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Cognitive & Relational Distance in Alliance Networks: Evidence on the Knowledge Value Chain in the European ICT Sector

Author

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  • Olivier BROSSARD (LEREPS-GRES)
  • Jérôme VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES)

Abstract

This paper deals with the firms’ motives for entering into knowledge partnerships. We start by showing that networking strategies are designed to access external knowledge whilst maintaining at the same time a sufficient level of knowledge appropriation and tradability. The ICT sector (and interplaying ones) is particularly concerned by this accessibility/appropriation trade-off. The questions of modularity, complementarity, compatibility and standardisation are critical in the formation of corporate strategic and technological partnerships. Considering that knowledge in this sector is complex and systemic, we construct a theoretical typology of knowledge partnerships by crossing the levels of cognitive and relational proximity with the knowledge phases of exploration, examination and exploitation. This typology is then tested on empirical data through the use of a classification algorithm. The dataset is based on a sample of strategic alliances in the European ICT sector extracted from SDC Platinum. We show that strategic alliances are clustered in relation to the knowledge phases (exploration, examination, exploitation), and that the alliance categories are characterised by levels of relational and cognitive distance which actually are in keeping with the theoretical predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Olivier BROSSARD (LEREPS-GRES) & Jérôme VICENTE (LEREPS-GRES), 2007. "Cognitive & Relational Distance in Alliance Networks: Evidence on the Knowledge Value Chain in the European ICT Sector," Cahiers du GRES (2002-2009) 2007-18, Groupement de Recherches Economiques et Sociales.
  • Handle: RePEc:grs:wpegrs:2007-18
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    File URL: http://cahiersdugres.u-bordeaux4.fr/2007/2007-18.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Christophe Carrincazeaux & Yannick Lung & Jérôme Vicente, 2007. "The Scientific Trajectory of the French School of Proximity: Interaction- and Institution-based Approaches to Regional Innovation Systems," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(5), pages 617-628, December.
    2. Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Ron Boschma & Koen Frenken, 2015. "Proximity and Innovation: From Statics to Dynamics," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(6), pages 907-920, June.
    3. Ron Boschma & Pierre-Alexandre Balland & Mathijs de Vaan, 2014. "The formation of economic networks: a proximity approach," Chapters,in: Regional Development and Proximity Relations, chapter 7, pages 243-266 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    knowledge networks; knowledge phases; proximities; strategic alliances; ICT sector;

    JEL classification:

    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • L63 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Microelectronics; Computers; Communications Equipment
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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