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Spatial and Non-spatial Proximities in Inter-firm Relations: An Empirical Analysis

Anne Aguiléra, Virginie Lethiais and Alain Rallet

Industry and Innovation, 2012, vol. 19, issue 3, 187-202

Abstract: This article describes a variety of combinations with regard to proximities (spatial and non-spatial) in inter-firm relations, and identifies their main determinants. The data employed come from a survey of more than 1,400 small and medium-sized firms in the Brittany region (France), which describe the relationship with their principal partner. Apart from spatial distance between partners, three forms of non-spatial proximity are identified—cognitive, technological and organizational—which are assessed in terms of their role in the relations. A typology of the relationships based on forms of proximity identifies a wide variety of configurations, which depend primarily on the nature of the relationship, and especially on the need for coordination.

Date: 2012
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