Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

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

No 2011/7: Regional Institutional Environment and Its Impact on Intra-firm and Inter-organisational Innovation Networks: A Comparative Case Study in China and Switzerland

Ju LIU ()
Additional contact information
Ju LIU: CIRCLE, Lund University, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper investigates the structure of the intra-firm innovation networks (IntraINs) and the inter-organisational innovation networks (InterINs) of six leading manufacturing companies in the Great Zurich Area of Switzerland and the Sichuan province of China. It assesses the regional institutional environments (RIEs) of these two regions and explores their impact on the connectedness of both the IntraINs and InterINs of the case companies. It finds that RIE has no apparent impact on the case firms’ IntraINs. The impact of RIE on the InterINs is mainly manifested through its impact on the connections among the outside organisations rather than the direct connections between the focal firms and their outside collaborators. It is suggested that for helping big companies to build up innovation networks, public policy should be deployed to improve the RIE instead of directly bridging firms and the outside organisations which the firms can do it well by themselves.

Keywords: Innovation network; Regional institutional environment; Intra-firm; Inter-organisational; Chin; Switzerland

JEL-codes: O30

30 pages, October 21, 2011

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