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Micro dynamics and macro stability in inventor networks

Author

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  • Michael Fritsch

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena)

  • Muhamed Kudic

    (University of Siegen)

Abstract

From a macro perspective, inventor networks tend to generate remarkably stable structures over time. At the same time, we observe highly dynamic processes at the micro level, in terms of inventor entries and exits as well as formations and terminations of collaborative relationships between them. In order to explain this—at least at the first glance—contradicting pattern, we investigate processes at the intermediate network level. Our analysis draws upon co-patenting data for the entire population of West German inventors in the field of laser technology research from the onset of the technology in the early 1960s over a period of 45 years. Our findings suggest that the key factor for maintaining structural stability of networks is that directly linked partners of inventors with stabilizing properties—so-called ‘key players’—take over this function in a subsequent period. We show that processes at the intermediate network level provide new insights on the co-existence of micro fluidity and macro stability in complex adaptive systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Muhamed Kudic, 2022. "Micro dynamics and macro stability in inventor networks," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 353-382, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:47:y:2022:i:2:d:10.1007_s10961-021-09851-8
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-021-09851-8
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inventor network; Network stability; Key-player analysis; Innovation; Laser technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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