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The Spatial Organization of Innovation: Open Innovation, External Knowledge Relations and Urban Structure


  • Peter Teirlinck
  • Andre Spithoven


Teirlinck P. and Spithoven A. The spatial organization of innovation: open innovation, external knowledge relations and urban structure, Regional Studies. The increased use of external knowledge relations, complementary to in-house research and development, influences the way firms are organized to manage innovation. The 'new' imperative of open innovation promotes the idea that firms organize innovation, to a greater extent, in interaction with outside parties. This paper argues that both the organization of innovation as well as the use of external knowledge depends on the physical, socio-economic and cultural environment. The outcome of the analysis supports the idea that (open) innovation is spatially organized. Contrary to the expectations, innovative firms in less urbanized areas show a higher degree of openness. [image omitted] Teirlinck P. et Spithoven A. L'organisation geographique de l'innovation: l'innovation ouverte, les rapports de connaissance externe et l'ossature urbaine, Regional Studies. L'emploi accru des rapports de connaissance externe, qui completent la R et D interne, influe la facon dont les entreprises s'organisent pour gerer l'innovation. Le 'nouveau' imperatif, a savoir l'innovation ouverte, laisse supposer que, dans une large mesure, les entreprises organisent l'innovation a partir de l'interaction avec le monde exterieur. Cet article cherche a affirmer qu'aussi bien l'organisation de l'innovation que l'emploi de la connaissance externe dependent des milieux physique, socioeconomique et culturel. Le resultat de l'analyse soutient l'idee que l'innovation (ouverte) s'organise sur le plan geographique. Contre toute attente, les entreprises a caractere innovateur situees dans les zones moins urbanisees font preuve d'un taux d'ouverture plus eleve. Innovation ouverte Rapports de connaissance externe Ossature urbaine Teirlinck P. und Spithoven A. Die raumliche Organisation der Innovation: offene Innovation, externe Wissensbeziehungen und urbane Struktur, Regional Studies. Die zunehmende Nutzung externer Wissensbeziehungen zur Erganzung der firmeninternen Forschung und Entwicklung wirkt sich darauf aus, wie Firmen zur Lenkung der Innovation organisiert werden. Der ,neue' Imperativ einer offenen Innovation fordert die Idee, dass Firmen die Innovation in grosserem Umfang in Wechselwirkung mit externen Partnern organisieren sollten. In diesem Beitrag wird argumentiert, dass sowohl die Organisation der Innovation als auch die Nutzung von externem Wissen von der physischen, soziookonomischen und kulturellen Umgebung abhangen. Das Ergebnis der Analyse bekraftigt die Idee, dass eine (offene) Innovation raumlich organisiert ist. Wider Erwarten weisen innovative Firmen in weniger urbanisierten Gegenden ein hoheres Mass an Offenheit auf. Offene Innovation Externe Wissensbeziehungen Urbane Struktur Teirlinck P. y Spithoven A. La organizacion espacial de la innovacion: innovacion abierta, relaciones de conocimiento externo y estructura urbana, Regional Studies. El uso cada vez mas frecuente de las relaciones externas de conocimiento, junto con la I + D del lugar, influye en el modo en que las empresas se organizan para gestionar las innovaciones. El 'nuevo' principio obligatorio de innovacion abierta fomenta la idea de que las empresas organicen sus innovaciones en gran medida interactuando con entidades externas. En este articulo sostenemos que tanto la organizacion de innovacion como el uso de conocimiento externo dependen del entorno fisico, socioeconomico y cultural. El resultado del analisis respalda la idea de que la innovacion (abierta) esta organizada de forma espacial. En contra de todos los pronosticos, las empresas innovadoras en areas menor ubanizadas muestran un grado superior de apertura. Innovacion abierta Relaciones de conocimiento externo Estructura urbana

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Teirlinck & Andre Spithoven, 2008. "The Spatial Organization of Innovation: Open Innovation, External Knowledge Relations and Urban Structure," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(5), pages 689-704.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:42:y:2008:i:5:p:689-704
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400701543694

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    Cited by:

    1. van Geenhuizen, Marina & Ye, Qing, 2014. "Responsible innovators: open networks on the way to sustainability transitions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 28-40.
    2. Adli Abouzeedan & Boo Edgar & Thomas Hedner, 2011. "Can Innovation Enhance Entrepreneurial Activities of a Region? An Analysis Utilizing the Entrepreneurial Remedy Model (EREM)," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1277, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Rune Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2013. "The geographical dimension of innovation collaboration: Collaboration and innovation in Norway," ERSA conference papers ersa13p878, European Regional Science Association.
    4. Herstad, Sverre J., 2015. "Imitate, or innovate and collaborate? On innovation strategy choices in the urban economy," Papers in Innovation Studies 2015/8, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    5. Thomas Hedner & Hanadi Almubaraki & Michael Busler & Adli Abouzeedan, 2011. "Business and Technology Incubators and their Role in the Nordic Countries in Comparison to the GCC countries: An Analysis of Current Affairs," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1283, European Regional Science Association.
    6. repec:wfo:wstudy:59427 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Fuchs Martina & Winter Johannes, 2008. "Competencies in subsidiaries of multinational companies," Zeitschrift für Wirtschaftsgeographie, De Gruyter, vol. 52(1), pages 209-220, October.
    8. JinHyo Joseph Yun & EuiSeob Jeong & JinSeu Park, 2016. "Network Analysis of Open Innovation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(8), pages 1-21, July.
    9. DAUTEL Vincent & WALTHER Olivier, 2011. "The geography of innovation in the Luxembourg metropolitan region: an intra-regional approach," LISER Working Paper Series 2011-38, LISER.
    10. André Spithoven & Peter Teirlinck & Dirk Frantzen, 2012. "Managing Open Innovation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14723, December.
    11. Mickael Benaim & Jean-Alain Héraud & Valérie Mérindol, 2016. "Scientific connectivity of European regions: towards a typology of cooperative schemes," Journal of Innovation Economics, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 155-176.
    12. repec:eee:tefoso:v:120:y:2017:i:c:p:204-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. repec:eee:joreco:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:429-437 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Marina Van Geenhuizen & Qing Ye, 2013. "Small Responsible Innovators and Open Innovation towards Sustainability: Networks Conditions," ERSA conference papers ersa13p1303, European Regional Science Association.
    15. David Doloreux & Richard Shearmur & Régis Guillaume, 2015. "Collaboration, Transferable and Non-transferable Knowledge, and Innovation: A Study of a Cool Climate Wine Industry (Canada)," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(1), pages 16-37, March.
    16. Sverre Herstad & Øyvind Pålshaugen & Bernd Ebersberger, 2011. "Industrial Innovation Collaboration in a Capital Region Context," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 2(4), pages 507-532, December.

    More about this item


    L20; O18; O32; R12;

    JEL classification:

    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)


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