Informal knowledge exchanges under complex social relations: A network study of handloom clusters in Kerala, India
AbstractWhen agents use informal interaction to exchange knowledge, their production relations may develop as emergent properties of their social relations and may exhibit homophily. The Saliyar community cluster in India is an archetype of this. This cluster’s experience is investigated on how its thickly homophilous networks have steered it from dominance to decline, in the market for a product which calls for constant improvement of knowhow, under unchanging production technology. A network analysis of the Saliyars community cluster — in comparison with the networks of the communities in a cluster of a similar population at Payattuvila, which has surged ahead of the Saliyar Cluster in performance in handloom weaving — provides evidence that it is not simply social embeddedness alone, but the homophily in socially embedded links that are detrimental to clusters dependent upon informal knowledge exchanges. Hence, we provide evidence that social embeddedness is not as detrimental unless combined with homophily. The conceptual ambit of embeddedness has to broaden out to recognise that social relations come in various ‘homophilies’. This has many policy implications too as it involves studying embeddedness and homophily in rural traditional technology clusters intensively involving community social capital; such clusters being ubiquitous in India and whose experiences have not been scrutinised in this perspective.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by United Nations University, Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology in its series UNU-MERIT Working Paper Series with number 031.
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.merit.unu.edu
Clusters; Handloom; Networks; Social Embeddedness; Homophily; Kerala;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search, Learning, and Information
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
- O33 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
- Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Social and Economic Stratification
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-CSE-2012-05-15 (Economics of Strategic Management)
- NEP-HME-2012-05-15 (Heterodox Microeconomics)
- NEP-SOC-2012-05-15 (Social Norms & Social Capital)
- NEP-URE-2012-05-15 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009.
"An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation,"
Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, 07.
- Sergio Currarini & Paolo Pin & Matthew O. Jackson, 2007. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities and Segregation," Working Papers 2007_20, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
- Partha Dasgupta, 2005. "Economics of Social Capital," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 81(s1), pages S2-S21, 08.
- Arora, Saurabh, 2009. "Knowledge flows and social capital: a network perspective on rural innovation," Open Access publications from Maastricht University urn:nbn:nl:ui:27-18751, Maastricht University.
- Bianchi, Patrizio & Bellini, Nicola, 1991. "Public policies for local networks of innovators," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 487-497, October.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ad Notten).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.