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When Micro Shapes the Meso: Learning Networks in a Chilean Wine Cluster

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Abstract

Most analyses of the relationship between spatial clustering and the technological learning of firms have emphasised the influence of the former on the latter, and have focused on intra-cluster learning as the driver of innovative performance. This paper reverses those perspectives. It examines the influence of individual firms' absorptive capacities on both the functioning of the intra-cluster knowledge system and its interconnection with extra-cluster knowledge. It applies social network analysis to identify different cognitive roles played by cluster firms and the overall structure of the knowledge system of a wine cluster in Chile. The results show that knowledge is not diffused evenly 'in the air', but flows within a core group of firms characterised by advanced absorptive capacities. Firms' different cognitive roles include some - as in the case of technological gatekeepers - that contribute actively to the acquisition, creation and diffusion of knowledge. Others remain cognitively isolated from the cluster, though in some cases strongly linked to extra-cluster knowledge. Possible implications for policy are noted.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisa Giuliani & Martin Bell, 2004. "When Micro Shapes the Meso: Learning Networks in a Chilean Wine Cluster," SPRU Working Paper Series 115, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sru:ssewps:115
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    File URL: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/documents/sewp115.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Chaminade, Cristina & de Fuentes, Claudia, 2012. "Competences as drivers and enablers of globalization of innovation: Swedish ICT industry and emerging economies," Papers in Innovation Studies 2012/6, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    2. Andrea Morrison, 2005. "Inside the Black Box of ‘Industrial Atmosphere’: Knowledge and Information Networks in an Italian wine local system," Working Papers 97, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    3. Elisa Giuliani, 2005. "The Structure of Cluster Knowledge Networks Uneven, not Pervasive and Collective," DRUID Working Papers 05-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Liu, Ju & Chaminade, Cristina, 2014. "Exploring the interplay, differences, and commonalities between global production networks and global innovation networks of two multinational companies," Papers in Innovation Studies 2014/7, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    5. Abdirahman, Zam-Zam & Sauvee, Loic, 2012. "The Implementation of a Quality Management Standard in a Food SME: A Network Learning Perspective," International Journal on Food System Dynamics, International Center for Management, Communication, and Research, vol. 3(3).
    6. Elisa Giuliani, 2008. "What drives innovative output in emerging clusters? Evidence from the wine industry," SPRU Working Paper Series 169, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
    7. Andrea Morrison & Carlo Pietrobelli & Roberta Rabellotti, 2006. "Global Value Chains and Technological Capabilities: A Framework to Study Industrial Innovation in Developing Countries," KITeS Working Papers 192, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2006.
    8. Abdirahman, Zam-Zam & Sauvee, Loic, 2011. "The Adoption of Quality Standards in Food SMEs: A Network Approach," 2011 International European Forum, February 14-18, 2011, Innsbruck-Igls, Austria 122026, International European Forum on Innovation and System Dynamics in Food Networks.
    9. Andrea Morrison & Roberta Rabellotti, 2005. "Knowledge and Information Networks: Evidence from an Italian Wine Local System," KITeS Working Papers 174, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Sep 2005.
    10. Chaminade, Cristina & Vang, Jan, 2008. "Globalisation of knowledge production and regional innovation policy: Supporting specialized hubs in the Bangalore software industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1684-1696, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    clusters; absorptive capacity; knowledge communities; technological gatekeepers;

    JEL classification:

    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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