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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2021

Dongyun Zhu and Bingfen Xu

This study aims to measure the moderating effect of geographical and organizational proximity by focusing on readily available Chinese regional economic data over a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to measure the moderating effect of geographical and organizational proximity by focusing on readily available Chinese regional economic data over a five-year period.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used multilevel regression analysis to analyze the relationship.

Findings

Results show that increasing government investment in research and development (R&D) can improve innovation performance during this period, organizational proximity and geographic proximity have a positive moderate effect on the relationship between R&D investment and Innovation performance.

Originality/value

This study enriches the existing theories on government innovation input and output from the perspective of regional differences and provides meaningful guidance for current Chinese regional innovation policies.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 November 2020

Thierry Houé and David Duchamp

Sustainable purchasing and supply management (SPSM) is a lever of sustainable development for companies and remains an interesting research issue that can be analysed from…

Abstract

Purpose

Sustainable purchasing and supply management (SPSM) is a lever of sustainable development for companies and remains an interesting research issue that can be analysed from various perspectives. By considering the polymorphic concept of proximity as a theoretical support, this research studies the buyer–supplier dyad and aims to answer the following question. How does the diversity of buyer–supplier dyad relationships influence the SPSM of direct and indirect purchases within a manufacturing company?

Design/methodology/approach

The authors used a qualitative approach founded on a matrix analysis to describe buyer–supplier relationships through the prism of the proximity concept. The field of study consists in a single case with embedded units including a manufacturing company and a sample of 13 suppliers of direct and indirect purchases.

Findings

The research reveals diverse combinations of proximities that characterise relationships between a buyer and suppliers of several purchasing categories. This diversity of relational contexts influences SPSM in different ways. The authors highlight three SPSM approaches labelled contractual, relational and embedded and describe practices carried out with suppliers as part of the different relational profiles.

Research limitations/implications

The research is developed in a single perspective. To ensure that it can be generalised, it should be applied in other contexts supported by new case studies.

Practical implications

The research provides practitioners with guidelines on building successful buyer–supplier partnerships in a sustainable view. The authors’ findings aid managerial decision-making by validating the necessity of adapting SPSM depending on buyer–supplier relational situations.

Originality/value

This paper offers an original study angle on buyer–supplier relationships based on a proximity analysis. The authors’ research confirms the variety of sustainable purchasing relationships underlined by the literature and can advance the portfolio approach to sustainable purchasing.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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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.

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2020

Xiaoxiao Shi, Zuolong Zheng, Qingpu Zhang and Huakang Liang

This paper aims to analyze the extent to which the influence of external knowledge search activities on firms’ incremental innovation capability, and the moderating roles…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to analyze the extent to which the influence of external knowledge search activities on firms’ incremental innovation capability, and the moderating roles of the relatedness between the partners’ technological bases and a firm’s network embeddedness in the innovation network.

Design/methodology/approach

In this empirical research, the authors collected a sample of patents in the UAV industry over the period of 2004–2018. Then the authors examined the direct role of external knowledge search on firms’ incremental innovation capability and the joint moderating effects of technological proximity and network embeddedness.

Findings

We found that external knowledge search in innovation networks positively affects firms’ incremental innovation capability. Moreover, we discovered that high technological proximity to other peers positively strengthens the impact of firms’ external knowledge search on their incremental innovation capability. Finally, the findings suggested that the relationship between a firm’s external knowledge search activities and its incremental innovation capability is stronger for high technological proximity coupled with high network centrality or poor structural holes in innovation networks.

Originality/value

This study adds value to open innovation literature by pointing out a positive relationship between external knowledge search and firm incremental innovation capability. Furthermore, this study reinforces the key joint contingent roles of technological proximity and network embeddedness. This study provides a valuable theoretical framework of incremental innovation capability determinants by connecting the different perspectives.

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2020

Dong Wu, Xiaobo Wu, Haojun Zhou and Mingu Kang

This paper represents an empirical study of how geographic proximity influences the search advantage and the transfer problem of interfirm networks.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper represents an empirical study of how geographic proximity influences the search advantage and the transfer problem of interfirm networks.

Design/methodology/approach

By using the data collected from 226 Chinese manufacturing firms, this study examines the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

The authors’ findings suggest that (1) geographic proximity is an important antecedent for promoting knowledge transfer, whereas it lowers the degree of knowledge novelty; and (2) geographic proximity also moderates the effects of interfirm networks on knowledge novelty and knowledge transfer.

