THE IMPACT OF INTERPERSONAL NETWORKS ON THE INNOVATIVENESS OF INVENTORS: FROM THEORY TO EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE
Virgile Chassagnon () and
Marilyne Audran ()
Additional contact information Virgile Chassagnon: ESDES Business School – Catholic University of Lyon, Lyon, France; GREDEG Research Centre (CNRS, UMR 6227), France
Marilyne Audran: University of Lyon, Lyon, France; TRIANGLE Research Centre (CNRS, UMR 5206), France
This paper aims to investigate the impact of interpersonal networks on the innovativeness of inventors. A significant amount of literature has been devoted to the analysis of network effects in the economic and managerial sciences. The main research works in this field have emphasized the strong relation between interpersonal networks and cooperation. Cooperation is the best way to succeed in complex and innovative projects. We make here the hypothesis that repeated collaborations in a network of inventors have an influence on their innovativeness, i.e., on their dynamic innovative capacity. On the one hand, we propose some theoretical clarifications regarding interpersonal networks and innovativeness, and we summarize the main conclusions of the more important empirical work connected with this subject. On the other hand, we run an empirical study involving 1,157 French prolific inventors who obtained 30,477 patents for the period 1975–2002. Logistic regressions results underline the significant impact of extended collaborations on the innovativeness of inventors.