Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Posted: January 6th, 2005 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Knowledge flows through informal contacts in industrial clusters: myth or reality?

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (now Christian R. Østergaard)

The role of informal networks in the development of regional clusters has recently received a lot of attention in the literature. Informal contact between employees in different firms is claimed to be one of the main carriers of knowledge between firms in a cluster. This paper examines empirically the role of informal contacts in a specific cluster. In a questionnaire survey, we asked a sample of engineers in a regional cluster of wireless communication firms in Northern Denmark a series of questions on informal networks. We analyze whether the engineers actually acquire valuable knowledge through these networks. We find that the engineers do share even quite valuable knowledge with informal contacts. This shows that informal contacts represent an important channel of knowledge diffusion.

Michael S. Dahl and Christian Ø. R. Pedersen (2004), “Knowledge Flows through Informal Contacts in Industrial Clusters: Myth or Reality?”, Research Policy, Vol. 33, No. 10, pp. 1673-86. ISSN: 0048-7333. [DOI Link]


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