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The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance

Author

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  • Tom Broekel

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  • Ron Boschma

    ()

Abstract

Firms’ embeddedness into knowledge networks has received much attention in the literature. However, little is known about the composition of firms’ ego-networks with respect to different types of proximities. Based on survey data of 295 firms in eight European regions, we show that the ego-networks of firms systematically differ in their geographical and cognitive embeddedness. We find that firms’ innovation performance is stimulated if the firm primarily links to technologically related firms as well as technologically similar organizations. Connecting with organizations at different geographical levels yields positive effects as well.

Suggested Citation

  • Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2011. "The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1118, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Aug 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1118
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    File URL: http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1118.pdf
    File Function: Version August 2011
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Raphael Suire & Jerome Vicente, 2010. "How do Clusters/Pipelines and Core/Periphery Structures Work Together in Knowledge Processes?," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1008, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Jun 2010.
    2. Tom Broekel & Ron Boschma, 2012. "Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(2), pages 409-433, March.
    3. Cantner, Uwe & Graf, Holger, 2006. "The network of innovators in Jena: An application of social network analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 463-480, May.
    4. Johannes Glückler, 2007. "Economic geography and the evolution of networks," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(5), pages 619-634, September.
    5. Johannes Gluckler, 2007. "Economic Geography and the Evolution of Networks," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0704, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2007.
    6. Holger Graf, 2011. "Gatekeepers in regional networks of innovators," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(1), pages 173-198.
    7. Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
    8. Jasjit Singh, 2005. "Collaborative Networks as Determinants of Knowledge Diffusion Patterns," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(5), pages 756-770, May.
    9. Ron Boschma, 2005. "Proximity and Innovation: A Critical Assessment," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 61-74.
    10. Andre Torre & Alain Rallet, 2005. "Proximity and Localization," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(1), pages 47-59.
    11. Cribari-Neto, Francisco & Zeileis, Achim, 2010. "Beta Regression in R," Journal of Statistical Software, Foundation for Open Access Statistics, vol. 34(i02).
    12. Harald Bathelt & Andersand Malmberg & Peter Maskell, 2002. "Clusters and Knowledge Local Buzz, Global Pipelines and the Process of Knowledge Creation," DRUID Working Papers 02-12, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    13. Pierre-Alexandre Balland, 2009. "Proximity and the Evolution of Collaboration Networks: Evidence from R&D Projects within the GNSS Industry," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0914, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Oct 2009.
    14. Roderik Ponds & Frank van Oort & Koen Frenken, 2007. "The geographical and institutional proximity of research collaboration," Papers in Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 86(3), pages 423-443, August.
    15. Stefano Breschi & Francesco Lissoni, 2003. "Mobility and Social Networks: Localised Knowledge Spillovers Revisited," KITeS Working Papers 142, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2003.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Franz Huber & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2016. "Not too close, not too far: testing the Goldilocks principle of ‘optimal’ distance in innovation networks," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(6), pages 465-487, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    ego-networks; geographical proximity; innovation performance; knowledge networks; technological relatedness;

    JEL classification:

    • B15 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • 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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