The Complex Interaction Between Global Production Networks, Digital Information Systems and International Knowledge Transfers
ICER Working Paper No. 7/2010
33 Pages Posted: 2 May 2010 Last revised: 17 Mar 2016
Date Written: April 30, 2010
Traditionally many studies of knowledge in economics have focused on localized networks and intra-regional collaborations. However, the rising frequency by which firms collaborate within the context of global networks of production and innovation, the increasingly intricate divisions of labor involved and the extensive use of the Internet to facilitate interaction are all relatively novel trends that underline the importance of knowledge creation and flows across different locations. Focusing on this topic, the present chapter examines the complex interactions between global production networks (GPN), digital information systems (DIS) and knowledge transfers in information technology industries. It seeks to disentangle the various conduits through which different kinds of knowledge are transferred within such networks, and investigate how recent generations of DIS are affecting those knowledge transfers. The paper concludes that the dual expansion of GPN and DIS is adding new complexity to the practice of innovation: To access knowledge necessary for sustained creativity firms often have to link up with remote partners in GPN, but to be able to absorb and utilize this knowledge, they also frequently have to engage in local interactive learning processes. These local- global linkages - and the various skills necessary to operate them - are strongly interdependent, mutually reinforcing and critical for the development and maintenance of innovation-based competitiveness.
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