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Innovation in Symbolic Industries: The Geography and Organization of Knowledge Sourcing

Roman Martin () and Jerker Moodysson

European Planning Studies, 2010, vol. 19, issue 7, 1183-1203

Abstract: This paper deals with geographical and organizational patterns of knowledge flows in the media industry of southern Sweden, an industry that is characterized by a strong “symbolic” knowledge base. The aim is to address the question of the local versus the non-local as the prime arena for knowledge exchange, and to examine the organizational patterns of knowledge sourcing with specific attention paid to the nature of the knowledge sourced. Symbolic industries draw heavily on creative production and a cultural awareness that is strongly embedded in the local context; thus knowledge flows and networks are expected to be most of all locally configured, and firms to rely on less formalized knowledge sources rather than scientific knowledge or principles. Based on structured and semi-structured interviews with firm representatives, these assumptions are empirically assessed through social network analysis and descriptive statistics. Our findings show that firms rely above all on knowledge that is generated in project work through learning-by-doing and by interaction with other firms in localized networks.

Date: 2010
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