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Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts:who they are, how they interact

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  • Andrea Morrison

    (University of Piemonte Orientale, Novara, Italy,)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Morrison, 2004. "Gatekeepers of knowledge within industrial districts:who they are, how they interact," KITeS Working Papers 163, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Nov 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:wp163
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Knowledge flows; Industrial districts; Leader firms; Social networks.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • Z13 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology; Language; Social and Economic Stratification

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