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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2007

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli, Vito Albino and Nunzia Carbonara

The purpose of this paper is to analyse if and how technology districts use proximity dimensions (such as geographical, organizational, and cognitive) as a communication

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse if and how technology districts use proximity dimensions (such as geographical, organizational, and cognitive) as a communication resource for accessing external knowledge sources.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve this purpose, the organizational and cognitive links between technology districts' actors and external ones are identified and then the new geographical boundaries of the districts are drawn. A case study related to an Italian technology district (Torino Wireless) is provided in order to identify how different research organizations located in the district use proximity dimensions for reaching knowledge sources external to the district, then re‐shaping its geographical boundaries.

Findings

The empirical study enables identification of the actors connected to the technology districts by means of geographical, organizational, and cognitive proximity, and their locations. Moreover, results show that organizational proximity is mainly adopted to link actors located near the district area. While, cognitive proximity is mainly adopted to connect actors geographically distant from the district.

Research limitations/implications

As regards technology district strategic behaviour, it seems particularly crucial to exploit all the three dimensions of proximity. In particular, the technology district of Torino Wireless should increase its use of organizational proximity to be connected with external knowledge sources.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a methodology for identifying the external actors connected with the technology districts by means of proximity. Furthermore, the relationships between organizational and geographical proximity, and cognitive and geographical proximity are also investigated.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 11 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli, Vito Albino and Nunzia Carbonara

Following the line traced by two previous works of Albino et al. and Messeni Petruzzelli, the paper aims to analyze how technology districts reach and acquire external

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Abstract

Purpose

Following the line traced by two previous works of Albino et al. and Messeni Petruzzelli, the paper aims to analyze how technology districts reach and acquire external competencies and capabilities by means of organizational and cognitive proximity. This allows districts to modify their geographical boundaries and evolve into technology clusters.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design is based on a case study methodology. In particular, two actual technology districts are analyzed, namely Castel Romano and Toulouse, in order to show how they use organizational, and cognitive proximity to acquire external knowledge sources and re‐shape their geographical boundaries.

Findings

Based on the findings of the empirical study, two main propositions are formulated. The first proposition refers to the negative relationship between the geographical distance to the district's actors and the use of organizational proximity as a means for reaching external knowledge sources. By contrast, the second proposition indicates the positive relationship between the geographical distance to the district's actors and the use of cognitive proximity as a means for reaching external knowledge sources.

Research limitations/implications

As regards the firm strategic behaviors, it seems particularly crucial to exploit all the three dimensions of proximity, in order to guarantee openness and sustain innovativeness and competitiveness. Concerning policy implications, the local governments should address their actions to help and promote the openness of technology districts and the formation of technology clusters. With this aim, actions should be devoted also to sustaining single local firms that are part of a technology cluster but not of a technology district. These, in fact, by increasing their competitive position, may generate positive externalities in the local area, fostering the diffusion and sharing of knowledge in the area and, then, acting as knowledge gatekeepers for the whole area.

Originality/value

The paper extends the findings of previous works linking three proximity dimensions in a holistic framework that explains the different use of organizational and cognitive proximity to acquire knowledge, according to the geographical distance between organizations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 June 2020

Lisa Noonan, Eoin O'Leary and Justin Doran

This paper analyses the impact of institutional proximity, cognitive proximity and geographical proximity (in the form of agglomeration economies) on the firm-level…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper analyses the impact of institutional proximity, cognitive proximity and geographical proximity (in the form of agglomeration economies) on the firm-level productivity of foreign-owned firms in Ireland. The analysis of agglomeration economies, consisting of internal economies of scale, localization economies, related variety and urbanization economies, has a strong pedigree in regional economics literature. Increasingly, however, alternative explanations of firm-level productivity performance have been explored with institutional and cognitive proximity often identified as other important determinants of performance. This paper presents an analysis of the importance of agglomeration economies (based on geographical proximity) versus institutional and cognitive proximity (which may be a-spatial).

