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Knowledge Base Combinations and Innovation Performance in Swedish Regions

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  • Markus Grillitsch
  • Roman Martin
  • Martin Srholec

Abstract

The literature on geography of innovation suggests that innovation outcomes depend on a diversity of knowledge inputs, which can be captured with the differentiated knowledge base approach. While knowledge bases are distinct theoretical categories, existing studies stress that innovation often involves combinations of analytical, synthetic, and symbolic knowledge. It remains unclear, though, which combinations are most conducive to innovation at the level of the firm and how this is influenced by the knowledge bases available in the region. This article fills this gap by reviewing the conceptual arguments on how and why certain firm and regional knowledge base combinations relate to firm innovativeness and by investigating these relationships econometrically. The knowledge base is captured using detailed occupational data derived from linked employer–employee data sets merged at the firm level with information from Community Innovation Surveys in Sweden. The results indicate that analytical knowledge outweighs the importance of synthetic and symbolic knowledge and that, however, firms benefit most from being located in a region with a balanced mix of all three knowledge bases.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Grillitsch & Roman Martin & Martin Srholec, 2017. "Knowledge Base Combinations and Innovation Performance in Swedish Regions," Economic Geography, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 93(5), pages 458-479, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:recgxx:v:93:y:2017:i:5:p:458-479
    DOI: 10.1080/00130095.2016.1154442
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    Cited by:

    1. Bellandi, Marco & Chaminade, Cristina & Plechero, Monica, 2018. "Transformation paths and the multi-scalarity of knowledge bases under Industry 4.0 challenges," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/14, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    2. Grillitsch, Markus, 2017. "Transformation Capacity of the Innovative Entrepreneur: On the interplay between social structure and agency," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/2, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    3. Aslesen, Heidi Wiig & Martin, Roman & Sardo, Stefania, 2018. "The Virtual is Reality! On Physical and Virtual Space in Software Firms’ Knowledge Formation," Papers in Innovation Studies 2018/9, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    4. repec:pal:jintbs:v:49:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0101-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Grillitsch, Markus & Asheim, Bjorn & Trippl, Michaela, 2017. "Unrelated knowledge combinations: Unexplored potential for regional industrial path development," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/10, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    6. repec:eee:respol:v:48:y:2019:i:1:p:234-247 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Martin, Roman & Wiig Aslesen, Heidi & Grillitsch, Markus & Herstad, Sverre, 2017. "Regional Innovation Systems and Global Flows of Knowledge," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    8. 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.
    9. Crowley, Frank & Jordan, Declan, 2018. "The trade-off between absorptive capacity and appropriability of the returns to innovation effort," SRERC Working Paper Series SRERCWP2018-2, University College Cork (UCC), Spatial and Regional Economic Research Centre (SRERC).
    10. Grillitsch, Markus & Trippl, Michaela, 2016. "Innovation Policies and New Regional Growth Paths: A place-based system failure framework," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/26, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General

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