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Proximity, knowledge base and the innovation process The case of Unilever’s Becel diet margarine

Listed author(s):
  • Davids, Mila

    ()

    (School of Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology)

  • Frenken, Koen

    ()

    (Innovation Studies, Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University & CIRCLE, Lund University)

The proximity concept refers to types of inter-organizational relationships that are expected to facilitate interactive learning and collaborative innovation. Different forms of proximity include geographical, cognitive, social, institutional and organizational proximity. Following an extensive case study of a new diet margarine developed by Unilever, we extent the proximity framework by theorizing how the relative importance of each proximity dimension depends on the type of knowledge being produced, where we distinguish between analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge. We argue that our theoretical framework in principle applies to product innovations in all science-based industries.

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Paper provided by Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy in its series Papers in Innovation Studies with number 2015/7.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 15 Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lucirc:2015_007
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Phone: +46 (0) 46 222 74 68
Web page: http://www.circle.lu.se/

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