industries, services and the green economy together.

Topic 6: Hydro energy sites representing new era for regional development –rural locations providing server facilities for global data companies.

The hydropower industry, with a focus on technology, regulations and regional effects has been a research focus over the years. We are recently seeing some industrial newcomers’ entering this stage in places like Rennesøy, Mo i Rana and Naustal. These and other examples refer to rural sites across the country establishing facilities for server operators of global data companies. What are the structural characteristics, processes and regional effects of these kind of initiatives? The topic represents an interesting area of study obout how our sustainable energy sector becomes part of the global green economy

Topic 7: The history and geography of district heating in Norway

This form of energy source represent an interesting opportunity linked to bio wood resources, waste or industrial facilities.  This topic will map the status of this form of heating and give some deeper insight to projects in different part of the country covering a longer term. An important question is to address the interest, challenges and effects of these projects in both rural and urban settings.

Topic 8:  How robotics may erode/change or create new jobs

Robotics and other forms of automatic systems do already and will have an effect regarding the structure of the workplaces, forms of occupations and types of jobs in the coming years.  Some jobs will all together disappear, others will require new forms of organisational arrangements and skills and yet others will open up for new forms of jobs.  New technological developments in this field will through development, implementation and services represent new arenas for several businesses.  Interesting questions for a master thesis could be to investigate how new and existing industries and services respond to this new technological era.

Topic 9:  “The lonely planet paradox.”

This topic concerns the conflict between tourism seeking attractions vs. nature conservation and local community interests.   It may even in some cases be internal conflict of interests within the tourist industry, for example between those wishing to offer a spectacular almost untouched nature experience, and others that offers infrastructure and transport services that makes these sites easily accessible.

How should and can these interests be balanced, and who should have a saying in making these decisions. 

Do not hesitate to contact me if you might be interested discuss your master project plans related to the mentioned topics  or other related issues with me.  Master projects may be in Norwegian or English.

Contact details:  Grete.Rusten@geog.uib.no, or pay a visit to my office room 730, Department of Geography.