Prof. Gerald R. PATCHELL

PhD in Geography, Simon Fraser University

Associate Professor, Division of Public Policy and Division of Social Science


Territorial and Inter-firm Cooperation / Sustainable Development / Environmental Economic Geography / The Organization of Variety / Business and Environment / Japan


HBA, MA Western Ontario; PhD Simon Fraser

“I don’t do business that don’t make me smile.” Jimmy Buffett

Therefore, I teach courses on the environment and do research that integrates environmental issues with fun economic activities. To do so, I reoriented my training in economic geography to incorporate the environment and broaden my range of topic areas. I teach courses on sustainable development, environment and business, and environmental governance. I also teach a course on Japan because that’s where I’ve done most of my research and because my sons love sushi.

My research focus is on how competitors cooperate in inter-firm relations, in local and regional settings, in the global commons, and in support of sustainable development. My topic areas include competitive-cooperative relations in the robot, electric vehicle, Japanese houses, precious wood, multi-media, wine, and skiing industries. I’ve also delved into theory. Some of this research has been more fun than others.


  • 2004, "High tech 'Large Firms' in Greater Vancouver, British Columbia: Congregation without Clustering?", [co-authored with Hayter, R, Rees, K], in R B Le Heron and J W Harrington eds. New Economic Spaces, New Economic Geographies. London: Ashgate.

  • 2003, "Governance for University-Industry Collaboration in Hong Kong",[co-authored with Tony Eastham], in Roel Rutten, Frans Boekema, and Elsa Kuijpers (eds.) Universities, Knowledge Infrastructure and the Learning Region. London:Routledge.

  • 2002, "Linking Production and Consumption: The co-evolution of interaction systems in the Japanese house industry", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 92 pp. 284-301.

  • 1999, "Creating the Japanese Electric Vehicle Industry: the challenges of uncertainty and cooperation", Environment & Planning A, vol. 31 pp. 997-1016.

  • 1997, "Japanese Precious Wood and the Paradoxes of Added Value", [co-authored with Roger Hayter], Geographical Review, vol. 87 (3) pp. 375-395.

  • 1996, "Kaleidoscope Economies: cooperation, competition and control in regional development", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, vol. 86 (3), pp. 481-506.

  • 1993, "From Production Systems to Learning Systems: lessons from Japan", Environment and Planning A, Vol. 25, no. 7, pp. 797-815