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Knowledge Sourcing Beyond Buzz and Pipelines: Evidence from the Vienna Software Sector

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Author Info

  • Michaela Trippl
  • Franz Tödtling
  • Lukas Lengauer

Abstract

This article examines the nature and geography of knowledge linkages in the Vienna software cluster. Empirical studies on the software sector have provided contradictory evidence of the relative importance of different sources of knowledge, the spatial dimension of exchanges of knowledge, and the relevance of different channels for the transmission of knowledge. Recent conceptual work on the geography of knowledge linkages has highlighted that the innovative dynamics of clusters rests on both local and global knowledge flows, that is, the combination of "local buzz" and "global pipelines." However, the buzz-and-pipelines approach fails to provide a precise understanding of the mechanisms by which actors in a cluster gain access to knowledge at different spatial scales. This article goes beyond the buzz-and-pipelines concept and suggests a differentiated typology of knowledge linkages, distinguishing among market relations, formal networks, spillovers, and informal networks. Drawing on a survey of firms and face-to-face interviews with representatives of companies, we demonstrate that in the Vienna software industry, knowledge flows are informal. We found that spillovers and informal networks are highly significant at all spatial scales and are complemented by formalized research-and-development partnerships at the local and national levels. We also show that the character of knowledge linkages is dependent on the nature of innovation. The more radical the innovation, the larger the variety of sources of knowledge and the stronger the diversity of the mechanisms for transferring knowledge. Copyright (c) 2009 Clark University.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Clark University in its journal Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 85 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 443-462

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecgeog:v:85:y:2009:i:4:p:443-462

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Rosina Moreno & Ernest Miguélez, 2011. "A relational approach to the geography of innovation: a typology of regions," IREA Working Papers 201121, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2011.
  2. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andr�s Rodr�guez-Pose, 2011. "When local interaction does not suffice: sources of firm innovation in urban Norway," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 43(6), pages 1248-1267, June.
  3. Rune Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "The geographical dimension of innovation collaboration: Collaboration and innovation in Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa13p878, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Michaela Trippl, 2011. "Low-Tech Innovation in a High-Tech Environment? The Food Industry in the Metropolitan Region of Vienna," ERSA conference papers ersa10p133, European Regional Science Association.
  5. Stefano Elia & Lucia Piscitello & Sergio Mariotti, 2013. "Industrial Districts, Core Cities And Ownership Strategy Of Multinational Firms Investing In Italy," ERSA conference papers ersa13p27, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Markus Grillitsch & Christoph Höglinger & Franz Tödtling, 2011. "Location, knowledge sourcing and innovation – Evidence from the ICT sector in Austria," ERSA conference papers ersa10p676, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Franz Tödtling & Roland Schneider & Markus Grillitsch & Christoph Höglinger, 2011. "Constructing Regional Advantage in the Austrian ICT Sector—Towards Fine-Tuned Innovation Policies?," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 533-549, December.
  8. Jose-Luis Hervas-Oliver, 2011. "Social Networks across Spatial Agglomerations: the Paradox of High-Tech Clusters. A Critical Revision of Clusters," ERSA conference papers ersa11p779, European Regional Science Association.
  9. Michaela Trippl, 2010. "Low_Tech Innovation in a High-Tech Environment? The Case of the Food Industry in the Vienna Metropolitan Region," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2010_02, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.

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