Heterogeneity and Specificity of Inter-Firm Knowledge Flows in Innovation Networks

30 Pages Posted: 6 May 2008


Literature on innovation networks reveals little of to what extent different types of knowledge are exchanged and combined by collaborating firms to foster innovation. Based on field research in the aerospace industrial cluster of Rome, this study investigates the exchange of technological, market and managerial knowledge. Using social network analysis, the paper shows that the three types of knowledge are unevenly distributed and exchanged, thus revealing that the process of exchange is knowledge-specific. Further, it is found that in most collaborative relationships, partners exchange technological knowledge together with market and managerial knowledge, emphasizing the complex nature of the innovation process which requires access to and recombination of diverse knowledge. This phenomenon concerns not only large companies, but also small-to-medium enterprises. The reconsideration of the relative salience of the three types of knowledge has remarkable managerial and theoretical implications, which are developed in terms of propositions offered for further research.

Suggested Citation

Sammarra, Alessia and Biggiero, Lucio, Heterogeneity and Specificity of Inter-Firm Knowledge Flows in Innovation Networks. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 45, Issue 4, pp. 800-829, June 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1128717 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2008.00770.x

Alessia Sammarra (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

No Address Available
United States

Lucio Biggiero

University of L'Aquila ( email )

Via Giuseppe Mezzanotte
L'Aquila, AQ 67100
0862434861 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.luciobiggiero.com

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