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Effects of the Internet on the spatial structure of innovation networks

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  • Kaufmann, A.
  • Lehner, P.
  • Todtling, F.

Abstract

Research on innovation systems and innovative milieux has shown that the innovation process of companies is strongly interrelated with other firms and organisations. Internet is a new information and communication technology with a considerable potential to change such relationships and networks. An often held expectation is that the Internet will allow firms to interact with distant partners more easily and that as a consequence innovation networks become independent from geographical space. A contrasting view argues that local and regional networks and innovation systems will keep their importance, due to the fact that tacit knowledge, face to face communication and institutional factors are still of key relevance. In the paper we are going to investigate to which extent and how the Internet changes innovation network of companies. Do firms using the Internet intensively have other innovation partners at wider spatial scales than firms which hardly use this communication technology? We have analysed the effects of the Internet on the innovation-related knowledge flows of firms by conducting a telephone survey, personal interviews and a WWW-survey of Austrian firms. Preliminary analysis shows that there is significant variance between firms depending on the relative importance of different types of knowledge communicated and the type of firm (e.g., science-based firms versus traditional manufacturing firms). Overall, there is evidence that the Internet made relations to innovation partners more efficient. However, the configuration of networks (types and location of partners) did not change as much as is often expected in the literature.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 15 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 402-424

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:15:y:2003:i:3:p:402-424

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

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References

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  1. Edward E. Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," NBER Working Papers 8450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Walsham, Geoff, 2001. "Knowledge Management:: The Benefits and Limitations of Computer Systems," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 19(6), pages 599-608, December.
  3. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
  4. Bj–rn Johnson & Edward Lorenz & Bengt-�ke Lundvall, 2002. "Why all this fuss about codified and tacit knowledge?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 245-262.
  5. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brigitte Preissl, 2003. "Innovation Clusters: Combining Physical and Virtual Links," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 359, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  2. Franz Toedtling & Patrick Lehner, 2006. "Do Different Types of Innovation Require Specific Kinds of Knowledge Links?," ERSA conference papers ersa06p513, European Regional Science Association.
  3. Paul Haynes & Alessandra Vecchi & James Wickham, 2006. "Flying around the globe and bringing business back home?," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp173, IIIS.
  4. Nabaz T. Khayyat & Jeong-Dong Lee, 2012. "A New Index Measure of Technological Capabilities for Developing Countries," TEMEP Discussion Papers 201291, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Jun 2012.
  5. Harald Bathelt & Andrew Munro & Ben Spigel, 2011. "Challenges of Transformation: Innovation, Re-bundling and Traditional Manufacturing in Canada's Technology Triangle," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1111, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jun 2011.
  6. Mercy Escalante-Ludena, 2006. "Innovation Networks in the Learning Economy," ERSA conference papers ersa06p881, European Regional Science Association.
  7. Patricia Hemert & Peter Nijkamp & Enno Masurel, 2013. "From innovation to commercialization through networks and agglomerations: analysis of sources of innovation, innovation capabilities and performance of Dutch SMEs," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 425-452, April.
  8. Steiner, Bodo & Ali, Jolene, 2009. "Regional food clusters and government support for clustering: Evidence for a ‘dynamic food innovation cluster’ in Alberta, Canada?," MPRA Paper 26251, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Scott, Allen J., 2010. "Cultural economy and the creative field of the city," MPRA Paper 32108, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Franz Tödtling & Patrick Lehner & Alexander Kaufmann, 2008. "Do Different Types of Innovation Rely on Specific Kinds of Knowledge Interactions?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2008_01, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  11. Cowan,Robin & Jonard,Nicolas, 2004. "Information Technology and the Dynamics of Joint Innovation," Research Memorandum 014, Maastricht University, Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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