TCI Network
21 July 2014

This monthly selection of articles has been carried out by Philippe Gugler and Michael Keller, the Center for Competitiveness, University of Fribourg.

Horizontal versus Vertical Learning: Divergence and Diversification of Lead Firms in the Hangji Toothbrush Cluster, China

By : Peng-Fei Li. Regional Studies, Volume 48, Issue 7, Pages 1227-1241, 2014.

Abstract: « Horizontal networking between competitors has long been under-conceptualized in cluster research. Combining labour mobility/spill-offs, friendship ties, professional gatherings and competitive interaction, a horizontal framework of clusters is developed as an alternative way to interpret local and external learning processes. To illustrate this framework, divergent strategies of three lead firms in the Hangji toothbrush industry, China, are investigated from the perspective of vertical linkages in global value chains and horizontal interaction in competitive networks. Although both frameworks can account for differences in strategies among these firms, horizontal interaction is particularly significant for providing additional explanations beyond producer–buyer linkages and learning.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Knowledge Externalities and Knowledge Spillovers in Social Networks: The Case of Izmir Metalwork Industrial District

By : Burcu Turkcan. European Planning Studies, Volume 22, Issue 7, Pages 1425-1443, 2014.

Abstract: « Social networks are the networks based on relationships between social entities. Since social interactions are directly associated with externalities, these relationships are assumed to create opportunities for the network members by providing especially knowledge flows. In this context, the main objective of this study is to show the role of knowledge externalities in social networks. By following this aim, some theoretical derivations are delivered and survey results in a small-world network are explained. Consequently, after a brief introduction, the first section of this study consists of a theoretical model derived by including knowledge externalities in social networks. In the second section, a survey applied in Izmir Metalwork Industrial District is explained. Finally, in the third section, survey results are presented and then conclusions and discussions for further research are revealed. Contributions of this study to the related literature are three-fold. Firstly, knowledge externalities are added to the models of knowledge flows in social networks explicitly. Secondly, a questionnaire trying to measure knowledge spillovers and knowledge externalities separately is introduced and applied for the first time in the literature. Finally, such an analysis is the first for Izmir which is the third metropolitan city of Turkey.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]


Cross-Border Networks in Informal and Formal Cooperation in the Border Regions Andalusia–Algarve–Alentejo and South Finland–Estonia

By : Teresa González-Gómez and Estrella Gualda. European Planning Studies, Volume 22, Issue 7, Pages 1407-1424, 2014.

Abstract: « Fostering border relations among the people in border regions seems a precondition for the future envisagement and success of cross-border regions and European Integration. Related studies to border relations observe the weakness of these informal border contacts and relations. However, weak ties represent an opportunity for interaction, and little has been said about how they might play in the construction and performance of institutional cross-border cooperation (CBC). In this work, we examine the nature of personal border networks of professionals working in CBC and how they are interconnected with the institutional CBC. This paper is based on a mainly qualitative research of two different border regions: Andalusia, Algarve and Alentejo (AAA) and South Finland and Estonia (SFE). Nevertheless, the methodology is multi-method, using semi-structured interviews, with specific questions for applying a social network analysis. Conclusions point out different patterns of border relations in both border regions. In AAA, most of the cross-border relations are weaker and related to their professional involvement in institutional CBC. In SFE, border relations rely both on working and personal reasons. All of these cross-border relations imply a significant value as opportunities for social capital construction across the borders and, hence, for greater interaction and cross-border integration.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


The ‘KIBS Engine’ of Regional Innovation Systems: Empirical Evidence from European Regions

By : Nicoletta Corrocher and Lucia Cusmano. Regional Studies, Volume 48, Issue 7, Pages 1212-1226, 2014.

Abstract: « Knowledge-intensive business services (KIBS) are key players in innovation systems, particularly in advanced regions where manufacturing competitiveness largely depends on knowledge contents provided by highly specialized suppliers. This paper investigates the relationship between KIBS and the structure and performance of regional innovation systems in Europe. It maps the co-evolution between KIBS and manufacturing in European regions, identifying emergent typologies of regional innovation systems. Results show that KIBS are a defining element of innovation-oriented regions, whereas their scarcity and slow growth distinctively characterize poor performing innovation systems. However, the analysis also identifies a set of core manufacturing regions in Europe, which are evolving along a different trajectory into knowledge-oriented service-manufacturing complexes.» [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHORS]


Mapping National Innovation Ecosystems        

Edited by Amnon Frenkel and Shlomo Maital. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2014.

Abstract: « Increasingly, researchers and policymakers alike recognize that innovations are generated by complex and dynamic national ecosystems that include government, industry, universities and schools. Because these systems differ by country and are strongly influenced by culture, effective policy and research strategies require a systems approach, in which policy consensus is built on a clear understanding of how each nation’s innovation ecosystem functions. This book outlines a unique methodology for constructing visual maps of national innovation ecosystems. The authors provide completed maps for six countries (Israel, Poland, Germany, France, Spain and Singapore), and two regions (Greater Toronto and ZhiangJiang Technology Park in Shanghai), along with detailed breakdowns of the policy implications emerging from each. These in-depth examples and a clear methodological approach offer a comprehensive guide for constructing visual portrayals of innovation systems and demonstrate why this is a vital exercise. Scholars and students of innovation and management will find this book an invaluable resource, as will innovation policymakers across the world.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]


Knowledge, Innovation And Space       

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson, Kiyoshi Kobayashi and Roger R. Stough. Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, Cheltenham, UK, 2014.

Abstract: « This volume extends our understanding of the many different ways in which distance impacts the knowledge conversion process. While addressing different facets of knowledge, innovation and space, the authors provide an overview of relevant topics in contemporary research concerned with the global, national, regional and local dynamics of knowledge and innovation. Knowledge itself is a raw input into the innovation process, which can then transform it into an economically useful output such as a prototype, patent, licence or new firm. New knowledge is often tacit and thus tends to be highly localized, as indeed is the conversion process. Consequently, as the book demonstrates, space or distance matter significantly in the transformation of raw knowledge into beneficial knowledge. This innovative book will appeal to academics, students and researchers in the fields of regional science, economics, sociology and innovation. It will also be of interest to policymakers and consultants in international organizations, in particular those dealing with entrepreneurship, development, R&D policies and regional policies on different spatial scales.» [ABSTRACT FROM EDITORS]