Design/methodology/approach

A series of measures capturing regional level agglomeration economies are generated as well as measures of institutional and cognitive proximity. The impact of these effects on foreign-owned firm-level productivity is analysed using data from the Irish Census of Industrial Local Units 2009. The estimation method employed is general method of moments (GMM) which allows for the potential endogeneity of variables within the system of analysis.

Findings

The results reveal that institutional proximity has a positive impact on productivity. A possible reason for this result is that local units of the same nationality are sharing knowledge in relation to successfully conducting business in Ireland. However, cognitive proximity is found to be statistically insignificant. Agglomeration economies are also important with urbanization economies and the availability of skilled labour having a positive effect on productivity.

Originality/value

The key contributions of this paper are as follows; firstly, the paper provides the first test of the institutional and cognitive proximity hypotheses on productivity while also controlling for a series of internal and external agglomeration economies. Secondly, the analysis considers, firm level, regional level and national level indicators as determinants of firm's productivity. In combining micro and macro level indicators, the paper attempts to answer the call of Van Oort et al. (2012) for such analyses. Thirdly, the paper provides the first detailed examination of the role of ‘proximity’ on foreign-owned manufacturing firms in the Irish context.

Details

Journal of Economic Studies, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3585

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Merle Kuttim

The purpose of this paper is to advance the comprehension of the role that geographic proximity plays in relation to non-spatial proximity in the context of international…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to advance the comprehension of the role that geographic proximity plays in relation to non-spatial proximity in the context of international university-industry knowledge transfer.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is designed as a multiple-case study. It looks at selected instances of contract research at Tallinn University of Technology that represents a typical technical university in Central and Eastern Europe characterised by relatively short period of market economy and university-industry cooperation.

Findings

The results indicate that there emerge different configurations of proximity nationally and internationally. In case of domestic cooperation cognitive (education), organisational, social and institutional (institutional setting) proximity exist simultaneously with geographic proximity. International cooperation is characterised by lack of geographical proximity, but the existence of cognitive and social proximity indicating a substitution.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited to analysing instances of contract research and relations between spatial and non-spatial forms of proximity. Further research could consider the differences between various channels of knowledge transfer and address the relationship between non-spatial forms of proximity.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the existing body of knowledge by using proximity dimensions operationalised at aggregate and individual levels to study the university knowledge network. It is proposed in this paper that attention has to be paid to distinguishing between organisational and individual levels of analysis and their differing results. Proximity at organisational level does not necessarily translate into proximity between individuals and vice versa.

Details

European Journal of Innovation Management, vol. 19 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-1060

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 May 2018

Christina Öberg

Proximity – that is, the closeness of parties – has been increasingly emphasized in studies on innovation networks. The idea of closeness has been discussed in relation to…

Abstract

Purpose

Proximity – that is, the closeness of parties – has been increasingly emphasized in studies on innovation networks. The idea of closeness has been discussed in relation to geographic proximity, and has also been referred to as knowledge overlaps and shared understandings between parties. In most of the studies dealing with proximity in relation to innovation networks, a static analysis is pursued. Such an analysis marks how the closeness or distance, often with the conclusion that parties should not be too close or too distant, is measured against innovation outcome at a specific point in time. However, innovation processes would include how parties increasingly converge in their knowledge and understanding, and how they may co-locate their businesses. The purpose of this paper is to discuss proximity in relation to multiple-party innovation processes and their development over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical part of this paper consists of a single case study on an innovation community and its development process. The development of the innovation community over time, whether and how geographic, knowledge and cognitive proximity is affected, and the outcome in terms of number of innovations, their newness (incremental or radical innovation), and variety are discussed in the paper.

