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Do clusters really matter for innovation practices in information technology? Questioning the significance of technological knowledge spillovers

Huber, Franz (2010). Do clusters really matter for innovation practices in information technology? Questioning the significance of technological knowledge spillovers. In: DRUID Summer Conference 2010, 16-18 Jun 2010.

URL: http://www2.druid.dk/conferences/viewabstract.php?...
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Abstract

A widespread assumption in economic geography and the economics of innovation is that firms located in clusters benefit from territorial learning and (technological) knowledge spillovers. However, there have been few empirical investigations of potential mechanisms, and it remains unclear to what extent these benefits actually occur. This paper aims to address this issue and examines to what extent research and development (R&D) workers in the Cambridge Information Technology (IT) Cluster benefit from being located in the Cluster. Grounded in interviews and a survey with 105 R&D workers in 46 innovation-based firms, the empirical results challenge some of the prevalent views. The results show, first, that many R&D workers do not believe that their work benefits from being located in the Cluster, and the reasons for this are explored. Second, the importance of personal knowledge networks is limited, and the majority of those extra-firm personal networks that do exist are non-local. These results suggest that academics as well as policy makers need to be more careful with the assumption of technological knowledge spillovers in innovative clusters. Finally, the paper discusses that the significant advantages of the Cambridge IT Cluster for R&D workers are of a different nature; in particular they concern labor market advantages and benefits from the global 'brand' of Cambridge.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Copyright Holders: 2010 DRUID.DK
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetNot SetGates Cambridge Scholarship
Extra Information: A revised version has been accepted in the Journal of Economic Geography.
Keywords: clusters; knowledge spillovers; territorial learning; agglomeration economies
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Business and Law (FBL)
Item ID: 26943
Depositing User: Franz Huber
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2011 09:09
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 09:49
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/26943
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