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Gatekeepers, Knowledge Brokers And Inter-Firm Knowledge Transfer In Beijing'S Zhongguancun Science Park


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    (SPRU- Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex, The Freeman Centre, Brighton, BN1 9QE, UK)


    (Department of Manufacturing, Cranfield University, Cranfield, MK43 0AL, UK)


An important part of industrial policy in China has been directed towards improving the degree and effectiveness of knowledge transfer between key firms in China's innovation system. Amongst these policies, the creation of regional science parks that encourage labour mobility and inter-firm collaboration on innovation projects have been central. Learning through inter-firm knowledge transfer focuses the attention on at least two key factors, improving absorptive capability (Cohen and Levinthal, 1990), which relies on the development of specialised skills in the firm and the establishment of inter-organisational networks through which knowledge is transferred.This paper contributes to this analysis through a detailed study of the relationship between learning and knowledge transfer of knowledge workers working on innovation projects in Chinese ICT companies located in Beijing's Zhongguancun (ZGC) high-technology park. A major advantage of analysing knowledge transfer through the activities of R'D employees is that it highlights the process by which specific competencies and network relations are built. A skills profile of R&D employees is developed that, amongst other features, includes three different networks Chinese knowledge workers use to access and share knowledge: formal organisational networks, personal networks and scanning networks. Empirical data based on two unique surveys in China of senior R&D managers and R&D employees was collected and analysed. This suggests that a skills profile combining knowledge within and outside of the company and scanning activity positively impact both the innovation projects and the labour market position of the knowledge workers. Policy recommendations in terms of training and development in R&D follow.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. in its journal International Journal of Innovation Management.

Volume (Year): 14 (2010)
Issue (Month): 01 ()
Pages: 93-122

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Handle: RePEc:wsi:ijimxx:v:14:y:2010:i:01:p:93-122

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Keywords: Gatekeepers; clusters; China innovation system; knowledge brokers; knowledge transfer;


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Cited by:
  1. Haas, Aurore, 2014. "Crowding at the frontier: knowledge brokers, gatekeepers, boundary spanners and marginal-intersecting individuals," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13553, Paris Dauphine University.
  2. Sara Bassani & Cristina Bettinelli & Giovanna Dossena, 2012. "European Science Parks and Job Creation. An Exploratory Study," DSI Essays Series, DSI - Dipartimento di Studi sull'Impresa, vol. 22.


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