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When local interaction does not suffice: Sources of firm innovation in urban Norway

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  • Fitjar, Rune Dahl
  • Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés

Abstract

The geographical sources of innovation of firms have been hotly debated. While the traditional view is that physical proximity within city-regions is key for the innovative capacity of firms, the literature on ‘global pipelines’ has been stressing the importance of establishing communication channels to the outside world. This paper uses a specifically tailored survey of the level of innovation of 1604 firms of more than 10 employees located in the five largest Norwegian city-regions (Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Kristiansand) in order to determine a) the geographical dimension of the sources of innovation and b) the factors behind the propensity to innovate in Norwegian firms. The results stress that while interaction with a multitude of partners within Norwegian city-regions or with other national partners has a negligible effect on firm innovation, those firms with a greater diversity of international partners tend to innovate more and introduce more radical innovations. The results also highlight that the roots of this greater innovative capacity lie in a combination of firm--size of firms, share of foreign ownership, and sector--and cultural--the level of open-mindedness of managers--characteristics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8267.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8267

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Keywords: city-regions; firms; innovation; interaction; Norway; partnerships; pipelines; radical innovation;

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References

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  1. Maskell, Peter, 2001. "Towards a Knowledge-Based Theory of the Geographical Cluster," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(4), pages 921-43, December.
  2. Jerker Moodysson & Lars Coenen & Bj�rn Asheim, 2008. "Explaining spatial patterns of innovation: analytical and synthetic modes of knowledge creation in the Medicon Valley life-science cluster," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(5), pages 1040-1056, May.
  3. Andrés Rodríguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2008. "Research and development, spillovers, innovation systems, and the genesis of regional growth in Europe," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 23326, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Bj�rn Asheim & Michael Dunford, 1997. "Regional Futures," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(5), pages 445-455.
  5. Andres Rodriguez-Pose & Riccardo Crescenzi, 2006. "R&D, Spillovers, Innovation Systems and the Genesis of Regional Growth in Europe," ERSA conference papers ersa06p371, European Regional Science Association.
  6. Peter Maskell & Harald Bathelt & Anders Malmberg, 2005. "Building Global Knowledge Pipelines The Role of Temporary Clusters," DRUID Working Papers 05-20, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  7. Bj�rn Asheim & Lars Coenen & Jan Vang, 2007. "Face-to-face, buzz, and knowledge bases: sociospatial implications for learning, innovation, and innovation policy," Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 25(5), pages 655-670, October.
  8. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  9. Koen Frenken & Frank Van Oort & Thijs Verburg, 2007. "Related Variety, Unrelated Variety and Regional Economic Growth," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(5), pages 685-697.
  10. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2010. "Innovating in the Periphery: Firms, Values and Innovation in Southwest Norway," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(4), pages 555-574, February.
  11. Halvor Mehlum & Karl Moene & Ragnar Torvik, 2002. "Institutions and the resource curse," Development and Comp Systems 0210003, EconWPA.
  12. Michaela Trippl & Franz Tödtling & Lukas Lengauer, 2009. "Knowledge Sourcing Beyond Buzz and Pipelines: Evidence from the Vienna Software Sector," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(4), pages 443-462, October.
  13. Anders Malmberg & Dominic Power, 2005. "(How) Do (Firms in) Clusters Create Knowledge?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 409-431.
  14. Michael Storper & Anthony J. Venables, 2004. "Buzz: face-to-face contact and the urban economy," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(4), pages 351-370, August.
  15. Bjørn, Asheim & Coenen, Lars & Vang, Jan, 2005. "Face-to-Face, Buzz and Knowledge Bases: Socio-spatial implications for learning and innovation policy," CIRCLE Electronic Working Papers 2005/18, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  16. Baptista, Rui & Swann, Peter, 1998. "Do firms in clusters innovate more?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 525-540, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Lee, Neil & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Creativity, cities and innovation," MPRA Paper 48758, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2011. "Firm collaboration and modes of innovation in Norway," Working Papers 2011-12, Instituto Madrileño de Estudios Avanzados (IMDEA) Ciencias Sociales.
  3. Ann Karin Holmen & Arild Farsund, 2012. "Innovation policy in city-regions: internationalization strategies as policy instruments," ERSA conference papers ersa12p255, European Regional Science Association.
  4. Neil Lee & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2012. "Original innovation, learnt innovation and cities: Evidence from UK SMEs," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1223, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Nov 2012.
  5. 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.

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