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Searching Near and Far: Determinants of Innovative Firms' Propensity to Collaborate Across Geographical Distance

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  • Ina Drejer
  • Anker Lund Vinding

Abstract

The paper explores the relation between absorptive capacity and the propensity to collaborate across geographical distance. The analysis is based on quantitative data from two neighbouring Danish regions on the location of the main partner in product-innovation activities. The findings indicate that the importance of absorptive capacity in relation to collaboration across geographical distance depends on the location of the innovative firm. Firms located in the relatively sparsely populated region are more likely to collaborate with firms located outside the region; and for these firms, the level of absorptive capacity matters for the distance to the collaboration partners—firms with a low level of absorptive capacity tend to collaborate with domestic partners, while those with a high level of absorptive capacity are much more likely to find their main product-innovation partner abroad.

Suggested Citation

  • Ina Drejer & Anker Lund Vinding, 2007. "Searching Near and Far: Determinants of Innovative Firms' Propensity to Collaborate Across Geographical Distance," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(3), pages 259-275.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:14:y:2007:i:3:p:259-275
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710701369205
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nola Hewitt-Dundas, 2013. "The role of proximity in university-business cooperation for innovation," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 93-115, April.
    2. Manuel Acosta & Joaquín M. Azagra-Caro & Daniel Coronado, 2016. "Access to Universities' Public Knowledge: Who is More Regionalist?," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(3), pages 446-459, March.
    3. Robert Huggins & Andrew Johnston, 2009. "Knowledge Networks in an Uncompetitive Region: SME Innovation and Growth," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 227-259.
    4. de Jong, Jeroen P.J. & Freel, Mark, 2010. "Absorptive capacity and the reach of collaboration in high technology small firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 47-54, February.
    5. Olivier Bouba-Olga & Marie Ferru, 2012. "Does Geographical Proximity Still Matter?," Working Papers hal-00725073, HAL.
    6. Liu, Ju, 2014. "How Do Geographical and Organisational Proximity Influence the Relational Pattern of MNCs’ Global Innovation Networks: An In-depth Case Study," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/16, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    7. Luca Berchicci & Jeroen P.J. de Jong & Mark Freel, 2013. "Remote Collaboration, Absorptive Capacity, and the Innovative Output of High-tech Small Firms," DRUID Working Papers 13-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    8. Engelen, Andreas & Kube, Harald & Schmidt, Susanne & Flatten, Tessa Christina, 2014. "Entrepreneurial orientation in turbulent environments: The moderating role of absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1353-1369.
    9. Abiodun Egbetokun & Ivan Savin, 2014. "Absorptive capacity and innovation: when is it better to cooperate?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 399-420, April.
    10. Teis Hansen, 2014. "Juggling with Proximity and Distance: Collaborative Innovation Projects in the Danish Cleantech Industry," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 90(4), pages 375-402, October.
    11. Stoetzer, Matthias-Wolfgang & Pfeil, Silko & Kaps, Katharina & Sauer, Thomas, 2011. "Regional dispersion of cooperation activities as success factor of innovation oriented SME," Jena Contributions to Economic Research 2011,4, University of Applied Sciences Jena, Department of Business Administration.
    12. Liu , Ju & Liefner , Ingo, 2016. "The Joint Influencing Mechanism of Proximities and Knowledge Base on Multinational Companies’ Global Innovation Networks," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/4, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    13. Robert Huggins & Andrew Johnston & Rebecca Steffenson, 2008. "Universities, knowledge networks and regional policy," Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(2), pages 321-340.
    14. Robert Huggins & Piers Thompson, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional growth: a network theory," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 103-128, June.
    15. Song Wei & Gao Liang & Pan Gang, 2014. "Effects of R&D Cooperation to Innovation Performance in Open Innovation Environment," International Journal of Business and Social Research, MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, vol. 4(5), pages 151-160, May.
    16. Lew, Jia Hui & Marwede, Malte & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2015. "Does cognitive distance affect product development for distant target groups? Evidence from the literature using co-citation methodology," Working Papers 89, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
    17. Copus Andrew & Dubois Alexandre & Hedström Moa, 2011. "Expanding horizons: local embeddedness and local engagement among small firms in the European countryside," European Countryside, De Gruyter Open, vol. 3(3), pages 164-182, January.

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