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Heterogeneity and Specificity of Inter-Firm Knowledge Flows in Innovation Networks

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  • Alessia Sammarra
  • Lucio Biggiero

Abstract

Literature on innovation networks reveals little of to what extent different types of knowledge are exchanged and combined by collaborating firms to foster innovation. Based on field research in the aerospace industrial cluster of Rome, this study investigates the exchange of technological, market and managerial knowledge. Using social network analysis, the paper shows that the three types of knowledge are unevenly distributed and exchanged, thus revealing that the process of exchange is knowledge-specific. Further, it is found that in most collaborative relationships, partners exchange technological knowledge together with market and managerial knowledge, emphasizing the complex nature of the innovation process which requires access to and recombination of diverse knowledge. This phenomenon concerns not only large companies, but also small-to-medium enterprises. The reconsideration of the relative salience of the three types of knowledge has remarkable managerial and theoretical implications, which are developed in terms of propositions offered for further research. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2008.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Management Studies.

Volume (Year): 45 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (06)
Pages: 800-829

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:45:y:2008:i:4:p:800-829

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Web page: http://www.blackwellpublishing.com/journal.asp?ref=0022-2380

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Cited by:
  1. José Barbero & José Casillas & Mike Wright & Alicia Ramos Garcia, 2014. "Do different types of incubators produce different types of innovations?," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 151-168, April.
  2. Yongchuan Bao & Shibin Sheng & Kevin Zhou, 2012. "Network-based market knowledge and product innovativeness," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 309-324, March.
  3. Lange, Knut & Müller-Seitz, Gordon & Sydow, Jörg & Windeler, Arnold, 2013. "Financing innovations in uncertain networks—Filling in roadmap gaps in the semiconductor industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 647-661.
  4. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.
  5. Martin-Rios, Carlos, 2014. "Why do firms seek to share human resource management knowledge? The importance of inter-firm networks," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 190-199.
  6. Tomlinson, Philip R., 2010. "Co-operative ties and innovation: Some new evidence for UK manufacturing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 762-775, July.
  7. Ceci, Federica & Iubatti, Daniela, 2012. "Personal relationships and innovation diffusion in SME networks: A content analysis approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 565-579.
  8. Swart, Juani & Powell, John, 2012. "An analytical theory of knowledge behaviour in networks," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 223(3), pages 807-817.
  9. Jiang, Xu & Li, Yuan, 2009. "An empirical investigation of knowledge management and innovative performance: The case of alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 358-368, March.

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