Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography

November 6, 2011

# 11.18 The cognitive and geographical composition of ego-networks of firms – and how they impact on their innovation performance

Tom Broekel and Ron Boschma

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Firms’ embeddedness into knowledge networks has received much attention in the literature. However, little is known about the composition of firms’ ego-networks with respect to different types of proximities. Based on survey data of 295 firms in eight European regions, we show that the ego-networks of firms systematically differ in their geographical and cognitive embeddedness. We find that firms’ innovation performance is stimulated if the firm primarily links to technologically related firms as well as technologically similar organizations. Connecting with organizations at different geographical levels yields positive effects as well.

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