Findings

Findings indicate how geographic proximity leads to more knowledge overlaps, while it is not a prerequisite for it. Rather, it is in the commitment processes partly connected to cognitive proximity that knowledge increasingly converges, indifferent to the co-location of parties. The speed of such processes, however, is higher if parties co-locate. The commitment processes lead to an increased number of innovations, while these innovations become more and more similar. To avoid increased overlaps of knowledge and thereby maintain the production of a variety of innovations, interaction needs to occur through the introduction of new parties and the termination of previous interaction patterns. This, however, occurs at the cost of commitment, and the knowledge thereby becomes less developed and used in its capacities.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to previous research through discussing proximity in innovation networks in a processual manner. The link between various proximities and their effect on innovation outcome sheds light on how proximity, as discussed in various literature streams, often relates to similar issues that converge around the issue of commitment.

Details

IMP Journal, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-1403

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 November 2020

Maral Mahdad, Thai Thi Minh, Marcel L.A.M. Bogers and Andrea Piccaluga

There is little known about investigating the importance of all proximity dimensions simultaneously as a result of geographical proximity on university-industry…

Abstract

Purpose

There is little known about investigating the importance of all proximity dimensions simultaneously as a result of geographical proximity on university-industry collaborative innovation. This paper aims to answer the question of how geographically proximate university and industry influence cognitive, social, organizational, institutional and cultural proximity within university-industry joint laboratories and finally, what is the outcome of these interplays on collaborative innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses an exploratory multiple-case study approach. The results are derived from 53 in-depth, semistructured interviews with laboratory directors and representatives from both the company and the university within 8 joint laboratories of Telecom Italia (TIM). The data collection was carried out in 2014 and 2015. The analysis follows a multi-grounded theory approach and relies on a mix of deductive and inductive reasoning with the final goal of theoretical elaboration.

Findings

This study finds the role of social and cultural proximity at the individual level as a result of geographical proximity as an enabler of collaborative innovation by triggering mutual learning, trust formation and frequent interactions. Cognitive proximity at the interface level could systematically influence collaborative innovation, while organizational and institutional proximity has marginal roles in facilitating collaborative innovation. The qualitative analysis offers a conceptual framework for proximity dimensions and collaborative innovation within university-industry joint laboratories.

Practical implications

The framework not only advances state-of-the-art university-industry collaboration and proximity dimension but also offers guidance for managers in designing collaborative innovation settings between university and industry.

Originality/value

With this study, the paper advances the understanding beyond solely the relationship between proximity and collaboration and shed light on the interplay between geographical proximity and other proximity dimensions in this context, which has received limited scholarly attention.

Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Cristian Geldes, Jorge Heredia, Christian Felzensztein and Marcos Mora

This paper aims to use the proximity approach of economic geography with its spatial dimension (geographic) and their non-spatial dimensions (social, institutional…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to use the proximity approach of economic geography with its spatial dimension (geographic) and their non-spatial dimensions (social, institutional, cognitive and organizational) to shed light on the determinants of business cooperation with other organizations. It is also examined whetherthis cooperation is a determining factor for business innovation (innovation networks), drawing a distinction between technological and non-technological innovations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study has a quantitative approach; it analyzes the case of 312 companies in a cluster of agribusinesses in an emerging economy (Chile). The proposal model and its interrelations are tested with exploratory factor analysis, confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that cognitive-organizational proximity is a positive determinant of business cooperation with other organizations, whereas social and institutional proximity are negative determinants. It is also established that business cooperation is a positive determinant of business innovation. It is more relevant in the case of technological innovation unlike non-technological innovations. In addition, it is noted that business cooperation levels are lower in micro-enterprises, a result that differs from developed countries.

Practical implications

For business managers, it is best to cooperate with companies that are similar in terms of cognitive and organizational levels for innovation. At the same time, it is necessary develop strategies to reduce the social and institutional barriers to cooperation, especially in the agribusiness sector.

