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Networking, context and firm-level innovation: Cooperation through the regional filter in Norway

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  • Rune Dahl Fitjar
  • Andrés Rodríguez-Pose

Abstract

The paper assesses the role for innovation of one aspect which has been generally overlooked by evolutionary economic geography: context. It analyses how context shapes the impact of collaboration on firm-level innovation for 1604 firms located in the five largest city regions of Norway. Specifically, the analysis shows how the benefits to firms of collaborating within regional, national, and international innovation networks are affected by the knowledge endowments of the region within which the firm is located. Using a logit regression analysis, we find, first, that only national and international networking have a significant positive impact on the likelihood of innovation (the former only for process innovation), whereas the regional knowledge endowments have no direct effect. Second, regional cooperation is particularly effective in regions with high investments in R&D, whereas international cooperation is important in regions with an educated workforce – and regional and national collaboration may be ineffective in such cases. We conclude that, in the case of Norway, context is essential in determining the capacity of firms to set up networks and innovate. Regions with an educated workforce can use the resulting absorptive capacity to successfully assimilate knowledge being diffused through global pipelines from faraway places. However, this absorptive capacity is likely to be heavily filtered if regional firms mainly rely on internal connections within Norway.

Suggested Citation

  • Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2015. "Networking, context and firm-level innovation: Cooperation through the regional filter in Norway," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1516, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised May 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:egu:wpaper:1516
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    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:12:p:4517-:d:186679 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Roberto Ganau & Andrés Rodríguez†Pose, 2018. "Industrial clusters, organized crime, and productivity growth in Italian SMEs," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 363-385, March.
    3. 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.
    4. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:3:p:767-:d:135752 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Fitjar, Rune Dahl, 2017. "Mot en regional innovasjonspolitikk?," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2017/9, University of Stavanger.
    6. Huasheng Zhu & Kelly Wanjing Chen & Juncheng Dai, 2016. "Beyond Apprenticeship: Knowledge Brokers and Sustainability of Apprentice-Based Clusters," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(12), pages 1-17, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Innovation; interaction; networking; context; human capital; R&D; firms; Norway;

    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
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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