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Differentiated Knowledge Bases and the Nature of Innovation Networks

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  • Martin , Roman

    () (CIRCLE, Lund University)

Abstract

It is argued in this paper that the nature of innovation networks can vary substantially with regard to the type of knowledge that is critical for innovation. Subject to the knowledge base of an industry, networks between companies can differ in various aspects, such as their geographical configuration, their structure, the type of actors holding a strategic position and the type of relations between actors. The paper comprises a conceptual discussion on social capital theory and networks, followed by a theoretically informed discussion on differentiated knowledge bases and innovation networks, which is subsequently illustrated with empirical material. The empirical analysis is based on social network analysis in association with exclusive data about patterns of cooperation and knowledge exchange in a number of regional industries located in different parts of Europe. The findings suggest that networks in analytical industries are not much constrained by geographical distance; knowledge is exchanged in a highly selective manner between research units and scientists in globally configured epistemic communities. Synthetic industries source knowledge within nationally or regionally configured networks between suppliers and customers, and within communities of practice. Symbolic industries rely on knowledge that is culturally defined and highly context specific, resulting in localised networks that are temporary and flexible in nature.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin , Roman, 2013. "Differentiated Knowledge Bases and the Nature of Innovation Networks," Papers in Innovation Studies 2013/14, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2013_014
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tödtling, Franz & Auer, Alexander, 2017. "Knowledge bases, innovation and multi-scalar relationships - Which kind of territorial boundedness of industrial clusters?," SRE-Discussion Papers 5937, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    2. Franz Tödtling & Alexander Auer, 2017. "Knowledge bases, innovation and multi-scalar relationships - Which kind of territorial boundedness of industrial clusters?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2017_08, Institute for Multilevel Governance and Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    3. Ron Boschma, 2017. "A concise history of the knowledge base literature: challenging questions for future research," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1721, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Sep 2017.
    4. Franz Tödtling & Markus Grillitsch, 2015. "Does Combinatorial Knowledge Lead to a Better Innovation Performance of Firms?," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(9), pages 1741-1758, September.
    5. Björn T. Asheim & Markus Grillitsch & Michaela Trippl, 2016. "Regional innovation systems: past – present – future," Chapters,in: Handbook on the Geographies of Innovation, chapter 2, pages 45-62 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Martin, Roman & Wiig Aslesen, Heidi & Grillitsch, Markus & Herstad, Sverre, 2017. "Regional Innovation Systems and Global Flows of Knowledge," Papers in Innovation Studies 2017/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    differentiated knowledge bases; regional innovation systems; social capital; social network analysis; knowledge networks;

    JEL classification:

    • B52 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches - - - Historical; Institutional; Evolutionary
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • 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)
    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy

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