Originality/value

The contributions of the study are as follows: an in-depth quantitative examination of the relationships of various non-spatial proximities as determinants of business cooperation; an analysis of whether business cooperation with other organizations is a determining factor for business innovation, distinguishing between technological and non-technological innovation; and testing these relationships in the context of agribusiness in an emerging economy such as Chile’s because most of studies are related to high-tech sector and developed economies.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 February 2020

Sascha Naomi Jansz, Terry van Dijk and Mark P. Mobach

The purpose of this paper is to create an overview of current literature and identify gaps in what is known about stimulating interaction through spaces and services…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to create an overview of current literature and identify gaps in what is known about stimulating interaction through spaces and services provided on university campuses.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used the preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) statement methodology for systematic literature review. In total, 3,616 articles were screened, 31 articles were included. Facility Directors from 13 Dutch Universities were asked to define the search terms related to services.

Findings

Spaces and services were mostly studied separately. The majority of papers (18/31) were based on perceptions (surveys or interviews). The following critical success factors were identified in the literature: geographic proximity, cognitive proximity, scale, transitional spaces, comfort and experience, shared facilities and events, local buzz and networks. These factors are interrelated. The authors present a new relational model, from spaces and services, through interaction to innovation, visualising how the identified papers are related.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of possible findings may have been narrowed because prior relevant studies were rather limited and as a consequence of the search strategy designed to limit the number of unrelated hits. Some knowledge gaps may not have been identified, as only a few mainstream concepts related to the critical success factors were used for comparison. Nevertheless, the literature review provides a reliable overview of current academic knowledge regarding critical success factors for spaces and services that stimulate interaction on campuses.

Originality/value

This paper offers a novel perspective by emphasising the relational chain from interaction to innovation, visualising the large diversity in research fields and summarising the critical success factors in the literature.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. 18 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 September 2013

Elisa Salvador, Ilaria Mariotti and Fabrizio Conicella

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the science park (SP) “physical” location and the innovation cluster (IC) “virtual” location, and aims at investigating: the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the science park (SP) “physical” location and the innovation cluster (IC) “virtual” location, and aims at investigating: the motivations driving firms to settle in these two agglomerations; the main problems firms, belonging to the two structures, face in their growth process; similarities and differences between a “physical” and a “virtual” location; which forms of proximity (geographical, relational, social, cognitive, organizational, and institutional) play a role within the SP and the IC.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review on proximity is followed by an investigation of the Bioindustry Park and the IC BioPmed in Piedmont region in Italy, through a structured questionnaire, sent between February and March 2002, to firms co-located in the park and/or member of the cluster.

Findings

From the analysis did emerge that the physical location in the park and the virtual location in the cluster might be complements rather than substitutes.

Research limitations/implications

Shortcomings like the limited number of companies interviewed, and the absence of a sample of companies exclusively co-located in the park, are observable. Additional research might corroborate the results, which are specifically valid for the two case studies.

Practical implications

The idea of understanding differences and similarities between the SP and the IC, and of investigating which proximity typologies play a role in a “physical” and in a “virtual” location, may be useful to design future policy strategies.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is given by the analysis of a new phenomenon: physical and virtual agglomeration typologies, characterized by several forms of proximity enhancing knowledge diffusion.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 19 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Juhi Gahlot Sarkar and Abhigyan Sarkar

The purpose of this study was to explore possible types of brand proximity based on respective psychological causal antecedents, and also to uncover possible marking…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore possible types of brand proximity based on respective psychological causal antecedents, and also to uncover possible marking outcomes of brand proximity.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from young adult respondents through semi-structured depth interviewing. The data were coded using a grounded theory method to interpret causal relationships between concepts.

Findings

Data coding resulted in a causal process model showing various psychological factors that would predict various brand proximity types, and also various attitudinal outcomes of brand proximity. Important emerging market context-specific findings are that the majority of Asian consumers feel emotionally close to developed foreign country originated brands, and that they use brands as a means to escape from various stress factors present in their daily lives.

Originality/value

A value of the study lies in exploring the contemporary types of psychological brand proximity and associated factors in the domain of consumer-brand relationship for the first time among Asian young adults.

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