Papers in Innovation Studies, CIRCLE, Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy, Lund University
Combining knowledge bases in transnational innovation - microfoundations and the geography of organization
Abstract: The aim of the paper is to contribute both conceptually
and empirically to a deeper understanding of the territorial shaping of
knowledge combination and its development dynamics underpinning innovation.
The importance of combining and integrating knowledge bases from different
sources, geographical scales and heterogeneous actors is increasingly
recognized in innovation studies. Yet, the question of what limits or
enables knowledge combinations in innovation processes and what generates
relatedness among unrelated knowledge bases in time and space is not fully
answered. Conceptually the paper suggests a more specific focus on
microfoundations and temporality by taking into account the economics of
organization in more detail. This appears a particularly promising
approach, as the causal relations and mechanisms across and between
aggregated levels such as firms, sectors, regions, or nations are not well
understood. Empirically the paper explores the micro-dynamics of knowledge
combination and its territorial shaping from a transnational perspective.
German-Chinese innovation projects in sustainable construction are
investigated by using the methodology of innovation biography. This method
allows following the time-space path of innovation. It enables capturing
knowledge interactions and their unfolding in multi-scalar and
cross-sectoral ways. The results underline a very dynamic geography of
organization and barriers for knowledge integration at the micro-level
rooted in organizational and institutional path dependencies. The
investigation in the interplay between more permanent and temporary
organizational forms and its geography holds a large potential for further
research to provide new insights into the spatiality of combining knowledge
bases in innovation processes.
Keywords: knowledge dynamics; transnational innovation; microfoundations; economics of organization; innovation biography; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: D83; L14; L20; L84; O31; (follow links to similar papers)
28 pages, February 26, 2015
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