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Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox

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  • Tom Broekel
  • Ron Boschma

Abstract

The importance of geographical proximity for interaction and knowledge sharing has been discussed extensively in economic geography in recent years. There is increasing consensus that it is just one out of many types of proximities that might be relevant. We argue that proximity may be a crucial driver for agents to connect and exchange knowledge, but too much proximity between these agents on any of the dimensions might harm their innovative performance at the same time. In a study on knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry, we test this so-called proximity paradox empirically. We find evidence that the proximity paradox holds to some degree. Our study clearly shows that cognitive, social and geographical proximity are crucial for explaining the knowledge network of the Dutch aviation industry. But while it takes cognitive, social and geographical proximity to exchange knowledge, we found evidence that proximity lowers firms's innovative performance, but only in the cognitive dimension.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Economic Geography.

Volume (Year): 12 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 409-433

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jecgeo:v:12:y:2012:i:2:p:409-433

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References

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  1. Pierre-Alexandre Balland, 2009. "Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence from R&D Projects within the GNSS Industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0914, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Oct 2009.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2013. "Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1314, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2013.
  2. Friedrich Dornbusch & Sidonia von Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "The organizational and regional determinants of inter-regional collaborations – Academic inventors as bridging agents," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-11, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  3. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs De Vaan & Ron Boschma, 2013. "The dynamics of interfirm networks along the industry life cycle: The case of the global video game industry, 1987--2007," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 13(5), pages 741-765, September.
  4. Cassi, Lorenzo & Plunket, Anne, 2013. "Proximity, network formation and inventive performance: in search of the proximity paradox," MPRA Paper 47388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Tom Broekel & Matte Hartog, 2013. "Determinants of cross-regional R and D collaboration networks: an application of exponential random graph models," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  6. Ron Boschma, 2014. "Towards an evolutionary perspective on regional resilience," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1409, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Mar 2014.
  7. Emmanouil Tranos & Peter Nijkamp, 2012. "The Death of Distance Revisited: Cyberplace, Physical and Relational Proximities," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  8. E. Marrocu & S. Usai & R. Paci, 2013. "Networks, proximities and inter-firm knowledge exchanges," Working Paper CRENoS 201311, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
  9. Andrea Caragliu & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "Space and Knowledge Spillovers in European Regions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-148/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
  10. Olivier Brossard & Inès Moussa, 2012. "The trilogy of knowledge spillovers in French regions: a history of nature, channels and boundaries," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1207, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised May 2012.
  11. Tom Broekel & Antje Schimke & Thomas Brenner, 2011. "The effects of cooperative R and D subsidies and subsidized cooperation on employment growth," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2011-04, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  12. Broekel, Tom & Schimke, Antje & Brenner, Thomas, 2011. "The effects of cooperative R&D subsidies and subsidized cooperation on employment growth," Working Paper Series in Economics 34, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.
  13. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2011. "The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1118, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.

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