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Network Knowledge versus Cluster Knowledge- The Gordian Knot of Knowledge Transfer Concepts

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Author Info

  • Forsman, Maria

    ()
    (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration)

  • Solitander, Nikodemus

    ()
    (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration)

Abstract

Both management scholars and economic geographers have studied knowledge and argued that the ability to transfer knowledge is critical to competitive success. Networks and other forms for cooperation are often the context when analyzing knowledge transfer within management research, while economic geographers focus on the role of the cluster for knowledge transfer and creation. With the common interest in knowledge transfer, few attempts to interdisciplinary research have been made. The aim of this paper is to outline the knowledge transfer concepts in the two strands of literature of management and economic geography (EG). The paper takes an analytical approach to review the existing contributions and seek to identify the benefits of further interaction between the disciplines. Furthermore, it offers an interpretation of the concepts of cluster and network, and suggests a clearer distinction between their respective definitions. The paper posits that studies of internal networks transcending national borders and clusters are not necessarily mutually exclusive when it comes to transfer of knowledge and the learning process of the firm. Our conclusion is that researchers in general seem to increasingly acknowledge the importance of studying both the effect of and the need for geographical proximity and external networks for the knowledge transfer process, but that there exists equivocalness in defining clusters and networks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Hanken School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 494.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: 15 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhb:hanken:0494

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Fax: +358-9-431 33 333
Web page: http://www.hanken.fi
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Keywords: knowledge transfer; networks; clusters; ecologies of knowledge; interdisciplinary research;

References

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  1. Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg & Rebecca Henderson, 1992. "Geographic Localization of Knowledge Spillovers as Evidenced by Patent Citations," NBER Working Papers 3993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anders Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "The elusive concept of localization economies: towards a knowledge-based theory of spatial clustering," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 34(3), pages 429-449, March.
  3. Ron Martin & Peter Sunley, 2003. "Deconstructing clusters: chaotic concept or policy panacea?," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(1), pages 5-35, January.
  4. Julian Birkinshaw & Neil Hood, 2000. "Characteristics of Foreign Subsidiaries in Industry Clusters," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 31(1), pages 141-154, March.
  5. Edward E Leamer & Michael Storper, 2001. "The Economic Geography of the Internet Age," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 32(4), pages 641-665, December.
  6. Peter B. Doeringer & David G. Terkla, 1995. "Business Strategy and Cross-Industry Clusters," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 9(3), pages 225-237, August.
  7. 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.
  8. Stuart A. Rosenfeld, 2001. "Networks and clusters : the yin and yang of rural development," Proceedings – Rural and Agricultural Conferences, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Sep, pages 103-120.
  9. Scott, Allen J., 1999. "Regions and the World Economy: The Coming Shape of Global Production, Competition, and Political Order," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198296584, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Fougère, Martin, 2004. "Organizing (with) Thirdness. A Dialogic Understanding of Bicultural Interactions in Organizations," Working Papers 504, Hanken School of Economics.
  2. Forsman, Maria & Solitander, Nikodemus, 2004. "The Context and Diffusion of Knowledge in the Finnish Jewellery Industry - The role of The House of Fabergé," Working Papers 506, Hanken School of Economics.
  3. Fougère, Martin, 2004. "Finnish-French Fundamental Cultural Antagonisms in Organising," Working Papers 502, Hanken School of Economics.
  4. Ekholm, Bo-Göran & Wallin, Jan, 2004. "Strategic Priorities, Company Performance and Attitudes Towards Management Accounting Techniques: an Empirical Study," Working Papers 507, Hanken School of Economics.

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