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Face-to-Face, Buzz and Knowledge Bases: Socio-spatial implications for learning and innovation policy




While concurring with the new streams of literature in geography that highlight the importance of face-to-face and buzz in the globalizing learning economy, the article argues that this literature is misleading on three interrelated accounts. Firstly, it conflates face-to-face and buzz; secondly, it fails to distinguish between the importance of face-to-face and buzz for industries drawing on different knowledge bases, and thirdly, these conceptual inadequacies lead to an exaggeration of the importance of cities as sites for creativity and innovation, and hence regional competitiveness. By applying an industrial knowledge base approach the article seeks to reconstruct an alternative framework that allows for a systematic differentiation between the importance of both face-to-face and buzz for different industries. This provides a framework for developing a more nuanced understanding of the spatial implications of face-to face communication and buzz for learning and innovation.

Suggested Citation

  • Bjørn, Asheim & Coenen, Lars & Vang, Jan, 2005. "Face-to-Face, Buzz and Knowledge Bases: Socio-spatial implications for learning and innovation policy," Papers in Innovation Studies 2005/18, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2005_018

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Nigel Roome & Han van Kleef, 2007. "Developing capabilities and competence for sustainable business management as innovation: a research agenda," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14319, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:

    1. Karl-Johan Lundquist & Michaela Trippl, 2009. "Towards Cross-Border Innovation Spaces: A theoretical analysis and empirical comparison of the Öresund region and the Centrope area," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2009_05, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. Rune Dahl Fitjar & Andrés Rodríguez-Pose, 2014. "When local interaction does not suffice: sources of firm innovation in urban Norway," Chapters,in: Regional Development and Proximity Relations, chapter 5, pages 195-222 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Matthias Böttcher, 2010. "Global and local networks in the Solar Energy Industry - The case of the San Francisco Bay Area," NEURUS papers neurusp143, NEURUS - Network of European and US Regional and Urban Studies.
    4. Fitjar, Rune Dahl & Rodríguez-Pose, Andrés, 2013. "Firm collaboration and modes of innovation in Norway," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 128-138.
    5. Friedrich Dornbusch & Sidonia von Proff & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "The organizational and regional determinants of inter-regional collaborations – Academic inventors as bridging agents," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-11, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    6. DÖRRY Sabine, 2012. "Bridging Monopolies of Power: Foreign Tourism Trade Relations between Germany and Jordan and Constitutional Uncertainty," LISER Working Paper Series 2012-17, LISER.
    7. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Spatial Disparities: Divisions and Changes of Self-employment and Firms," MPRA Paper 19245, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Friedrich Dornbusch & Thomas Brenner, 2013. "Universities as local knowledge hubs under different technology regimes – New evidence from academic patenting," Working Papers on Innovation and Space 2013-10, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    9. Wedemeier, Jan, 2009. "Creative cities and the concept of diversity," HWWI Research Papers 1-20, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWI).
    10. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2010. "How Diverse is Entrepreneurship? Observations on the social heterogeneity of self-employment in Germany," MPRA Paper 23271, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    Innovation Policy; face-to-face; Buzz;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General


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