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What triggers innovation diffusion? Intermediary organizations and geography in cultural and science-based industries


  • Josephine V Rekers


This paper argues that innovation diffusion is not a rational implementation process, but more accurately portrayed as a highly social process, involving sets of intermediate organizations that contribute to a product’s reputation. Empirically it builds on two case studies, one cultural and one science-based, to demonstrate there are industry differences in where innovations get validated: validating intermediaries are centralized in few global nodes in the case of theatre, and decentralized in each marketplace in the case of pharmaceutical vaccines. This pattern is counterintuitive, because it is different from what we would expect based on the spatial organization of their production activities. These findings have implications for policy: can we assume innovations will readily diffuse (and export) outside their region of origin?

Suggested Citation

  • Josephine V Rekers, 2016. "What triggers innovation diffusion? Intermediary organizations and geography in cultural and science-based industries," Environment and Planning C, , vol. 34(6), pages 1058-1075, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:envirc:v:34:y:2016:i:6:p:1058-1075

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    Cited by:

    1. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Bram Timmermans, 2017. "Knowledge bases and relatedness: A study of labour mobility in Norwegian regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1712, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2017.


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