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Knowledge Flows through Informal Contacts in Industrial Clusters Myths or Realities?

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  • Michael S. Dahl
  • Christian Ø.R. Pedersen

Abstract

The role of informal networks in the development of regional clusters has received a lot of attention in the literature recently. Informal contact between employees in different firms is argued to be one of the main carriers of knowledge between firms in a cluster. This paper empirically examines the role of informal contacts in a specific cluster. In a recent questionnaire, we ask a sample of engineers in a regional cluster of wireless communication firms in Northern Denmark, a series of questions on informal networks. We analyze whether the engineers actually acquire valuable knowledge through these networks. We find that the engineers do share even valuable knowledge with informal contacts. This shows that informal contacts are important channels of knowledge diffusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael S. Dahl & Christian Ø.R. Pedersen, 2003. "Knowledge Flows through Informal Contacts in Industrial Clusters Myths or Realities?," DRUID Working Papers 03-01, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:aal:abbswp:03-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cowan, R. & Jonard, N., 2003. "The dynamics of collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 513-532, December.
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    6. Lissoni, Francesco, 2001. "Knowledge codification and the geography of innovation: the case of Brescia mechanical cluster," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(9), pages 1479-1500, December.
    7. Audretsch, David B & Feldman, Maryann P, 1996. "R&D Spillovers and the Geography of Innovation and Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 630-640, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rudiger Wink, 2008. "Gatekeepers and Proximity in Science-driven Sectors in Europe and Asia: The Case of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 777-791.
    2. Thomas Brenner & André Mühlig, 2007. "Factors and Mechanisms Causing the Emergence of Local Industrial Clusters - A Meta-Study of 159 Cases," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-23, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    3. C. Michael Wernerheim, 2008. "The tendency of advanced services to co-locate and the implications for regional government policy," The Service Industries Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(5), pages 731-748, May.
    4. Rudi Bekkers & Victor Gilsing & Marianne Steen, 2006. "Determining Factors of the Effectiveness of IP-based Spin-offs: Comparing the Netherlands and the US," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(5), pages 545-546, September.
    5. Balázs Lengyel & Rikard H. Eriksson, 2017. "Co-worker networks, labour mobility and productivity growth in regions," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(3), pages 635-660.
    6. repec:wsi:acsxxx:v:10:y:2007:i:01:n:s0219525907000957 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ron Boschma & Riccardo Cappelli & Anet Weterings, 2017. "Labour mobility, skill-relatedness and plant survival over the industry life cycle: Evidence from new Dutch plants," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1731, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Dec 2017.
    8. Silviya Draganinska & Rudiger Wink, 2006. "Formal Knowledge Examination Institutions: Chance Or Threat to European Medium Tech-Nology SMEs? A Cognitive and Institutional Perspective," ERSA conference papers ersa06p404, European Regional Science Association.
    9. Popescul, Daniela, 2011. "The confidentiality – integrity – accessibility triad into the knowledge security: a reassessment from the point of view of the knowledge contribution to innovation," MPRA Paper 51747, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Eriksson, Rikard & Rodr�guez-Pose, Andr�s, 2017. "Job-related Mobility and Plant Performance in Sweden," CEPR Discussion Papers 12018, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Alessandro Malipiero & Federico Munari & Maurizio Sobrero, 2005. "Focal Firms as Technological Gatakeepers within Industrial Districts Knowledge Creation and Dissemination in the Italian Packaging Machinery Industry," DRUID Working Papers 05-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    12. Balázs Lengyel & Rikard H. Eriksson, 2015. "Co-worker networks and productivity growth in regions," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1513, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2015.
    13. Sara Cruz & Aurora Teixeira, 2010. "The Evolution of the Cluster Literature: Shedding Light on the Regional Studies-Regional Science Debate," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(9), pages 1263-1288.
    14. Rik Wenting & Oedzge Atzema & Koen Frenken, 2008. "Urban Amenities or Agglomeration Economies? Locational Behaviour and Entrepreneurial Success of Dutch Fashion Designers," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0803, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jan 2008.
    15. Anders Malmberg & Dominic Power, 2005. "(How) Do (Firms in) Clusters Create Knowledge?," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 409-431.
    16. repec:wsi:jikmxx:v:04:y:2005:i:01:n:s0219649205001006 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Rudiger Wink, 2010. "Transregional Institutional Learning in Europe: Prerequisites, Actors and Limitations," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(4), pages 499-511.
    18. Harald Bathelt & Nina Schuldt, 2008. "Between Luminaires and Meat Grinders: International Trade Fairs as Temporary Clusters," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(6), pages 853-868.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Informal contacts; regional clusters; communication technology;

    JEL classification:

    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

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