Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts:who they are, how they interact
A great amount of recent studies dealing with industrial clustering suggests that the innovative performance of industrial districts is strictly linked with their ability to absorb external knowledge. This paper aims at identifying and analysing the main actors involved in this process. We investigate to what extent leading firms located within a successful Italian furniture district behave as gatekeepers of knowledge. Empirical analysis has been carried out on a sample of technicians working within firms’ knowledge intensive units. Adopting social network techniques we are able to trace linkages between technicians and external sources of knowledge and to evaluate their relevance for innovative activities. Our findings suggest that leading firms absorb external knowledge and spread it only to their own network of clients and providers. According to our theoretical framework we argue that leading firms cannot be interpreted as knowledge gatekeepers.
|Date of creation:||Nov 2004|
|Date of revision:||Nov 2004|
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