Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2006/11: The uneven and selective nature of cluster knowledge networks: evidence from the wine industry

Elisa Giuliani ()
Additional contact information
Elisa Giuliani: University of Pisa and SPRU Univity. of Sussex, Postal: SPRU, The Freeman Centre , University of Sussex, Brighton , East Sussex, BN1 9QE, UK , , DEA, Facoltà di Economia , University of Pisa , Via Ridolfi 10 , 56124 Pisa, Italy

Abstract: Most of the studies about industrial clusters and innovation stress the importance of firms’ geographical proximity and their embeddedness in local business networks, as factors that positively affect their learning and innovation processes. More recently, scholars have started to claim that firm-specific characteristics should be considered to be central in the process of learning and innovation in clusters. This paper contributes to this latter direction of research. It applies social network analysis to explore the structural properties of knowledge networks in three wine clusters in Italy and Chile. The results show that in spite of firms’ geographical proximity and the pervasiveness of local business networks, innovation-related knowledge is diffused in clusters in a highly selective and uneven way. This pattern is found to be related to the heterogeneous and asymmetric distribution of firm knowledge bases in the clusters.

Keywords: Clusters; firm knowledge base; knowledge network; business network; wine industry.

JEL-codes: O30

52 pages, November 1, 2006

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