Originality/value

This study contributes the literature of interfirm network and provides practical implications by addressing the ways in which manufacturing firms can promote knowledge transfer and acquire novel knowledge.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 120 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2020

Daniel Schepis

This paper aims to examine how innovation intermediary activities increase relational proximity between start-ups and foreign partners to support start-up internationalization.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine how innovation intermediary activities increase relational proximity between start-ups and foreign partners to support start-up internationalization.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper applies a case study methodology to examine an international network of innovation intermediaries in the resources sector. Interviews were conducted with 59 start-ups, corporate and intermediary managers in four countries, supplemented by secondary data. A two-stage analysis process was performed to first identify activities relating to start-up internationalization and then apply a theoretically derived coding framework based on five proximity dimensions.

Findings

The case identifies several innovation intermediary activities, which facilitate relationship development between start-ups and partners in new markets. Findings outline how activities increase relational proximity across different dimensions, while also indicating a number of interrelations between dimensions, given the complexity of international business relationships.

Originality/value

This paper establishes interdisciplinary bridges between business networks, international business and economic geography perspectives. It provides a valuable empirical foundation for relational proximity, demonstrating its application to understanding start-up internationalization and its influence by intermediary-led activities.

Details

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

Keywords

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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

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Article
Publication date: 20 May 2019

Anna Maria Lis

The purpose of this paper is to analyse relations between geographical and competence proximity and development of cooperation in cluster initiatives.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse relations between geographical and competence proximity and development of cooperation in cluster initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was based on an original theoretical concept referring to the trajectory of the development of cooperative relations in cluster initiatives. The research was carried out in mid-2017, in four purposefully selected cluster initiatives. The research sample was 132 cluster enterprises. The main research strategy involved non-experimental models; the basic method of data collection was an online questionnaire.

Findings

The results indicated that the role of geographical and competence proximity depends on the level of cooperation in a cluster initiative. In both these dimensions, proximity was important during the initial stage of cluster development: to start cooperation between the members, however, when more mature forms of cooperation were undertaken, the factor of common location was not so crucial any longer. It was also recommended to maintain some competence distance between the partners.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations referred to the static character of the data, the use of original measurement tools, which had not been tested before, the small and little differentiated research sample and the subjective nature of the research. The above-mentioned limitations should be viewed as a starting point for further empirical research.

Practical implications

Knowledge on the significance of geographical and competence proximity at various levels of cooperation in clusters is valuable for efficient management of a cluster and for higher competitiveness that it can achieve.

Originality/value

The research study contributes to the literature, which refers to the question of proximity in clusters through the analysis of relations between geographical and competence proximity and development of cooperation in cluster initiatives. The results of the research point out that the role of geographical and competence proximity evolves with the development of cooperation in cluster initiatives.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Antonio Messeni Petruzzelli

The paper aims to investigate how proximity dimensions affect the establishment of different knowledge relationships between gatekeepers and other economic actors involved

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1357

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate how proximity dimensions affect the establishment of different knowledge relationships between gatekeepers and other economic actors involved in their knowledge‐based networks.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on an inductive research approach, represented by the explorative case study of the Polytechnic University of Turin. The University's knowledge relationships are identified and distinguished through the analysis of its patent joint‐developments, citations, and R&D projects. Then, for each knowledge relationship, geographical, organizational, and technological proximity between the University and the other economic actors are assessed, adopting suitable proxies.

Findings

The data reveal that the University activates collaborative and exploitative relationships with actors characterized by geographical, organizational, and technological proximity. In contrast, collaborative and explorative relationships seem to require actors characterized by more distant technological competencies. Furthermore, the exchange of knowledge by means of non‐collaborative relationships occurs between the University and actors characterized only by technological proximity.

Research limitations/implications

On the basis of this analysis, actors can identify which proximity dimensions assume an important role for activating knowledge flows with gatekeepers. Regarding policy implications, the paper highlights how policy makers should leverage proximities in order to favour and support the exchange of knowledge, hence improving the innovative capability, competitiveness, and attractiveness of regional areas.

Originality/value

This research contributes to shed further light on the nature of the relationships and knowledge flows exchanged by the gatekeepers. In particular, it analyzes how relational attributes can affect the knowledge transfer processes between economic actors.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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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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1513

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

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