Article

Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox

Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 01/2009;
Source: RePEc

ABSTRACT The importance of geographical proximity for interaction and knowledge sharing has been discussed extensively in economic geography in recent years. There is increasing consensus that it is just one out of many types of proximities that might be relevant. We argue that proximity may be a crucial driver for agents to connect and exchange knowledge, but too much proximity between these agents on any of the dimensions might harm their innovative performance at the same time. In a study on knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry, we test this so-called proximity paradox empirically. We find evidence that the proximity paradox holds to some degree. Our study clearly shows that cognitive, social and geographical proximity are crucial for explaining the knowledge network of the Dutch aviation industry. But while it takes cognitive, social and geographical proximity to exchange knowledge, we found evidence that proximity lowers firms's innovative performance, but only in the cognitive dimension.

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    ABSTRACT: Huber F. On the role and interrelationship of spatial, social and cognitive proximity: personal knowledge relationships of R&D workers in the Cambridge information technology cluster, Regional Studies. Although the importance of proximity has been highlighted, it remains an open question which types and levels of proximity are critical for knowledge networks. This paper addresses this issue by examining the role of spatial, social and cognitive proximity of personal knowledge relationships in the Cambridge information technology cluster. It is shown that distinguishing between sub-dimensions of cognitive proximity can clarify the ‘proximity paradox’. Moreover, the results highlight that local relationships enable access to cognitively more diverse knowledge than non-local ones. Finally, the paper provides empirical evidence of a compensation mechanism: distance in one dimension is compensated by proximity in at least one other dimension. However, similarity in terms of technical language cannot be easily substituted.Huber F. 空间、社会及认知毗邻性的相互关系与作用:剑桥IT产业集群研发部门中从业人员间的个体知识关系,区域研究。尽管目前在大量研究中已经强调了毗邻性的重要性,如下问题依旧值得探讨:什么类型及层次的毗邻性对于知识网络构建而言是至关重要的?本文通过考察剑桥IT产业集群创新及发展部门中从业人员间的个体知识关系讨论了这一问题。研究发现,对毗邻性概念进行的细分有助于明确‘毗邻性悖论’。研究同时表明可以将更多样化的知识整合入地方关系中。最终,文章为补偿机制提供了经验证据:某一层面的差距可以由其他层面的毗邻性进行补充。然而,技术语言的相似性不可轻易被取代。毗邻性 认知毗邻性 社会毗邻性 个人网络 知识网络 毗邻悖论Huber F. Sur le rôle et la corrélation de la proximité spatiale, sociale et cognitive: les rapports de connaisance personnels des travailleurs de R et D dans le cluster de la technologie de l'information situé à Cambridge, Regional Studies. Bien que l'on ait souligné l'importance de la proximité, on doute quels types et quels niveaux de proximité soient essentiels pour les réseaux de connaissance. Cet article aborde la question en examinant le rôle de la proximité spatiale, sociale et cognitive des rapports de connaissance personnels dans le cluster de la technologie de l'information situé à Cambridge. On montre que distinguer entre les subdivisions de la proximité cognitive peut éclaircir le ‘paradoxe de la proximité’. Qui plus est, les résultats laissent voir que les rapports locaux permettent un accès à la connaissance qui est plus divers du point de vue cognitif que ne le sont les rapports non-locaux. Pour terminer, l'article fournit des preuves empiriques d'un mécanisme de compensation: la distance dans un sens se voit compenser par la proximité dans au moins un autre sens. Cependant, on ne peut pas compenser facilement le langage technique.Proximité Proximité cognitive Proximité sociale Réseaux personnels Réseaux de connaissance Paradoxe de proximitéHuber F. Die Rolle und wechselseitigen Beziehungen von räumlicher, sozialer und kognitiver Nähe: persönliche Wissensbeziehungen von F&E-Kräften im IT-Cluster Cambridge, Regional Studies. Die Wichtigkeit von Nähe wurde zwar bereits hervorgehoben, doch es bleibt ungeklärt, welche Arten und Stufen von Nähe für Wissensnetzwerke entscheidend sind. In diesem Beitrag wird dieses Thema aufgegriffen und untersucht, welche Rolle die räumliche, soziale und kognitive Nähe von persönlichen Wissensbeziehungen im Informationstechnologie-Cluster von Cambridge spielt. Es wird gezeigt, dass sich das ‘Paradoxon der Nähe’ durch eine Differenzierung der Subdimensionen der kognitiven Nähe klären lässt. Darüber machen die Ergebnisse deutlich, dass lokale Beziehungen einen Zugriff auf ein kognitiv breiteres Wissensspektrum ermöglichen als nicht-lokale Beziehungen. Ebenso liefert dieser Beitrag empirische Belege für einen Kompensationsmechanismus: Die Entfernung in einer Dimension wird durch Nähe in mindestens einer anderen Dimension kompensiert. Allerdings lässt sich eine Ähnlichkeit in puncto Fachsprache nicht einfach substituieren.Nähe Kognitive Nähe Soziale Nähe Persönliche Netzwerke Wissensnetzwerke Paradoxon der NäheHuber F. El papel y la interrelación de la proximidad espacial, social y cognitiva: relaciones del conocimiento personal entre trabajadores de I + D en la aglomeración de la TI de Cambridge, Regional Studies. Aunque se ha puesto de relieve la importancia de la proximidad, sigue abierta la cuestión sobre qué tipos y niveles de proximidad son fundamentales para las redes de conocimiento. En este artículo abordamos esta cuestión al examinar el papel de la proximidad espacial, social y cognitiva de las relaciones del conocimiento personal en la aglomeración de la tecnología de la información de Cambridge. Mostramos que distinguir entre subdimensiones de proximidad cognitiva puede aclarar la ‘paradoja de la proximidad’. Además, los resultados destacan que las relaciones locales permiten un acceso a conocimiento cognitivamente más diverso. Para terminar, en este artículo ofrecemos evidencias empíricas de un mecanismo de compensación: la distancia en una dimensión está compensada por la proximidad en como mínimo una dimensión diferente. Sin embargo, no puede sustituirse fácilmente la similitud del lenguaje técnico.Proximidad Proximidad cognitiva Proximidad social Redes personales Redes de conocimiento Paradoja de la proximidad
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    ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on the role of inter-organizational networks as facilitators of knowledge flow and innovation. It introduces the concepts of network capital and network space to complement existing notions of social capital and geographic space as explanatory factors underpinning the impact of networks. Empirically, the paper analyses the inter-organizational networks of firms across three different regional settings. As well as finding significant differences across regions, the analysis also finds cross-regional commonalities in terms of the association between the innovation prowess of firms and the nature of their networks. In particular, it is found that the innovation performance of firms is significantly related to network capital investment in dynamically configured inter-organizational knowledge alliances. It is concluded that such findings may provide clues in terms of policy making in areas such as cluster and innovation system development, especially in supporting and orchestrating networks which have a clear strategic and calculative rationale.
    Industry and Innovation 01/2012; 19(3):203-232. · 0.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes a variety of combinations with regard to proximities (spatial and non-spatial) in inter-firm relations, and identifies their main determinants. The data employed come from a survey of more than 1,400 small and medium-sized firms in the Brittany region (France), which describe the relationship with their principal partner. Apart from spatial distance between partners, three forms of non-spatial proximity are identified—cognitive, technological and organizational—which are assessed in terms of their role in the relations. A typology of the relationships based on forms of proximity identifies a wide variety of configurations, which depend primarily on the nature of the relationship, and especially on the need for coordination.
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