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Scope, Strategy and Structure: The Dynamics of Knowledge Networks in Medicine

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  • Consoli, Davide
  • Ramlogan, Ronnie

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to analyse the dynamics of networks in which new knowledge emerges and through which it is exchanged. Our conjecture is that the structure of a network cannot be divorced from the dynamics of the knowledge underpinning its activities. In so doing we look beyond studies based on the assumption of exogenous networks and delve into the mechanisms that stimulate their creation and transformation. In the first part the paper adopts a functional perspective and views networks as constructs aimed at the coordination of knowledge; accordingly, network structure is an emerging property that reflects the employment of an agreed strategy to achieve a collective scope. In the second part these themes are articulated in relation to the dynamics of medical innovation and enriched by an empirical study on the long-term evolution of medical research in Ophthalmology. This exercise highlights the connection between changes in scientific and practical knowledge and the reconfigurations of the epistemic network over a forty-year period. By mapping different network structures we capture variety in the gateways of knowledge creation – that is, the network participants – as well as in the pathways – that is, the inter-organisational collaborations. Our goal is to analyse how these patterns of interaction emerge and transform over time.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 12791.

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Date of creation: 15 Jan 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:12791

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Keywords: Innovation; Network analysis; Inter-organizational Relationships;

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  1. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2003. "Localized Technological Change," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 200305, University of Turin.
  2. Economides, Nicholas, 1996. "The economics of networks," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 673-699, October.
  3. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
  4. Richard R. Nelson, 2003. "On the Uneven Evolution of Human Know-How," LEM Papers Series, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy 2003/25, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Davide Consoli, 2008. "Systems of Innovation and Industry Evolution: The Case of Retail Banking in the UK," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 579-600.
  6. Garud, Raghu & Karnoe, Peter, 2003. "Bricolage versus breakthrough: distributed and embedded agency in technology entrepreneurship," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 277-300, February.
  7. Ronald S. Burt, 2008. "Information and structural holes: comment on Reagans and Zuckerman," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(5), pages 953-969, October.
  8. Davide Consoli & Ronnie Ramlogan, 2008. "Out of sight: problem sequences and epistemic boundaries of medical know-how on glaucoma," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 31-56, February.
  9. Metcalfe, J.S. & James, Andrew & Mina, Andrea, 2005. "Emergent innovation systems and the delivery of clinical services: The case of intra-ocular lenses," Research Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1283-1304, November.
  10. Antonelli, Cristiano, 2001. "The Microeconomics of Technological Systems," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780199245536, October.
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