Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Centre for Innovation Research

No 2016/4: The Joint Influencing Mechanism of Proximities and Knowledge Base on Multinational Companies’ Global Innovation Networks

Ju Liu () and Ingo Liefner ()
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Ju Liu: CIRCLE, Lund University
Ingo Liefner: Department of Economic Geography, Justus Liebig University Giessen

Abstract: This paper explores the joint influencing mechanism of the two-dimensional proximity, namely geographical and organisational proximity, and knowledge base on the relational pattern of multinational companies’ (MNCs) global innovation networks (GINs). It argues when it comes to MNCs’ GINs, the conventional geographical-proximity-and-knowledge-base framework allows only for an incomplete understanding of the network relational patterns and particularly the observed differences between different GINs. The paper suggests an extended theoretical framework based on a two-dimensional proximity concept and the knowledge base approach for understanding how and why MNCs’ GINs are organised in specifically different ways. An in-depth comparative case study with social network analysis is used to illustrate the applicability of the framework in question.

Keywords: global innovation network; Multinational company; Knowledge base; Geographical proximity; Organisational proximity; Social network analysis

JEL-codes: F23; L60; M16; O32

25 pages, January 18, 2016

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