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Collective Learning, Tacit Knowledge and Regional Innovative Capacity


  • Clive Lawson
  • Edward Lorenz


LAWSON C. and LORENZ E. (1999) Collective learning, tacit knowledge and regional innovative capacity, Reg. Studies 33 , 305-317 . The paper reviews key ideas in the firm capabilities literature and shows how they can be usefully extended to develop a conception of collective learning among regionally clustered enterprises. The paper also explores the relationship between codifiable and tacit knowledge in the innovation process, and investigates the claim that tacit knowledge, because it is difficult to transfer in the absence of labour mobility, may constitute a basis for sustained regional competitive advantage. The closing section uses case study material based on Minneapolis and Cambridge to illustrate the importance for innovation of a regional capability for combining and integrating diverse knowledge, and of the sources of such capabilities as pre-conditions for successful high technology regions. LAWSON C. et LORENZ E. (1999) L'apprentissage collectif, la connaissance implicite et la capacite regionale a innover, Reg. Studies 33 , 305-317 . Puisant dans la documentation qui traite des competences de l'entreprise, l'article fait la critique des idees cle et montre comment on peut les elargir afin de developper une conception de l'apprentissage collectif parmi des entreprises regroupees sur le plan regional. L'article examine aussi le rapport entre les connaissances explicite et implicite dans le processus d'innovation, et cherche a verifier l'affirmation que la connaissance puisse servir de base a l'avantage competitif regional soutenu, parce qu'il s'avere difficile de la transferer, faute de mobilite de la maind'oeuvre. A partir des etudes de cas de Minneapolis et de Cambridge, la derniere partie montre l'importance pour l'innovation de la capacite regionale a combiner et a integrer des connaissances diverses, et des origines de telles competences comme prealables a la reussite des regions a la pointe de la technologie. LAWSON C. und LORENZ E. (1999) Kollektives Lernen, selbstversta ¨ndliche Kenntnisse und regionale innovative Leistungsfa ¨higkeit, Reg. Studies 33 , 305-317 . Dieser Aufsatz bespricht Grundgedanken derLiteraturzurLeistungsfa ¨higkeit von Firmen, und zeigt, wie sie nutzbringend ausgeweitet werden ko ¨nnen, um ein Konzept kollektiven Lernens unter regional geklusterten Unternehmen zu entwickeln. Der Aufsatz erforscht auch die Beziehung zwischen kodifizierbarem und als selstversta ¨ndlich hingenommenem Wissen im Innovationsprozess und untersucht die Behauptung, dass als selbstversta ¨ndlich hingenommenes, weil ohne Arbeitsplatzwechselschwer zu u ¨bertragendes Wissen eineGrundlage fu ¨r dauerhaften regionalen Wettbewerbsvorteil darstellen ko ¨nnte. Zum Abschluss wird Fallstudienmaterial von Minneapolis und Cambridge dazu benutzt, die Bedeutung einer regionalen Fa ¨higkeit zurKombination und Integration unterschiedlichen Wissens fu ¨r die Innovation, und den Quellen solcher Fa ¨higkeiten als Voraussetzung fu ¨r erfolgreiche, hoch technisiertete Regionen zu erla ¨utern.

Suggested Citation

  • Clive Lawson & Edward Lorenz, 1999. "Collective Learning, Tacit Knowledge and Regional Innovative Capacity," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 305-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:33:y:1999:i:4:p:305-317
    DOI: 10.1080/713693555

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maskell, Peter & Malmberg, Anders, 1999. "Localised Learning and Industrial Competitiveness," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(2), pages 167-185, March.
    2. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
    3. Senker, Jacqueline, 1995. "Tacit Knowledge and Models of Innovation," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(2), pages 425-447.
    4. Marengo, L, 1992. "Coordination and Organizational Learning in the Firm," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 2(4), pages 313-326, December.
    5. Nicolai Foss, 1996. "Higher-order industrial Capabilities and competitive advantage," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(1), pages 1-20.
    6. Langlois, Richard N & Foss, Nicolai J, 1999. "Capabilities and Governance: The Rebirth of Production in the Theory of Economic Organization," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 201-218.
    7. Tripsas, Mary, 1997. "Surviving Radical Technological Change through Dynamic Capability: Evidence from the Typesetter Industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 341-377, March.
    8. Roberta Capello, 1999. "Spatial Transfer of Knowledge in High Technology Milieux: Learning Versus Collective Learning Processes," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 353-365.
    9. Bureth, Antoine & Wolff, Sandrine & Zanfei, Antonello, 1997. "The two faces of learning by cooperating: The evolution and stability of inter-firm agreements in the European electronics industry," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 519-537, April.
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