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Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox

Tom Broekel and Ron Boschma ()

No 915, Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) from Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography

Abstract: The importance of geographical proximity for interaction and knowledge sharing has been discussed extensively in economic geography in recent years. There is increasing consensus that it is just one out of many types of proximities that might be relevant. We argue that proximity may be a crucial driver for agents to connect and exchange knowledge, but too much proximity between these agents on any of the dimensions might harm their innovative performance at the same time. In a study on knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry, we test this so-called proximity paradox empirically. We find evidence that the proximity paradox holds to some degree. Our study clearly shows that cognitive, social and geographical proximity are crucial for explaining the knowledge network of the Dutch aviation industry. But while it takes cognitive, social and geographical proximity to exchange knowledge, we found evidence that proximity lowers firms's innovative performance, but only in the cognitive dimension.

Keywords: proximity; paradox; social network analysis; knowledge networks; aviation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O32 R11 R12 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2009-10, Revised 2009-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cse, nep-geo, nep-ino, nep-knm, nep-net, nep-soc and nep-ure
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (9)

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http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg0915.pdf Version October 2009 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Knowledge networks in the Dutch aviation industry: the proximity paradox (2012) Downloads
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